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"If this isn't nice, what is?"

Back to back CS missive titles commencing in the word "if," did you notice?  Or, were you too busy, frantic, obsessing about what your next task must be?  Assuming the human doing roll as opposed to that being thing.  I can't help but wonder what you might be missing during a round of golf that is so vital to better performance - yet is ignored and put to the side in favor of things far less relevant...

In search of some guidance on how you can play better?  You shall not find it parading around the Intrawebs or SM, 'cause those offerings are largely vague chatter coming from someone who's never seen you play the game, are they not?  Biased.  Opinionated.  Agenda (and greed & ego based)-driven.

Ah, and what about our purveyors of indoor golf experiences.  Sure, once the apocalypse has officially hit and we can no long play the game in the out-of-doors, such scenarios will be quite useful and effective.  You know: coolio blue-lit screens, perfectly flat surfaces (where you always have a pristine lie), and next to no consequence.  'Skill-building?'  Indeed - if you are trying to build skills for simulated ball-flight, perfectly flat surfaces, and inconsequential rounds of golf.

I'm here to help in the realm of better negotiating your strolls & swings in the golf park, and other.  Click here for specifics.

What do I know about such adventures?  Other than the 47 + years as a player and student of this great game, and three decades as a full-time teacher, coach and guide - I've golfed my ball successfully - in a variety of fashions.  One of the more infamous (and incredible) being the quick & slick played at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in 2012. 

Correctamundo, friends, the remarkable round where my legs and shorts are the same shade as out-of-bounds stakes ;).  Seems us humans are remarkably concerned with shell/exterior tints of our brethren.  Pity, for after all in, a round of golf and upon life's daily sidewalks, it's all an 'inside job.'

BANDON DUNES - you know - that place on the remote southwest Oregon coast "that'll never succeed."  Visionary founder and developer Mike Keiser believed otherwise, and belief boys & girls is a more powerful tool in your golf kit than a fast-moving clubhead (although I'd take both if given the choice). You catch the venue on the tele for the U.S. Amateur just a few short moons ago?  I hope so, as this place, its offerings and its energy, are nothing short of stupendous.

Buckle up then click on the image up top for a refresher on how to get the ball in the hole as efficiently as possible, whether you are walking, riding or running between shots.  Then swing back thissa way for some insight on playing better golf, courtesy of yours truly, and author/contributor of the title of today's missive.

Words shared by the inimitable Kurt Vonnegut, but of course.  Actually, an oh-so simple (are you focusing on simple cues & feels as you swing and play, or fancy-sounding & complicated ones?) anecdote murmured by his Uncle Alex.  Here's the poop:

"One of the things [Uncle Alex] found objectionable about human beings was that they so rarely noticed it when they were happy. He himself did his best to acknowledge it when times were sweet. We could be drinking lemonade in the shade of an apple tree in the summertime, and Uncle Alex would interrupt the conversation to say, “If this isn’t nice, what is?”

So I hope that you will do the same for the rest of your lives. When things are going sweetly and peacefully, please pause a moment, and then say out loud, “If this isn’t nice, what is?”

Amen, Uncle Alex.  I can vouch for my golf biz brethren this remarkable COVID season when they hear golfers complain about, well, most anything - considering the global situation.  Time to flip the attitude switch when you find yourself bitching about anything less than perfect while you are present on a golf course:

- Do you notice it - or simple move on to the next striped ball or shot - when you hit a really good one?  We have all been conditioned to react to, and comment on, what was not quite right with 99% of our shots - yet as Uncle Alex suggests - neglect to relish in, and enjoy, the good ones. 

Try this neuro recreation process on for size (as all my students learn): after each and every shot, FIRST find 3 good things about the process and outcome before you go to what was not quite right.  Tougher than you think, all you Negative Nelly's out there. 

Could be that you hit the shot solidCould be that the ball curved in the desired direction.  Could be that you committed to the shoot and process, and maintained your focus and attention.  Could be that the ball is now closer to the hole than it was prior to the the stroke.  Could be that you are outside moving, while so many others are stuck indoors, immobile, struggling to survive. 

“If this isn’t nice, what is?”

Gripe about the weather.  Groan about the course conditions.  Grumble about pace of play. 

This list of aches is endless, amigos - so allow me to speak for all of my professional brothers & sisters in current-day Golflandia: ENOUGH ALREADY!

Like Señor Vonnegut pictured above, you are on a joyous ride on the links, smoke or other in hand, probably socializing with others, playing a game.  Yet they you are, lamenting the experience (due to poor play, perhaps?) Woe is you; have I got some one-way tickets to places & situations that would immediately change your attitude...

And remember: a bad attitude is worse than a bad swing, and you are in charge of that attitude, and 'who' you wish to 'be' at each and every moment.  Go ahead and play victim and blame others - or put your big boy and girl pants on (how about a rockstar cape before each and every shot?) and embrace, adjust, and adapt to what is happening.

You know, "Turn The Beat Around."  That's a hint if you hadn't noticed.. distracted, yet again? A moment in time for some music, is it not? 

Here is what you must know: Music stirs emotions.  Emotions trigger thoughts.  Thought precedes action.

Click on our disgruntled looking KV just north and get ready for a dichotomic blast from Vickie Sue Robinson...

“If this isn’t nice, what is?”

From one of my heroes (who are yours, and why? Rich, famous and 'successful' - or caring, wise & compassionate?) to another, the words below - brought to my attention by golf guide partner-in-crime JH - of the irrepressible George Carlin.

Brash, confrontational and vulgar you claim?  At times, yes.  Yet his thoughts below tell us a different story (you get to choose your stories about yourself, as a golfer, and human being, BTW), and might be a nice addition to any refrigerator, golf shop front door, or forehead, for that matter.

{Like with any pattern, movement or behavior you wish to modify, daily attention required.  Does your wardrobe need some attention?  Click on a red-sweatered Vonnegut above for some looks from my cronies at Nike Golf - specifically the stylish pieces from the other chap that wears red on Sundays..}

An observation by George Carlin:

"The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away."


Nearly every week since late 2014, I’ve poured a tremendous amount of time, energy, and resources into the “CS Newsletter” offerings, which remain free.  While many in my vocation have chosen other mediums to communicate (and hopefully help golfers, and humans, alike), I continue to opt for the written word, blending pieces of music, pertinent videos and articles.  The intention: to authentically guide you - my fellow wanderers of the links and life’s daily sidewalks - on more fruitful paths.

If you find any solace or motivation from my ongoing labor or love, or if on occasion a message has managed to put a smile on your face, a tear in your eye, inspirited you take a step back and reconsider all for a moment - or even peeved you into positive action - please do consider supporting it with a donation.  Should you already donate, I THANK YOU.

Click on a soon-to-be reading and writing CS, just north, to contribute.

Remote and in-person coaching options at Eugene Country Club and Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club (periodically, in season).  The development of an optimal practice program for you, your needs, and your schedule.  Ideas and referrals in the equipment domain - those sticks in your bag, and your physical body.  Science and evidenced-based help in achieving higher mental acuity on the course.  A competent, comprehensive and on-going loop for learning, regardless of where you are on the planet.

Contact me for a consultation; click on my logo just above for further specifics.

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

     -- Kurt Vonnegut

          ~ CS ~
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