Going Off Course: My Ongoing Search for A Little More Consistency

“One reason golf is such an exasperating game is that a thing we learned is so easily forgotten, and we find ourselves struggling year after year with faults we had discovered and corrected time and again.” -- 1930 Grand Slam Winner Bobby Jones

I am not afraid of learning. I have an open mind.  I have over 100 golf instruction books. I know Dave Pelz’s two bibles – Short Game and Putting – better than King James’ Bible. After virtually every round, I go to the works of Hogan, Nicklaus, Rotella, Snead, Watson, Harmon, Leadbetter, Armour, etc. in search of an answer to yet another problem.   

I am desperately looking for the consistency that I used to have -- the satisfaction of regularly hitting my drive at least 230 yards, chipping up to gimme range or dropping my fair share of 4- to 8-foot putts.  I keep looking for answers from “insiders.” Surely Jack should be able to help me find an extra 10 yards off the tee. Sam knows all about rhythm. Butch has written extensively on the importance of completing the turn. And Rotella has convinced me that golf is not a game of perfect.

Is it possible that my mind is overloaded with golf talk, golf thoughts, golf tips, golf clichés and golf drills? Maybe it is time to look for help from a few “outsiders.” Yes, I think it is time to look for answers -- or THE ANSWER  -- from great thinkers instead of great golfers.

It is worth a try. I have nothing to lose – except another $10 Nassau when playing 2-2-2. It is time to crawl out of the pit of golf minutiae and embrace knowledge and wisdom from “outside” sources. It is time to Think Off The Course.

“I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.” – Buddha (Born in the 6th century B.C.)

“We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” -- Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 – 322 BC)

"Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” – 1st Century BC philosopher Publilius Syrus

“Patience and fortitude conquer all things.” – American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 to 1882)

“I dwell in possibility.” – Poet Emily Dickinson (1830 to 1886)

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” -- Mahatma Gandhi (1869 to 1948), leader of the Indian independence movement

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” -- Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874 to 1965)

“Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.” -- Aldous Huxley (1894 to 1963), author of Brave New World

“Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.” – American actor, singer, comedian Danny Kaye (1913 – 1987)

“Without discipline, there is no life at all.” -- Katharine Hepburn (1907 to 2003), winner of four Best Actress Academy Awards

Perhaps the secret to better golf isn’t always found in the dirt.


Play Away!

Allan Stark



  • Kenneth Tuchtan

    Forget the literate greats – off the course. And add a stronger Ale or Beer while on the course. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Lynnly

    Allan, excellent quotes to ponder. Thank you. LBM

  • Andy

    You say you leave each round looking for solutions to problems. So negative. You should be looking for opportunities!

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