The Golfer’s Guide to Marital Bliss

1. Get out of the Sand trap

About a month ago, I was hacking away, as usual, playing golf with a dear friend. The sunset was threatening our hopeless game, and I hit my 17th hole shot into a deep sand trap. Slowly, I stepped into the sand, and next thing you know, I’m laying flat on my back. So, my not so smooth game just became worse as my foundation slid and allowed me to collapse.


Everything goes along smoothly for a while, then one day, out of the blue, you hit a sand trap. It can be something uncomplicated like my fall, or it can be huge, even threaten a relationship.

*wince* “But I ask him every day to pick up his socks…. He just won’t….  He can’t seem to…. I’ve asked him _______ly! (insert verb ex: nice, beg, sweet, angry).” Has any of it worked? Probably not.

First, I must ask if this is a hill on which you want to die? Is this an issue that you can change or is it something that you can let go?  Guess what? You cannot change your spouse.

So, you can choose to stay in the sand trap and continue to whack away at that ball, while sand blows in your face…OR…. You can choose to accept the situation and work with it. Maybe try a different strategy like using your sand wedge and gently pitch the ball instead of whacking it with full force.

2. Carrying A Load

Sometimes you need to let it go. Maybe you need to take the cart for a while and put the bag down. Your bag of clubs can get pretty heavy mostly when you stash old Kit Kat wrappers, broken tees and loose change in the pockets. Are you holding on to the stuff in the side pockets dealing with past hurts, issues or anger?

Apparently, A new study shows that carrying your golf clubs and walking 18 holes of golf may have a negative affect on your golf swing and performance as you play 18 holes which was presented at the 55th American College of Sports Medicine. Proof positive that all that baggage may be detrimental to your health. Not only that but another source was noted to say that carrying your clubs reduces your height by 0.2mm!  If you are carrying a load of anger and resentment, you need to place park your bag, get in the cart with your mate, and talk it out. Otherwise you’ll be a short, exhausted human being.

3. Lost Ball? The Five-Minute Rule


So, you have hit your ball somewhere in the parking lot. No, maybe it is in the field next door among the bristles or perhaps it is among the pile of leaves along the clubhouse. Hmmmm. You have five minutes to find it. GO…! Now, you may not find it in that five minutes, and if you don’t it’s a one stroke penalty to the score.


Are the conversations with your mate one-sided? Maybe she or he does ALL the talking and you sit there repeating, “Yes Dear..” Maybe you should try asking questions! Moreover, when your spouse gives you an answer, delve deeper. Give this a try for a minimum of five minutes to start. Ask your spouse how he/she feels and then listen. Listen without giving advice or reacting emotionally. Try to understand life from his/her perspective. Then demonstrate your understanding by summarizing what you’re hearing. If you spend at least five minutes a day asking questions and expressing genuine interest in his/her ideas or thoughts, you might find your missing ball.

4. “FORE!”

Look out ahead! Now there are times in the marriage when you need to just take one day at a time and enjoy the ride; however, you should plan for things to do together. Take initiative to spend time with your spouse. Don’t wait for your spouse to make a date with you or to set time to talk with you. Suggest it yourself. Do you go out on dates? Do you sit down at the beginning of the week or month and take some time to plan? Families that play together, stay together.


If you don’t do this and take initiative, “Fore” may be what you really hear; you are in “danger” zone of not connecting lately. Don’t let this go by. Take ACTION!

Connection has to happen daily, let alone weekly and monthly. However, you can avoid the big problems if you take care of communicating and dating as much as possible.

5. Evaluate your swing

Guess what? You have faults! Sorry to break it to you, but you aren’t perfect. People with strong character are aware of their faults and work to better themselves. Now, if I know you, and if you are like any red-blooded human being, you could probably work on something in your life. To have a good swing, for example, you need to have

  • Patience
  • Commitment
  • Practice
  • A bit of Luck

To have a good marriage, you need to have… guess what? The same four things (if not more).  Maybe it’s time to evaluate your swing. Take some time and look in the mirror to find some weakness YOU possess. If you work on that, maybe your marriage will improve. Remember, character is built from humility.


6. Take a Mulligan when needed

When I was a child, my favorite phrase as the “Double Dutch Champion of Pueblo Road” was “Do over!” What a relief to know I could try again and better my time. When a player messes up or “muffs” his or her first try at a tee box, he/she can take a mulligan. Who would have imagined that grown-ups have this opportunity. The idea of mulligan in marriage reminds me of GRACE. Have grace with your mate. Sometimes we need a real do over when we make a mistake. I recently read, In, The Grace Wakening, Chuck Swindoll calls grace “the oil that lessens the friction in marriage.”  But, it must be mutual. One cannot be the ball and the other the club. They both are active and part of the work.


7. The Spirit of the Game

Unlike many sports, golf relies on the integrity of the individual to show kindness for other players. All players should behave in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy at all times. This is the spirit of the game.  As in golf, in marriage (and any relationship!) kindness goes along ways to create warmth and positive feelings in a relationship. Every day there are opportunities for undemanding, kind gestures that show you care. The smallest thing like a compliment or a hug can make any marriage better.

Once again, the game of golf provides valuable lessons for life. Will these seven tips invite bliss into your home? Follow these rules, just like with your game, and your marriage will turn into a hole-in-one.

Dad’s Instruction Book

Dad’s Little Instruction Book on Life (AKA Golf)

As I have been chatting with women in golf as of late, I have found that Dads are full of it….wisdom that is. I also realized they all encouraged their daughters to get out there and play life’s hardest sport. These women shared some of the other wonderful pieces of advice they learned from their fathers. The following are 10 Life Instructions from Dads. Best of all, these little “instructions” can be learned on the golf course. Thanks, Dad!

If it were easy, everybody would do it. Think about it. A hundred and forty-four people play in the tournament, and a hundred and forty-three of them are not going to win. Ouch. The game chews you up, spits you out, and tramples all over you. There are only a few who can get back up over and over again after being pummeled by that little white ball. It’s those “Weebley” people who continually get knocked down and pop back up who are the winners.

Watch a sunrise at least once a year.

What idiot gets up at the crack of 0’dark thirty and tees it up? A golfer does.
And they get the beauty of seeing every beautiful sunrise. Who’s the idiot now?

Treat everyone you meet as you want to be treated.

Have you ever realized that the etiquette golfers show to one another on the course is one
of the things that distinguishes golf from all other sports? Golf etiquette
is an extremely important part of the game. Your manners and character (or the lack thereof) that you display on the course will say more about you as a golfer and a person than anything you ever do with your clubs. Proper etiquette applies to everyone and does not discriminate.

Make new friends but cherish the old ones.

Golf is truly a game unlike any other, from the diverse and unique people that you meet, to the memo- rable moments that you have out on the course. Sue Wieger, a local golf pro, says that, “Golf has given me so many gifts in my lifetime; travel, great friends on and off the golf course and a sense of connecting with my authentic self while playing.”

Don’t waste time learning the “tricks of the trade.” Instead, learn the trade.

Are you one of those people who try to find the secret to playing better golf? Good news, you can stop looking. Bad news, you just have to play. That’s the secret.

Be brave and keep your cool.

Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference. Even the best PGA Tour players lose their cool, but losing your cool can cost you big-time. One of the most difficult aspects of life…I mean the game of golf…. is main- taining a calm, steady and persistent demeanor. For those who really know the dynamics of a powerful swing, maintaining a relaxed body and mind is what good golf is really all about.

Never cheat.

Right now you are thinking…. of course, I would NEVER cheat. I have one word for you: Mulligan. Now, there is a difference between cheating and bending the rules. In golf, there are RULES and then there are rules to be bent. So you take a first-tee mulligan…big deal. Maybe on one hole you don’t feel like trudging back to the tee to hit another. Instead, you take a stroke and drop a ball as if you were in some kind of water hazard. Again, no big deal. And perhaps you lip-out and pick-up, rather than tapping your last putt in – I wouldn’t mind; this isn’t the pros! So, if you ARE one of those rulebook holy rollers, then A: You are a professional or B: You need a life. Have some fun, but know the difference be- tween cheating and bending the rules.

Never take action when you’re angry.

Be angry, yet do not play golf. OR, sign up for anger management by taking solo golf lessons. Golfing will reveal IF you even have any anger issues; trust me! No one is able to avoid poor shots, BUT, you can control the reaction. Is this not true for life also? Make an effort to take in the scenery, converse with your playing partners, enjoy the outdoors, anything that enables you to not take your score so seriously. Maybe this will be the antidote for dealing with your issues altogether!

Stay humble.

To say “golf is hard” is like saying “the sky is blue” or “the world is round.” It’s self-evident. My dad would always say this about life as well, and he would never let me forget the point. But he wanted me to under- stand golf (like life) is something that NEVER gets perfected. The moment you think you have golf/life whipped, the game/life slaps you down and humbles you. Be secure and confident in yourself, stay grateful, and when you least expect it, you’ll shoot farther and straighter then you ever have.


Laugh…..A LOT.

Golf really is hilarious. It is guaranteed that you will feel something when you play golf. Follow me here: Logically, the majority of your emotions (which golf WILL produce) are processed by the hypothalamus, the region in your brain that handles a range of functions from breathing and to hunger and emotional response. After hitting that not so perfect shot, you can either cry or laugh, right? Try to find the humor in your situation. In golf, if you can laugh the shot off you will immediately release the tension and start to feel better.

Thoughts on Friendship

What can explain this growth of BLOGGING? Perhaps people are hungry for intimacy and connection. What has happened to real friendship?

Here are some of my thoughts:


  1. CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein used to seek each other out to debate. They had an incredible friendship and were not afraid of disagreement. In fact, they spent countless hours discussing things and become closer as friends. What happened to this?


  1. The idea of friendship is exemplified in David and Jonathan, yet they were NOT gay. Men need friends. Do they have them without being labeled homosexual?


  1. Women cannot be friends if they disagree. It seems to tear them apart. They take it personally. What happened to working things out? What about the Proverbs version of a friend. “A friend loves at all times.” (Prov 17:17)
    1. We don’t take the time to nurture a friendship and especially after a disagreement. Now it is too easy to walk away because the time was not built on the onset. Back in time, people spent time together. They had to work it out because they had nowhere else to go. Sitting around the table, discussing, disagreeing, debating, sharing..this was all part of daily life. Now, we have email to help us run from confrontation. We have voicemail and cell phones to screen calls and avoid talking to the person. We have little need to have a conversation because we have so many electronic devices to keep our mind occupied. We also have no direct contact with people in places of business also. Hence, how can one ever LEARN to healthily debate, let alone have a CONVERSATION?
  2. Also, people need people. We don’t really do much conversing now, and so therefore look at the mental health of the society. It is filled with anger problems, depression, stress, anxiety, sleep disorders… I think all this stems from a lack of intimacy with people: Friendships.


  1. If people get too close who are the same sex, they become fearful. What does it mean to have a TRUE FRIEND? Is there confrontation, accountability, challenge, and disagreements involved? This needs to occur and be worked out. It is what truly brings people closer.
    1. Joseph McCarthy attacked people because if they did not agree with all of AMERICAN ways, they were therefore a “Communist.” Edward R. Murrow suggested that discord and disagreement does not mean DISOWNERSHIP. This healthy debate led to the freedoms we have today. Why don’t we treat friendship the same way?
    2. In terms of same sex: Friendship has to occur before any kind of intimacy can. How can two people create a bond if they don’t allow challenge? Conflict resolution is vital to a friendship, or it is not such.


  1. Our society has an overabundance of electronic stimulation: Everywhere we go we are bombarded by screens or noise. If there is silence, there is a discomfort. Kids say, “I am bored,” because they have nothing to entertain them. What happened to good ol’ fashion conversation? Or perhaps reading a book? An intimate friendship or stimulating discussion soothes the soul and sates the fear of isolation. People don’t even know they are hurting anymore. Unfortunately, what I am witnessing is children growing up relating to screens and video people. They have no “give and take” exchanges. Communication needs to be developed. It does not come naturally. It is a TWO-WAY street: Listening and responding properly.


  1. Studies have been done and have shown that people get more out of reading a book than working on “worksheets.” What does this say about interaction with stories and lives? This says that people are yearning for connection/relationship.


  1. “Rules without relationship leads to rebellion” People are yearning to be in relationship. Why should they follow the pack and be “obedient” if they have no motive to do so. A sense of morality is missing because LOVE is not exemplified in our daily lives. As an educator, I strive to relate to each student and exhibit LOVE, be it tough or graceful. IF this is not my philosophy, nothing else I do will be heard or learned and what good is it?


  1. Thomas Friedman wrote in THE WORLD IS FLAT: “People are wired to want to connect with other people and they find it objectionable not to be able to do so. That is what Netscape unlocked.” (p. 63) Flattening is occurring because of there is a hunger for RELATIONSHIPS and DEEP NEEDS FOR CONNECTION.


  1. Teachers may be the only ones left who can provide a role model for learning to communicate and develop friendships. I strive to interact with each student as a human being. This means LISTENING to them and responding. Cooperative Learning in the classroom also teaches them these skills. Conflicts arise, but they must deal with them because they are to work with the same team throughout the quarter.



Thoughts on Happiness

Thoughts on Happiness


Have you ever struggled with how to be happy? Who hasn’t? It’s one of the deepest pursuits of life. I seem to find I obtain happiness through constantly striving to be and do more. When I consider this struggle, I think I am misguided. I feel like the “struggle” should be more about the feelings I attain through my day which occur through my tasks and interactions. I have often believed that I have to have a purpose to be happy. We all do. However, living a purposeful life and making meaning out of each hour of the day requires constructive (as opposed to destructive thoughts) which leads to our happiness on this earth. Since thoughts originate from feelings, it is imperative to look at what we do with the feelings which come and go through the day. If we have the contentment, joy, and happiness (which I feel to be synonymous), we will live more giving lives which what Jesus asks us to do in Matthew 28: 19 and that is to make disciples and build His kingdom. Isn’t being happy, then, a principled obligation to our fellow man?


So with this said, I would like to look at some lessons I have learned about the whole “Happiness” concept.  It is important to differentiate between what is happiness and what is pleasure. Happiness is like love. It cannot be defined in a dictionary. Pleasure can be, however. Pleasure is short term, spikes of excitement which can come and go throughout the day. Many people seek pleasure only to find that it is futile and short-lived. In fact, many become addicted to the “feeling.” If we are guided by our “feelings” then  we are in for major disappointment since feelings change as fast as the moment of the day. It has been said there are 20,000 moments in the day, ergo, it would be quite tiresome to let our feelings rule our moments. So perhaps happiness has to come from a habit of mind, and not a habit of feeling. This is to say, the use of our minds and intelligences is essential to achieving happiness.


Does it sound strange to say,” I am in pursuit of happiness?” Did God ever say that we are to be happy and that we are put on this earth to be happy?” I would surmise that that it is not our ‘purpose’ per se, but it is an obligation to be happy because this is what occurs when our focus is on God and His glorious gifts he gave to us undeserving souls. He did not have to pursue us to create a relationship with us, but The WORD exemplifies a tremendous love story between God and His human creation. He chose to save us and build in an opportunity to have a personal relationship with Him through the sacrifice of His son (He paid the sin price for all of us). That seems the first step to finding happiness: GRATITUDE. In that way, I do think God would like us to be happy. It is difficult to be unhappy if we are full of gratitude for our existence, no matter what our circumstances. I mean, we as humans, are forgiven! We are being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that one may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks. (Col 1:11)


Joy is discussed often in the Bible. Joy and contentment are great synonyms for happiness. “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16:24). How is this possible when human nature is to always be satisfied? Human nature is working constantly against us and this is  the greatest obstacle to finding happiness. This is  probably one of the primary reasons we need to have a relationship with God. He gives us the ABILITY and POWER (through the Holy Spirit) to battle our human nature. (“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” ) -John 3:5-7. It is not possible “by” ourselves to be happy although it has to come to us not from outside forces, but from the power of God “within” us. “But now I (Jesus) come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they (Us) may have My (Jesus) joy made full in themselves. (John 17:13).

This verse corroborates the point of not being able to seek it from another person or “event.” It must be sought from OUR work, not someone else’s work upon us.

So how can this be? Circumstances constantly change and life is hard. What happens to us when we fall victim to our feelings? If our feelings become thoughts, then we must have discipline to overcome the natural tendency to become deeply troubled. “And bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5) This means it is a discipline or HABIT of the mind to extinguish a negative thought (which erupts from a negative feeling). It is not our hearts for which we can trust because our feelings are misleading. If we don’t do this, our thoughts potential become bad decision and sinful behavior. This IS part of the plan of God which again makes it a biblical concept, that we may not sin. In that case, happiness, being part of our disciplined mind’s activity, must be sought in order avoid sinful activities. The genesis of this has to come from an attitude which must be adopted.

This is why I argue for gratitude. Imagine, if we walk around with an attitude of gratitude? We avoid these pitfalls which inevitably steal and rip apart our joy and happiness.

The first one is the comparison game. Most of the comparisons we make are based on false assumptions of others. Have you ever caught yourself saying, “If only I looked like that” of “She has the perfect life” or “They have no problems.” The list is endless. It is totally in our imaginations because virtually all people put on some sort of mask when they are around others. If all people do this, then it is inevitable that others will make assumptions based on those masks. This is why it is so key to have intimate relationships with others. First, it enables you to talk out your misguided thought which then can become quenched once you realize we all have similar issues. Also, it allows us to become more real which in turn makes people want to be around us. No one likes to be around someone who is perfect and has no faults. It’s not reality!


The second one is IMAGES. Yes, comparing others is a form of image worship, but when we have it in our minds as to the expectation of what the “perfect” marriage is..or the “perfect” body..or the “Perfect” career”, we set ourselves up for failure. The only perfect person is Jesus. It is important to understand that hope is different than holding an idyllic image in our head. This is why being a follower of Christ, we know that this world brokenness and trouble does exist, but it won’t be “perfected” until we are glorified in Heaven and Jesus reigns supreme.


The third one is a “What is missing?” problem. Is it not so easy to focus on what is not there than to see what is? This is sabotages our happiness because there will ALWAYS be something missing. The “Most Important Thing” in our hearts changes like our feelings…constantly! Think about it. When you woke up this morning, you had your mind on the LATEST issue in your life. Two weeks later, you probably can’t even remember what that was but at the time it was MIT! With a grateful heart, we can deal with our issues but keeping a healthy perspective which says that it’s not as important as we may give it credit. Have you ever thought how much energy and time it takes for things to go RIGHT? Why don’t we celebrate those days. “Gosh, my body has not aches today!” or “My mom is alive and doing sell.” We maybe should look at what is “good” in our lives for a change instead of constantly seeking out what is not.


Finally, the opposite of gratitude is expectation. If we hold expectations or feel entitled constantly, it’s pretty impossible to be grateful. When we start to expect perfection from people, or when we feel certain things are “owed” to us, we basically lose control. That’s it and authority is handed over to others to make us happy. That means we are waiting on others (And GOD) to give us love, gifts…whatever.


Life is hard. It takes work. It takes discipline. But pursuing a habit of mind when feelings come along  (which breed misery), we can actually control those feelings to be extinguished and focus back on the reality. This reality has to be an attitude of gratitude. This is not easy as life throws us punches which seem unfair. However, with  a deep, personal, intimate relationship with God, (which has to stem from gratitude since (“He loved us so much that he gave his only son that whosoever believes in him shall NOT perish but have eternal life”-John 3:16), we can actually take our feelings to God, ask for help in turning these feelings into constructive thoughts which lead to a closer relationship with Him. This does not mean a “Pollyanna” existence. It does mean acknowledging the feeling through the dilemma or issue, working through it with intimate friendships and with God, and creating a Habit Of Mind to remain content and happy through the storm.


The Golfer Wears Prada

Something has to change. Yes, it’s a new year, and a chance to do ONE thing differently. However, if you Google “Golf New Year’s Resolutions,” you will uncover over 100 million results! Sheesh! Suffice to say, you may be expecting to read an article about what you should do to tweak your swing, putt, or grip. Well, I hate to burst your golf bubble, but it’s no secret that you’re basically not going to significantly change the WAY you play the game of golf, but maybe there is one thing you can change; how you look doing it!


Stop “caring”. Stop “trying”. Just play. The irony is you’ll actually play better anyway. Life isn’t an emergency. Smile. It takes far fewer muscles to smile than to frown.


That’s right. Look at what you have on–are you wearing the same comfort- able old pair of baggy khakis and your ultra-cool yellow waffle shirt? Please! Do us all a favor and get something more edgy. Did you know that what you wear has a direct influence – not just on how others perceive you – but on how you see yourself? In a study, it was determined that university students outperformed their shabby competitors by a long shot. I’m a great believer in the saying, “look the part, play the part”.

Many men may think they are being a bit effeminate if they spend even the tiniest amount of brain energy on what they wear. They want comfort, of course! But, how many women do you know who put on makeup and wear stilettos because they are “so comfortable?” Women know that what they wear has a direct influ- ence on their confidence in the game of life, and moreover helps them to perform at their true potential.

Now think about it….if you feel good and sophisticated when you are playing, don’t you think you’d logically perform better? Start dressing the part and you may start playing the part! Walking through miles and miles of green and knowing that it’s all up to you whether you will win or lose your game is stressful. It takes a lot of guts to hold that pressure and be victori- ous. To gain these “guts” you need to be confident! Maybe looking down at your clothing and getting a bit of fashion “guts” is a fine place to start. As you master the art of dressing appropri- ately, you’ll continue to experiment in what you wear. Given that there is an “assumed code” on what you may wear on the green, you will learn how to be able to beef up your wardrobe with- out being disrespectful to the game.

Haven’t you noticed how Tiger Woods established red as his color? Other players settle for a sensible pair of Stromberg Golf Quinta Funky Prince of Wales Check Trousers. Some choose to play in snazzy white and bright orange Puma golf shoes while others settle for subtle hints of interesting prints. Why don’t you check out some of the available clothing lines? ). Have no fear men–you can do all this viewing in the privacy of your own computer. Take a look at Sligo Wear ( or the op- tions from Bunker Mentality (www. There is always the wacky Loudmouth Golf ( or even Tattoo Golf (


Golf advice is a dime a dozen! You’ll find countless websites with advice and tips to tackle this year. Peter Jacobsen said it best: “One of the most fascinating things about golf is how it reflects the cycle of life. No matter what you shoot – the next day you have to go back to the first tee and begin all over again and make yourself into some- thing.” SO maybe this year start with looking groovy on the outside, and perhaps your look will give you that confidence to stay strong when you’re ready to throw your five iron into the lake.

Gratitude and Golf

Gratitude begins the holiday season, and frankly, should be carried throughout the year. With Christmas and New Year’s around the corner, perhaps an attitude adjustment could do us all a favor. By the time you read this, it will be the season of consump- tion, over-spending, and debt accumu- lation. But as the writer of this article, I want you to adopt this gratitude attitude, and carry it throughout the year. So, here is a friendly reminder by considering the game of golf. Now, I know what you’re thinking.

How can I possibly be thankful for the fact that the course I enjoy is over- priced, my clubs need upgrading, and I need to “swing THROUGH the ball, not at it!”? Yes, you might want the latest Callaway driver or the newest high-MOI mallet putters (sorry to tempt you), but STOP. Sit back and count your blessings.

How can you be thankful for the game? How has it impacted your life? If you can’t seem to think right now because you are obsessing about that shot that went water- bound this morning, perhaps you need an attitude adjustment.

Here are some reasons to be grateful for this game!

1. It’s A Healthy Activity

Ok, so you can’t run 10 miles, 5 days a week anymore. Your knee is shot, your back is giving you fits, and clipping your toenails is an effort. But, you can get pretty fit walking
18 holes. Golf keeps your competitive fires burning and helps keep you well rounded by forcing you to stay away from your cell, to people watch and to enjoy nature. (Yes, there
are birds to be seen and heard).

Some don’t notice the rewards of what golf offers until they are much older with perhaps knee transplants; it’s the one thing that keeps you out of the lounge chair and out near nature.

2. You Get In Touch With Your Emotions

You will laugh

You will cry

You will get angry

You will find joy

3. You Can Release Stress

The key to golf is relaxation. Ironically, the less you play, the more relaxed you are because you have such low expectations. You don’t expect to play well, so you don’t over think or over swing. (No wonder I have been so relaxed lately!!) If you are playing often, however, golf refreshes

your mind because it forces you to focus your energies on a “target not a ball!” (as my instructor preaches).

4. It Teaches Life Lessons

Just when you say, “I got it!”, you get pummeled. Yes, humility is part of golf; it kicks your butt just when your head needs a little shrinking.

There are also memorable moments which are built on the golf course. Have you ever hit a shot that you can re- member the play by play? This teaches us to appreciate the little things.

And finally, meeting people you would have otherwise never en- countered occurs on golf courses daily. What a beautiful setting to just connect with a stranger. Not many other events can bring people in harmony, and this comes from having manners with strangers one learns by being on a golf course.

5. It Builds Relationships

I am reminded of a friend who told me that he created such a strong bond with his father through golf, and he would not trade that for any- thing! Now he’s creating that same bond with his children. Also, some women find that is a way to connect with their husbands and vice versa. Where else can you have four solid hours in a natural setting with people you love (or are trying to love!)

6. It Doesn’t Age Discriminate

Where else could a 75-year-old man school a 28-year-old in a sport- ing event? Golf is the great equalizer: everyone can compete on an equal level. It is about skill levels, not about race, gender, religion, or anything else.

Just remember: “PLAY” golf. I love the word “play.” Yes, adults we are, but as adults we need to be kids on occasion. Golf is not about being perfect. It’s about constantly setting a new bar for ourselves, and this can be a picture into the rest of our lives: We can always strive to be better! So be grateful and PLAY more golf.

Golf is the Grand Irony

Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult for people nowadays to sit for 30 seconds without having to tweet, post, blog, text, or search? But, usually the most mentally tough golfers, according to Mr. Quote, Jack Fertig, are the top golfers in the world. But sometimes, mental toughness means NOT thinking! It means having the discipline to turn it off and turn on the game. That takes practice. But, how does one practice the art of tough thinking in an age where 123 thinking is challenged by all the distractions? It’s the old chicken and the egg theory. Does one become a tougher thinker BY playing golf, or does one become a better golfer BY becoming a tougher thinker? Hmmm. To me the mental side of golf has two parts.

Part 1: Approaching the game. Can you put your ego aside and allow yourself to have a terrible shot in the middle of a round? Can you let even the stupid mistakes not let you get really frustrated and mess up the next two holes? It’s like life! Take it one by one…step by step….shot by shot. This is a hard thing to change, but if you can focus on scoring, rather than impressing your playing partners, you’re on the right path.

Part 2. The mental ability to stay strong and committed in spite of distractions! You should be an expert at recognizing distractions since that’s what this electronically stimulated era is filled with. In golf, there are three ways to practice mental toughness. Expect to SEE shadows. Expect to HEAR: whispers, sneezing, and coughing. Expect to FEEL itches, twitches and your heart beating.

Therefore, your next golf practice should be setting up your habits of MIND. There’s a term called metacognition which means thinking about your thinking. Next time you’re practicing, notice the moments where you tend to have a mental hiccup or basically where you dozing off in your mind. Your goal is to have that ability to say to yourself, “Self, you are in charge of how you feel and how you’ll perform, not anything or anyone else.” It’s been said that we can over think our golf game on the range, driving to work, at our desk, and in the shower. This is perfect, but not when you approach the tee. There is a difference between thinking and assessing. You pick your club; you evaluate your shot; you carry out your routine; and you craft your swing. You did your thinking in practice. At tee time, you just do it.

There’s a scene in Tin Cup where the stressed Kevin Costner character mis-hits continuous shots on the range. His caddie advises him to turn his hat backwards, isolate all of his change into his back pocket, and put a tee behind his ear. All of a sudden, he contacts the ball and he realizes that now he’s not thinking about the mis-hits. In fact, as the caddie put it, “You’re not thinking at all. Your brain was getting in the way!”

The minute you tee up, the noises will get louder and your list of do’s and don’ts will be shouting in your head. But this is where your habit of mind of not thinking too much will kick in. This is where you need to shut it all off and not focus on any distraction.

So the next time your children won’t sit and read their book or focus on their homework for longer than five minutes without texting, emailing, or facebooking, sign them up for golf lessons. Maybe golf is the answer for the next generation to train their brain to become mentally tough.