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Senior Golfer - On The Green


Wisdom from the Internet

The Putting Green

The Internet is alternately my best friend and my most annoying pest. Most recently, I received a note from a former golfing buddy, who now lives in Palm Springs. He shared with me with a letter he came across - some words of wisdom from a former golfer - and I want to share them with you for your reflections. The letter is actually a personal reflection from a "former" golfer, who no longer plays much golf, but wants everyone to think about how we approach the game. It is an edited version, so if you want the whole letter, send me an email: jkgolf67 AT aol.com.


Dear Younger Me:

I can't play golf anymore. I tried to swing the club today, but my body wouldn't cooperate. The best I can do now is sometimes take walks on the course, but my eyes aren't as good as they used to be, so I don't see much. I have a lot of time to sit and think, and I often think about the game of golf.

It was my favorite game. I played it most of my adult life. That makes it many hundreds of rounds and thousands of hours practicing. As I look back, I guess I had a pretty good time at it.

It's funny that with all the time I spent playing golf, I never thought I was a real good golfer. It doesn't make much sense, since I scored better than average and a lot of people envied my game; but I always felt that if I was just a little better or more consistent, then I'd really feel good. I'd be satisfied with my game.

I met a whole lot of different people out on the course. That was one of the best things about the game. But, aside from my regular partners and a few others, I don't feel like I got to know those people very well. I know they didn't really get to know me.

So, why am I writing this letter, anyway, just to complain? Not really. Like I said, my golfing experience wasn't that bad, but it could have been so much better, and I see that so clearly now. I don't want you getting to my age and feeling the same regrets I'm feeling now.

I wish, I wish-sad words, but necessary ones. I wish I could have played the game with more joy, more freedom. I was so concerned about "doing it right" that I never seemed to be able to enjoy just doing it all.

I was often hard on myself, and I was never satisfied-I was always expecting more. Who was I trying to please? Certainly not myself, because I never did. If there were people whose opinions I respected, were they important enough to justify all that self-criticism?

I wish I could have been a better playing partner. I wasn't a bad person to be with, but I wish I had been friendlier and gotten to know people better. I wish I could have laughed and given people more encouragement. I probably would have gotten more from them, and I would have loved that.

I'm inside now, and I miss the beauty of the outdoors. I walked through some of the most beautiful places on earth, and yet I didn't feel I really saw them. Beautiful landscapes, trees, flowers, animals, the sky, and the ocean-how could I have missed so much?

So, what is it that I'm trying to say? I played the type of game that I thought I should play, to please the type of people that I thought I should please. But, it didn't work. Golf is a wonderful game, so play the game you want to play. Play a game that gives you satisfaction and makes you a better person to your family and friends. Appreciate the beauty of nature and the people around you. Play a game that you joy and enriches your life.

Realize how lucky you are to be playing the game of golf. All too soon, your time will be up, and you won't be able to play anymore.

Best wishes, and thanks for the privilege of playing the game of golf. Don't waste a minute of it, because someday it will be gone.

The Older Me


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