The Ten Commandments .....................of Golf

I: Thou shalt not take thy game or thyself too seriously. Remember: life is just a game - golf is serious.

II: Thou shalt not concentrate on the outcome of the shot, but instead upon the execution of the shot. The outcome will happen. If you are not satisfied with the outcome (or yourself) you may fling your clubs one by one into the nearby lake where your ball now resides.

III: Thou shalt not confuse a lousy shot with defeat. Even The Master hits some bad ones (but he usually recovers).

IV: Thou shalt not confuse winning with going to heaven. There are many 'winners' who live in hell, and many 'losers' who reside in heaven. The quality of your personal relationships is more important than the quality of your golf score. Don't keep score in your relationships.

V: Thou shalt not confuse thyself with Jack Nicklaus. After all, he has to play golf. It's his profession. You can play for fun - or not at all. Options!

VI: Thou shalt not spend four hours on the golf course without taking time to smell the flowers. Walter Hagen, great pro of earlier years, was famous for this advice. He lived it up and he died of alcoholism - another hazard of the game-and of the 19th hole.

VII: Thou shalt not let the fear of failure interfere with your natural ability. You can make that crucial putt on the 18th hole just as easily as you make 90 percent of those same 3-footers on the practice green. That is, if you stay relaxed. Relax! It's only your self-esteem at stake. No big deal!

VIII: Thou shalt not confuse thy score with thy self-worth. There really are more important issues, i.e., paying taxes. It's easy to confuse the agony of golf with the agony of paying taxes. At least, you don't have to play golf.

IX: Thou shall not lose trust in your golf swing - or yourself. It's your swing - learn to love it. You probably don't swing like Tiger Woods, but who does? If you can't trust your swing (or yourself), take up bingo or lawn bowling. That's safer. Dare to give up the overcontrol and let it go. You'll swing better - and live better.

X: Thou shalt not ever forget how fortunate you are to be playing the game. You are still on the right side of the grass. Who knows what the next hole may bring. Keep swinging - and living.