The Ten Commandments
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.
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
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.