Five Dollars at a Time

There’s always a match taking place at my golf club. Five-dollar Nassaus get traded more than bad jokes. Even though nobody gets rich, the stakes feel high. That’s what pride will do to a golfer. Everyone wants to be a winner. Most will never lift the club championship trophy, but they can earn the feeling of getting paid by their opponent on a weekday evening in the grill room. Abe Lincoln’s face neatly folded in your wallet is a fine reward for sticking it to a friend. It always stings though when you have to hand over the cash. That’s why the matches matter. Having a little on the line will make you play harder. We inflate the importance of a five-dollar Nassau in order to feel a fraction of the nerves that come from larger events. Those three-foot putts on a Thursday night might not mean much in the grand scheme but they matter in the moment. The shots you pull off when playing against your pals become the basis for confident swings down the road. It’s good to turn up the pressure. It’s fun to play for money. We all get a little better five dollars at a time.


If you enjoy these musings, you’ll probably like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this year as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.

-J

The Club Life

There are a lot of good reasons to join a golf club. The most important of which is the chance to be part of a culture. Finding a proper fit is key. For me, I enjoy being able to compete with friends in an environment that is fueled by a love for the game. At our club, a shared passion for golf manifests in Tuesday skins, Friday FourBall matches, a standing game on weekends, and monthly tournaments — all of which offer an opportunity to find some small amount of fleeting personal glory. There are also endless evening walks with dogs, the sight of children running around the practice green, and many good stories shared among friends. I’m a member there because of the atmosphere we all create together. While at the club, I get to laugh a lot, and all our families at times seem to merge into one large unit. I also find plenty of chances to prove my golfing ability. The friendly and competitive nature of a club is a wonderful thing to be a part of. There’s always a game to be had and as long as you can ante up for the bet you’re in. It may not be for every golfer, but to many joining a club is the gateway to falling more in love with the game. That has certainly been the case in my life. Because of the culture, I spend a ton of time at the golf club. It’s somewhere I always long to be. The club is a part of my life and my life is part of the club. That’s a feeling I hope every golfer can have. If you can find something similar, or another culture that suits your taste, I hope you’ll dive in. There’s a lot to love about a club that feels like home.


If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this year as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.

-J

A Great Place to be Stranded

I can’t imagine how many times I’ve found myself huddled under a tree or beneath a shed with friends during a rain delay. As much as I hate to come off the course, I still enjoy the chance to catch up with my pals when there is nowhere else to go. While the water falls from the heavens we find time for jokes and country club gossip. There is chatter about those with generous handicaps, opinions on the state of the course, and lots of talk about the shenanigans we all get into together. The rain pounds the ground around us and the runoff sheets over the fairways we are escaping but under our makeshift shelter is an enjoyable environment. Belly laughs and the sound of beers opening is a perfect accompaniment to the beats of a southern thunderstorm. We check the radar, but despite seeing shades of green and red on the screen all around us there is no rush to go in. Why head for home when we can hide from the world right here a bit longer? The golf course is a great place to be stranded in a downpour. Nobody is in a hurry to break the huddle.


If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this year as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.

-J

Golf Talk With Friends

Eighteen holes leaves a lot of time to talk. Especially while on foot. When we play with our most dear companions the conversations tend to delve into all aspects of life. We talk about family, frustrations, and even other friends. There are chats concerning our children, current events, and career trajectory. Some blokes discuss their love life while others prefer the stocks they like to pick. Golf trips and community gossip are always popular topics too. There really isn’t much off the table. When we play with our pals, it’s a chance to both celebrate our joys and unload some baggage. We tell our golf friends all sorts of things because through sharing we discover we aren’t alone in our successes and challenges. It’s good to know others are with us. Step by step and word by word we untangle the thoughts we tend to otherwise keep to ourselves. Perhaps it’s the open space that inspires such sharing. Mostly, it’s just knowing that the golfers you walk with care enough to listen. Having someone hear you out helps more than most like to admit. A tee time is a mutual agreement in that sense. When we play golf we drop our guard. The game makes everyone vulnerable and it’s that common footing that allows these discussions to happen with ease. The shots we make matter, but the talks we have along the way are often what we need more. Golf is a good way to sort out where we stand with each other and there’s a lot of time for conversation between swings.


If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this Summer as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.

-J

Why Don’t We Do This More?

“What could we be doing that’s better than this?” It’s a good question to ask. When we find ourselves enjoying golf in the late afternoon with friends and family it’s hard not to wonder why we don’t do it more. The peacefulness found in these outings makes it easy to remember the true beauty of golf. We become relaxed in the most wonderful ways and through our wide-open eyes the world seems to glisten. To be in nature and with those whose presence we treasure is always special. It warms the soul and calms the heart. How tragic that we don’t insist on this relief more often. In those moments, the world moves at a trickling pace and for a few hours, we can see just how good life can be. To play golf is to pause conflict. The combination of grassy fields, soaring clouds, flora, and fauna before us seems to erode all worldly tension. We fill that void with smiles, laughter, small talk, and other visible signs of joy. As we play, we can’t help but ponder why we aren’t together like this every day. Our time on earth is minuscule and if the best of it happens on a golf course, why would we not make a habit of it? The only real barrier is how we chose to spend what little time we have.


If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this Summer as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.

-J

Night Putting with Pals

I’ve spent a lot of late nights on the putting green in my life. Growing up in a small town meant that my friends and I often had to entertain ourselves. In a place with little to do, putting contests were our regularly scheduled programming. We’d roll for dollars while the sun sank down and stay to settle up under the parking lot lights. Sometimes we brought the dogs and on occasion our parents even got in on the game. Now that we’ve grown in age, we still go to the green to pass the time. The bets have gone up in value and the Coca Cola has turned into beer, but the camaraderie is still of the same flavor. Over some tense three footers we talk life and golf. Not much has changed in that sense. The dogs maybe different now but the reason for being there is the same. Passing some time on the putting green with friends never gets old. It’s still the best entertainment a few dollars can buy.


If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this Summer as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.

-J

Friends Worth Playing With

Finding good golf friends is an important part of the game. In some ways, it’s a lot like dating. You’ll play with lots of people before you find the right fit. It’s good to look for players with similar interests and skill sets, but it may be even more valuable to discover an elevated sense of humor. A desire for adventure and fellowship is rather meaningful too. Some partners will come and go, but over time there will be a few that you just can’t shake. Through many walks the experiences you share become strong bonds. The memorable swings and competitive matches keep things interesting while the bad shots and head-shaking jokes ensure no round is a bore. Golf pals make for cheap entertainment, but they can be costly to keep. There will be trips taken, bets lost, and bar tabs overextended. It’s all worth it though. Having a tribe of golfers who seek to enjoy the world together is a wonderful thing. The laughs, chats, and long evenings celebrating the game are exactly why golf is so fun. The time spent searching for friendship is always worth it. We need partners in golf just as we do in life.


If you enjoy these daily stories, you might like my new book, The Nine Virtues of Golf. It debuted earlier this Summer as the #1 new release golf book on Amazon.

-J