Now I’m not suggesting you play golf as I did at 17 in Philly with temperatures hovering at 32 degrees, the ground frozen solid with patches of snow and ice on and around the creeks and ponds, and me wearing three sweatshirts, wool cap pulled down over my ears, and longjohns with heavy pants, with golf shoes barely fitting over overly thick socks. Although, on second thought, my drives rolled a mile over those frozen fairways and my score wasn’t too bad either. But no, I don’t advise it. I was a total golf fanatic back in those days.
But in summer, fall, and spring I do recommend it, rain, wind, cold, heat, mud, fog, whatever you encounter, with whatever clothing you need to insulate yourself. Once at St. Andrews I played in just about all of the above and had a ball. Now I don’t particularly like playing on cold, rainy days but sometimes the weather people get the forecast wrong and we get skunked into doing what we professed we wouldn’t do. That was the case when my friend Jeff Howard and I saw a prediction without rain on a recent early November day in the often rainy Pacific Northwest, and set out for a much anticipated round on a course not known for its dry, easily drained conditions. It started cold and overcast with a few drops but that soon devolved into a steady rain that had pushing our carts through mud and cleaning that mud off our balls on every shot. In rain, golf is a lot of work, but, hey, what the hell: We were out in the crisp, moist air, playing our favorite game. Does it get any better. Well, probably it does. But what was the alternative? Back at home, sitting in a hot tub, sipping a cocktail, listening to All Classical Portland. Hmmm. Nice thought. What the hell am I doing out here, anyway? another thought arose. Come on now. Concentrate. You’re playing pretty well. Plugging ball or two, but what the hell. I’ve got an umbrella, am dressed warmly, got some lunch stashed in my bag, water bottle intact, shoes water resistant. What’s this next shot? Hm. Approach over water to the green. Watch says 110. Cold. Wet. I’ll go one more than usual. So…the 7 (right, I’ve been hit pretty hard with cancer and heart failure the last two years). Now stand behind the ball and eye the target, then enter the playing box. Good set up now. Butt over my ankles. Knees flexed. One plane address position. Back as straight as a 76 year old’s back often is. Good alignment. Waggle. A quick look at the target. A forward press trigger…and we’re off and swinging. Hm. Pretty good strike. A bit too far left but on the green and putting. “Good shot,” yells Jeff. “Thank you,” I reply “I’ll take it.”
And golf in the rain and cold proceeds. Not so bad. As long as I’m relatively comfortable, without too many layers of clothes to hinder my swing, I’m OK. As is Jeff. We continue our friendly conversations. I score a few pars as I’d hoped and we finished the round not worse for wear. No, I wouldn’t seek it out–golf in the cold rain–but if I get caught in it, I’m good to go. It’s golf, after all, and the more times I can play, the better. As I mention in my new book Golf 360: For Current Players and Those Considering the Game, sometimes it’s good to move towards discomfort than away from it.
Which segues me right into news about my new book. It’s out and available at Amazon. Here’s an email I just sent to my list.
Dear Friends, Relatives, and others who may interested in my books and blogs,
My own Sacajawea Press has produced its third book of 2021! It’s called Golf 360: For Current Players and Those Considering the Game. It covers the great game of golf, from instruction to the mental game to trouble shots to some of today’s issues confronting the ancient game.
It’s the sequel to my previous golf book, The Mindful Golfer, published in 2015 by Skyhorse Publishing. For those who follow my blog, golf360.substack.com, this present book is a compilation of posts since The Mindful Golfer was published, giving readers a handy reference to a fun but daunting game.
Since the sport started some 600 years ago, it’s always been recognized that the better you play the more fun it is. And Golf 360 will guide you towards better skills and strategies to improve your play or, if you’re just beginning or considering the game, a good foundation that will get you off to the right start.
The book is now available in ebook or paperback at Amazon. Please check it out. Browse through the table of contents. Read a few chapters. See if it’s for you or to give as a gift. It might just take a few strokes off your game or inspire a relative or friend to take up this great pastime that has played such an important role in my life.
Thanks for your consideration. And may you enjoy Golf 360: For Current Players and Those Considering the Game.
Wishing you all good health, peace, happiness, and enjoyment throughout life,
P.S. To bring you up to date, my other books, all available at Amazon, include:
The Valley Spirit: Living a Tao-inspired Life (Sacajawea, 2021) (inspirational, meditation)
Into the Woods…and Beyond (Sacajawea, 2021) (personal experience, nature)
The Mindful Hiker: On the Trail to Find the Path (DeVorss, 2004) (nature, personal experience)
My current blogs can be found at:
breakablenews.substack.com (politics, environment, human nature)
One additional note: I do not necessarily write these books and blogs for personal gain. I have ideas and opinions and would like to share them with as many people as possible. ‘We have enough income to fulfill our moderate needs. And any excess we give to non-profits that we deem worthy, such as All Classical Portland, NRDC, Stacey Abrams and Fair Fight, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and other responsible, compassionate organizations. To get the word out to as many as possible, I would ask if you do purchase any of my books, and if you like them, please write a brief customer review at Amazon. Thank you.