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Don’t think over the ball—especially about shanks or white elephants

Newsletter #2, February 15, 2017—For all of you who are thinking about how to stop thinking over the ball, here is what you’re looking for. And Arnold Palmer did this so you know that it works. Here goes: Don’t think while you hit the ball. This was the advice in this column by coach Greg Liberto. There's some great stuff in there. Thinking ruins more golf games than poor swing plane ever will. But it got me thinking that stopping … [Read More...]

It ain’t weird, don’t be scared–it’s meditation

Being alone with your thoughts sounds nice, but on the golf course our minds often resemble the barking dog next door that just won't shut the hell up. The yapping thoughts in my head rarely have anything nice to say, especially when I have a shot over water or a good back nine going. My thoughts are usually warning me about the horrible things that will happen when I inevitably screw up. For most of us, our minds are like a big untrained … [Read More...]

The paradoxical freeing power of commitment

I’ve got a riddle for you: Let’s say you’re playing golf by yourself and you have to use a washroom. You just gotta. So you leave your golf bag on the tee. While you’re in the loo, say your golf bag falls over. There’s no one there to hear it land on the ground. Does it make a noise? Super deep, eh? It’s good for you to think about stuff like that—at least for a few seconds before you look it up on Google. Ok. I got something else for … [Read More...]

Finally! USGA makes no-brainer rules change

Glory, glory, hallelujah! USGA changes rule! Now there's no penalty for accidently moving your ball on the green. This follows this year's gong show U.S. Open that almost cost Dustin Johnson. Now, if you accidently move your ball or your ball marker, just replace them and you're good to go. Why did it take this freaking long to get this common sense rules change? A good ol' sh*t storm of bad PR. Never underestimate the power of … [Read More...]

I’ll bet you can make a commitment and keep it

In thinking about our societal problem with commitment, I’m reminded of a poignant episode of that paragon of social commentary, The Flintstones. In Season Two in 1962, Arnold the newsboy challenges Fred to a marbles game, re-igniting Fred’s gambling compulsion, sending him into a hypnotic, stuttering trance, ‘B-b-b-bet-bet!” Generally speaking, if I ask most people about their commitments, it’s such a loaded and scary word that they can … [Read More...]

My end-of-the-season ritual: It’s over and I’m good with that

I am not grieving the end of the golf season. I’m done and I’m good with it. I’ve accepted that I won’t be hitting the little white ball off green grass for another five months, except in the unlikely event that I go south this winter. Over the past half-dozen years or so, I’ve followed a season-ending ritual that allows me to segue into winter unbridled with sorrow and longing. If you are “normal” person, you may not grasp the pathos of … [Read More...]

Dawn Coe-Jones: funny, grounded and a heck of a player

My mother has a great line about women such as Dawn Coe-Jones: Dawn was a No-Shit Shirley. There was no pretense or ambiguity about Dawn. She was a straight arrow, and she'd call out anything that appeared steeped in BS, usually with a well-aimed and funny skewering. I was sad yesterday to hear of her passing at the age of 56 from cancer. As this tribute makes clear, the three-time winnner on the LPGA Tour had a directness that … [Read More...]

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