Why write Golf as Guru: Mindfullness, Awareness and Self-Restraint? WOW! What a learning journey golf has offered for a student of life and the game of golf, all the way from growing up in Northwestern Ohio playing golf with Mom and Dad, circling the globe and arriving here in Arizona continuing to play golf, year-round with my wonderful wife of almost 50 years. As the title and subtitle offer, the sport of golf has been a great coach and teacher; has evolved a concept of mind”full”ness; has breathed a peek at how awareness really differentiates professional golfers from average golfers; and has been a mighty fine instructor when it comes to the learned skill of self-restraint. It really is fantastic to remain sane after two shots in the lake to the right of the fairway! Everything is OK the way it is! As Dr. Daniel G. Amen offers, “If you do not look, you will never know.”
A significant experience has been that if a golfer is open to new learning and is psychologically ready, golf offers infinite messages: at practice on the range; on the golf course; while perking reflections about the sport and relishing golf literature; and just sitting in silence and solitude to experience personal behavior in life and on the golf course. Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, a widely read English author and scriptwriter, nails it: “To find a man’s character (and personality), play golf with him.” Woody and Birdy Ball, Golf as Guru’s entertaining characters, chuckle on every page as they think about personal behaviors, playing partners and continue to dream about set-up, ball position, turn and tilt, the backswing, transition, forward swing with turn and pull, release, impact, extension and finish; and contemplate smoothness, timing, tempo and rhythm on every putt. Learning to become one with the environment, the club, the ball and the target is definitely an ongoing challenge and an opportunity.
Golf as Guru is simply a thank you to golf as coach and therapist. It is indeed integral and reminds of General Douglas MacArthur, in the context of football at West Point, when he remarked, “Upon the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that at other times and places reap the fruits of victory.” The golf course is certainly a rich field for learning and fun and the every shot challenge is to be open to receive the messages.