A Sure-Fire Way to Focus

Hitting tee shots offline is a sure fire way to build focus as a golfer. That’s because the recovery shot has to have your full attention. Through years of spending time in the trees and beyond, I’ve learned how to hit all sorts of fancy shots. Necessity breeds innovation I suppose. Because my chances at par have been so often dependent on this sort of swing, I’ve discovered how to center my attention on the shot at hand. In order to carve the ball around trees, punch through small openings, and hit fast moving stingers I can’t let my mind slip. Over time, that focus has carried over into the rest of my game. Survival skills are an important part of evolution and the same holds true for golf. When you have to pull a great shot out of thin air, your focus tends to get pretty sharp. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you feel like you don’t have any other option. Every miss is just an opportunity to get the next one right. If you can take the concentration on a recovery shot back out into the fairways good things will start to happen.


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

In Golf, Greatness is Relative

The mid-handicap golfer has the hardest time making a leap to the next level. While higher handicapped players can experience fast improvement through practice and instruction, a single-digit index can often feel more like a plateau. The amount of time and thought required to approach scratch through skill development is significant. Most decent players don’t have the availability to do so. The best way for someone of that caliber to find those desired gains is through course management. With careful consideration, a mid-handicapper can shoot lower scores by eliminating mistakes. Where golf skills may have their limitations, proper strategy can make up the difference. Finding a stock shot and using it to maneuver around the course is key. Positioning for par should always be top priority. As finding both fairway and green becomes more regular, so will lower scores. Taking big numbers out of play is a big deal too. Keeping the course in front of you and scoring through avoidance is a brilliant way to maximize one’s game. It takes a tactician’s mindset to achieve this. A mid-handicap player can shoot near or better than par if they are simply willing to become a best-in-class plotter. Golf is a thinking game and when a good player learns to sharpen their mindful tools they can have a real breakthrough. Greatness is relative and there is more than one way to find it.


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

The Spirit of Municipal Golf

Municipal courses are the backbone of American golf. These are places built for the people. For over a century, publicly owned and operated courses have been the breeding ground for passionate players and lifelong lovers of the game. “Munis” make up a significant amount of our nation’s golf landscape and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some are short scruffy and filled with quirk while others are big brawny and immaculately manicured. They have one unifying commonality — anyone can play them. What a beautiful ideal to uphold! Municipal golf has seen both good times and bad in America. In most places, they teeter in between. Some would have them shuttered, claiming that the land and money should be put to better use. However, there are also millions of people who are willing to fight for their ability to enjoy public golf. The game means too much to too many for municipal facilities to become defunded. That doesn’t mean it will be easy to keep them open and improve their experiences, but this is America…it’s not supposed to be easy. Municipal golf only works when we demand that it does. Like most elements of our democracy, we must insist that our leaders listen, learn, and act if we are to preserve the benefits of public golf. Municipal courses matter in so many ways and it’s up to those who use, need, and support them to help share that truth. That starts with putting some skin in the game and getting involved. Ask yourself, what can I do for my Muni? Above everything else, golfers need to promote the benefits and beliefs that drive public golf. In unison, those who want these courses to thrive should proclaim their support and show their dedication to this cause. Sharing with the masses that municipal courses uphold an important promise that is fundamental to the future of the game: Golf is for everyone. A creed that should be proudly shared all across our country.


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

Golf is Great for Teenagers

A golf course is a great place to be a teenager. It’s the sort of environment most adolescents need as they begin the transition to adulthood. During one’s formative years it’s important to have a laboratory for learning. Every hole is an opportunity to discover something new about life. Golf teaches many things that young people will prosper from knowing. Patience, perseverance, self-belief, and courteousness to name a few. Playing with contemporaries and other acquaintances strengthen friendships and create conversational skills. Golf reveals a certain grit too. It’s a fine sport for developing personality and character as well. The teenager tends to think they know a lot, but hours spent failing at golf will prove otherwise. It’s good to be humbled regularly and golf will do that with ease. Young people need places for exploring who they are. A long walk in pursuit of a perplexing game does just the trick. Teenagers long for freedom and a golf course can offer that in a way that works for both them and their guardians. There is just enough room to roam without becoming lost. A golfer is a good thing to be and the teenage years are a fine time to become one.


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

Some Swings Before Work

Golf in the morning is sure to make any day much improved. Especially if it happens before work. There’s something about swinging through the dew that makes me want to get things done. Maybe it’s the sights and sounds of the course coming together around me. Meditations under a morning sun are good for focusing the mind. It only takes a few holes to get my conscience in line with my ambitions and from that clarity strategies for business start to form. Golf is an underrated mechanism for charting a productive day. As much as I adore ending my evenings on the course, starting a day there is a different sort of dopamine hit. Instead of relaxing after work, the object of the early morning outing is more akin to a check up on my determination. With a full schedule ahead, a quickened pace is needed, and finishing on time is the first accomplishment of the day. Getting the heart rate up helps to set the tone for the work that needs to happen later. In this sense, dawn patrol is a wonderful window of time for golf. When there is much to do, those hours may be the only ones available for the game. I’ve often profited from such walks when all I could do is swing, walk, and repeat in a timely way. In those dew-covered steps I find a rhythm for my daily requirements. Work starts as soon as I start thinking about it and a few holes with coffee is a great way to fall into the cadence of a busy day. The focus needed for golf is easily transferred to other projects. If I can scratch my itch for this early, then the rest of the day is left to get things done.


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

Give It Everything You Got

Some golf holes require a mighty swing. These are the sort where in order to score well a bold move must be made. Every course deserves a moment or two that challenge the limits of a player’s ability. A smooth turn works in most instances, but certain holes demand a bit more gusto. A big carry or sharp dogleg may be the instigating scenario here. There is always a high risk of failure involved in these tense scenarios. Hazards and hillocks may be scattered about and doom may seem certain. Knowing that an ejection can occur is a powerful motivation to abandon any trepidation though. There’s only one way to manage this. With no safe harbor in sight, the golfer must conjure up a confident swing to overcome an uncertain result. A decisive strike is needed to avoid the potential pitfalls placed on the hole. These shots will cause all sorts of trouble for the golfer who can’t stay focused. Too much thinking will turn things sideways in a hurry. It’s better to grab a trusted club and swing it with authority. Make a lashing blow down and through the ball. Moving onward to the target with a high finish and hope for a fine result. Shots like this are what make golf interesting. Give it everything you got.


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

It’s Good To Be a Grinder

Most golf rounds are a grind. Every shot is a battle against bogey and it is hard to stay in that mindset hole after hole. For the majority of amateurs, managing misses is just a way of life though. Finding a way to turn off-center swings into a string of pars is a real skill. Honestly, it’s much more impressive than the monotonous player’s rhythm of hitting fairways and greens. It takes constant concentration to keep scores low when the ball doesn’t behave the way you’d like. Through some combination of strategy and scrambling, pars can be manufactured from a myriad of challenging positions. Leaving shots in places with room to recover is a key element of that thinking. Steering away from hazards and staying below the hole are smart moves too. Golfers who make many birdies set themselves up with booming drives and well-struck approaches. The par saver makes their hay by knowing where miss-hits are most likely to go. Chips, putts, punches, and sand saves are all important parts of that repertoire. The best grinders take a great deal of pride in this work. And it most certainly is work. There are indeed days where things go more according to plan, but the law of averages usually yields an outing with many difficulties. In this reality, golf can often feel more like a mining operation than leisure. However, there is much to appreciate about hard-fought pars. It’s good to be a grinder.


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

My More Admirable Self

Every time I walk a golf course I learn more about my presence in the world. Through my decades in this game, I’ve come to have a thorough understanding of what my best and worst qualities are. They often emerge from me as different personas. My daily life can seem like a seesaw with those angels and demons sitting on each side. Golf is how I measure which one is more dominant. However, when I play, a sort of re-balancing happens. By looking inside I can find the levers which need to be adjusted in order to bring me closer to my better self. This is important work. In order to do it, I need quiet, calm, and peaceful surroundings. Focus matters too. A golf course is ideally suited for such reflection. The walk leads me back to my more admirable self. I’m still learning how to improve so I keep coming back to golf. It is a journey with no end in sight.


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

You Earned That View

When the ball sails through the sky and your eyes focus on the fast-flying orb, there is a feeling of calm that comes from confirming its direction. There is both pride and peacefulness found in delivering the ball to its target. It’s more than just appreciating the result of a particular swing though. The seasoned player quietly celebrates the success of each shot because they remember all the work and time it took to realize it. Achievements in golf are not measured on the scales of swings, holes, and scores — it’s the years spent crafting your game that counts most. Golf is for the patient. Dedication matters. The difference between good and great comes from devotion. Golf is a practice. You can never perfect it, but you can learn to play the game with great proficiency. It’s not easy, but the work is worth it. The payoff happens each time you find a fairway, hit the green, and hole a putt. That’s why you stare down each and every result. You earned that view.


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