In this first excerpt from The Lost Art of Playing Golf, one of the book's co-authors explains how you can fundamentally change your perception of the game of golf forever
It was a wonderful spring afternoon. The ground was beginning to dry out after a harsh and wet winter and the trees looked like they were ready to start flourishing for another year. It was easy to feel the sense of optimism spring brings with it each year.
As I walked the back nine I noticed a wooden bench next to a tee. There was a brass plaque with an inscription on the bench.
It was a commemorative plaque that said: ‘To the Tuesday Boys’.
Underneath the title were the names of four golfers and their years of birth and death. It seemed each of these four players had all passed away within a relatively close period of time. It was poignant to think of these four former golfers, no longer with us.
They had clearly played for many years together on a Tuesday – the Tuesday Boys.
I began to think of how many times they would have set out on a round of golf. How many times it would have been just another Tuesday. This ritual obviously went on week after week, year after year.
They would probably have got together on the 1st tee and said something about the state of their game, how they had been struggling with their tee shots, the week they had just had from the previous Tuesday and their hopes for the round ahead.
They must have gone through this routine time and time again. Played golf together on a Tuesday. They would have shared the highs and lows of the game. The emotions, both good and bad. The opportunity to sit in the clubhouse afterwards reflecting on the round and sharing in great conversation and friendship.
Then suddenly they had run out of Tuesdays. One by one, the Tuesday Boys must have got smaller in numbers as a group until they didn’t have any Tuesdays left. The last putt had been holed and the opportunity to enjoy another round had gone forever.
This experience reinforced to me the utter preciousness of each and every chance we have to play this wonderful game. The incredible way we all take for granted the fact that for us all there are unfortunately only a certain number of Tuesdays left.
None of us know how many Tuesdays it will be but don’t we all labour under a certain illusion these opportunities will go on and on? There will always be another game to play. Another chance. Another Tuesday.
Well, at some point there won’t be another opportunity. Every single one of us will at some point play our final round. We will sink a putt on the 18th green and it will be the last putt we ever hit.
Without being alarmist or a doom merchant, it is so important to embrace a vital key in the quest to unlock and reshape your golfing story and get the most out of this human experience. That is the skill of gratitude.
There is strong evidence to suggest that in the quest to feel good about ourselves and release our true capabilities the skill of gratitude is a huge asset.
Be grateful for this opportunity to play. The opportunity to walk around a golf course, in nature with the company of others. The opportunity to move your body, to test yourself and see what you can achieve.
The outcome will be what it will be but you are providing the conditions to allow a good performance to emerge.
Taken from The Lost Art of Playing Golf, by Karl Morris and Gary Nicol, available now in hardback (£19.95) and Kindle (£9.99).