I know I am getting up there in age – 66 to be exact – but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t tried to change for the better over the last few years. There is always room for improvement, after all. And as Dr. Spencer Johnson said in his book Who Moved My Cheese? “Change Happens,” “Enjoy Change” and “Be Ready To Change Quickly And Enjoy It Again & Again.”
As many of my golf friends know, I have a tendency to look on the dark side instead of the bright side. That is the tendency I have been fighting with some degree of success over the last two years. I have really cut down on how often I use such lines as:
- “I have no heart. I have no soul.”
- “That’s the worst putt in the of golf history.”
- “I actually have a college degree,” which I have been known to say after a particularly ill-conceived and poorly executed shot.
Just for the record, my new upbeat attitude has nothing to do with improved play or winning more bets. My handicap went up one to 12 and my betting losses were $21.50 in 2017. (FYI: After eight rounds this year I am up $1.50.) I have tried to change simply because I thought more positive thoughts WOULD lower my handicap and result in more money won.
In my effort to bring more positivity to the course, I have been on a reading binge that has included A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quidlen; Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life by Michael Lewis; Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff … and it’s all small stuff by Richard Carlson; Fish: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen C. Lundin, Ph.D., Harry Paul and John Christensen. One of the BIG messages in these kinds of books is to choose your words carefully in thought and use. Think positively; avoid negative words. Or in the words of Dr. Morris Pickens in his book The Winning Way in Golf and Life, “It’s important always to tell yourself what you want to do, not what you don’t want to do.”
As I should have expected, my mind is now overloaded with Kumbaya words and phrases and I fear – no, I know – that I must find some balance in my life. In order to be the authentic me, I must admit that I have tried to change too much. So instead of writing about the Do’s of golf, I give you my list of Don’ts. I am doing so because a good swift kick to the derriere is sometimes a better motivator than a pat on the back.
MY DON’TS FOR GOLFERS:
Tips, Reminders & Swing Thoughts from The Dark Side
Don’t grip the club too tightly.
Don’t swing too hard.
Don’t rush your backswing.
Don’t fake your turn.
Don’t peek on any shot.
Don’t get cute when you are short sided.
Don’t stand too far away from the ball.
Don’t rush through your putting stroke.
Don’t overestimate how far you hit the ball.
Don’t take swing tips from a 24 handicapper.
Don’t try stupid shots.
Don’t ever give up on a hole or match until the outcome is final.
Don’t overthink a shot.
Don’t let one bad shot or hole ruin your day.
Don’t criticize your partner.
Don’t forget to have fun!!!
Allan (A 12 handicap at home after four official 2018 rounds.)