Why I Love Losers like Jordan Spieth

“They say golf is like life, but don’t believe them. Golf is more complicated than that.” — Gardner Dickinson, a longtime American tour pro I remember watching Brian’s Song as an eleven year old trying my best not to cry in front of my sister. There is something endearing about the vulnerability of our heroes. Lou Gehrig was struck down in his prime so famously that his name became eponymous with both endurance (2,130 consecutive games played) and helpless degeneration (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS…Lou Gehrig disease) I love winners, but somehow, I relate more closely to those who lose. … Continue reading Why I Love Losers like Jordan Spieth

Digging Resumes in the Dirt

While playing golf yesterday, someone asked if I was playing my little homemade golf course. I said, “No, I just take care of it, mow it, water it, kind of like a garden, a hobby. Just like my wife Karen, who works in her garden beside the 8th tee box. We work together at different passions but they both involve sweat and lots of looking at the ground, into the dirt, at it’s soul, it’s barrenness, it’s fertility. What is it inside our nature to get our hands dirty, to dig in the dirt, to look down like stubborn mules … Continue reading Digging Resumes in the Dirt

Building a Golf Course in My Backyard ~ Part 2

“Golf is a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul.” Bobby Jones I can’t seem to get golf courses out of my head. Golf layouts stick to my brain like gum on the underside of a school desk…out of sight but always there. The south wall of my office bears a framed certificate on fancy bond paper, framed and protected by glass, suggesting that I’m a college graduate. I must confess, however, that it was ill-earned. I cheated. The results of every college test I took were enhanced by … Continue reading Building a Golf Course in My Backyard ~ Part 2

Building a Golf Course in My Backyard ~ Part 1

My neighbors have questioned my sanity of late, asking what I’m doing in my backyard. The short answer is that I’ve uncovered a golf course in the timber and hillside southeast of our home. The long answer is more complex. Brae Burn Hole 1 Perry Duke Maxwell lay dead and buried several hundred yards from where I stood waiting to hit a seven-iron from one of his famous elevated tee boxes at Dornick Hills Country Club in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Before hitting that shot, I walked to his grave to pay my respects. How poetic his netherworld perspective, his view of … Continue reading Building a Golf Course in My Backyard ~ Part 1

It’s Sweet to Play Like You Are Loved

One of the most memorable rounds of golf I’ve ever played, I played angry. And it came on the heels of an exchange with a man we called Sweet, even though decorum and his given name, Edward Muir Sweet, demanded we call him, Mr. Sweet. The elimination of the honorary title, Mr., was not an insult, and the one syllable surname rolled easily off our tongues as an endearment that bridged the years separating us. He didn’t demand the formality, nor did he demand we call him by the name most used to greet him, Tid. He gave us license, … Continue reading It’s Sweet to Play Like You Are Loved

Caddying for the Younger Generation – Part 2

I sat on my hotel bed the night before the opening round and read about notable players including a golfer from Shreveport named Hal Sutton who had already won the Western Amateur that summer. I’m playing with Hal Sutton who would win the PGA in 1983 and was Ryder Cup captain later in his career. And so on the biggest stage in amateur golf I would be playing with one of the best amateur golfers in the world. The first hole at Canterbury Country Club in Cleveland is a par four dogleg right that demands a power fade to follow … Continue reading Caddying for the Younger Generation – Part 2