Getting through the January “I miss golf” blues

It’s January 23, 2011 and yesterday I hit my first golf ball in almost 2 months!   It was heaven being out on the range – the sun was shining; it was 48 degrees, I had new grips on my clubs and I was feeling great!  I was so happy, I even enjoyed the bad shots – just hitting the ball felt wonderful.

To say I am a golf addict is a major understatement.   If I haven’t played golf in a week, I start going through withdrawal and it’s not a pretty sight.  So when we got home from Maui in November, I knew I was facing some serious depression until February when our golf season usually starts.

So I decided to fill my days with so much activity, I could pretend that I just didn’t have time to golf.  Amazing how we try and play games with our minds, isn’t it?

Anyway, I enjoyed my Xmas with family including a lovely visit from my golfguy’s mom (who is also one heck of a golfer).  Then we hit the high seas on a one-of-a-kind music cruise that has become the 2nd addiction in my life – this was our 7th straight year on the Sandy Beaches Cruise and it just keeps getting better every year. I’ve already booked our cabin for next year.

Imagine 1900+ music lovers joining 20+ bands (from R&B, to blues, jazz, rock & roll, zydeco, country, folk, gospel and “oldies from the 50’s and 60’s”) playing “music too good for radio” all day and night long on board a Holland America ship for a week.  There’s nothing like it!

Grammy Award Winner, Delbert McClinton rocks the boat on SBC 17

While on the cruise, in between concerts that started at noon and went to the early hours in the AM (some jam sessions ended at 5 AM!), I read the golf books I didn’t have time for when I was playing last year.  I found myself engrossed in some real hard copy winners.

In no particular order, here are some I recommend you add to your reading list this year:

When looking at all the choices I had in golf reading material, I quickly passed by one that I thought should have been made into a chick flick (I hate chick flicks).  I’m into tips and techniques and advice on how to improve my game.  Why would I want to read a soppy story about a young girl and her friendship with Ben Hogan? 

If I want to learn about Mr. Hogan, I can just pick up his Five Lessons: Modern Fundamentals of Golf.  That was the first golf book I ever read and it had a huge impact on my game when I was first starting out.
But for some reason this little book kept creeping into my mind.  So when I was packing for the cruise, I dropped it in my suitcase.  I am really glad I did.

This book made me want to practice harder, be more disciplined and dedicated to the game than most others.  Full of funny and often poignent antedotes about the Legend we thought we knew (boy, were we wrong!), this insight into “the real” Ben Hogan by LPGA player, Kris Tschetter, made me smile, laugh out loud and come close to tears on more than one occasion.

It’s the kind of book that you can pick up whenever you want, open it to any page and just start reading.  So many stories…so many “life lessons” in such a little book.  I highly recommend you grab a copy and find out what you didn’t know about one of the greatest players to ever swing a club. 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to write a book.  It’s in the top 3 accomplishments I have on my bucket list.  When I started golfing, I refined my dream and decided that I didn’t want to write just any book; I wanted to write a great golf mystery. 

Well, James Ross is living my dream.  I virtually met James on twitter and saw that he had written a number of novels involving golf.  I wrote and asked him to recommend which one I should buy for my golfguy for Xmas.  He recommended Lifetime Loser – a mystery set in the outskirts of St. Louis at a golf course where every “character” you can imagine comes to life, from those who will warm you heart to those who will rip it out of your chest. 

Ross does such a wonderful job in character development that you start to wonder if they are based on real people.  I hope not, because some of those characters are pure evil-personified.  Take time to read this highly entertaining book – you’ll find yourself hooked in a few pages.

Have you ever want to just swing back and throw your club as far as you can send it? Well, now you can.

Extraordinary Golf gives you the power to play golf “without fear” and one of the exercises in the book is club throwing. Sounds funny, but when you see how throwing a club down the fairway can save your game, then you might just want to invest in $14.95 for the  book that Michael Murphy (author of Golf in the Kingdom) says “will become a classic”.

I won’t give away all the secrets in this book, but I will say that if you read it and take to heart the instruction and exercises Mr. Shoemaker shares, you cannot help but improve your game.  I haven’t mastered the “total awareness” he tries to instill in his students, but I won’t stop trying.

Co-authors Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson have produced two “must have” books for any golfer wanting to take their game to another level.

Annika’s very talented coaches go beyond the physical and technical mechanics of golf instruction and integrate mental, emotional and social elements into their teachings, making the game a lot more fun. 

It is through Pia and Lynn (via my coach Ginny) that I learned about the Think Box and Play Box (along with Say it! Mean it, Do it!) – probably the most useful golf principles/tips I’ve ever received. And when I go to the range now, every shot I make has a purpose.  Practice has become more fun and meaningful.  And my game has improved a lot as a result.

I actually read these books last year when I was trying to lower my handicap.  I really believe they (along with my golf coach and fitness program) were instrumental in achieving my goal.

These are just a few of the books I enjoyed in the past few months.  If you have any golf books you’d like to recommend that have helped your game or just entertained you, I’d love to hear about them. 

Next on my reading list is Phil Michelson’s Secrets of the Short Game.  If he communicates his secrets as well as he hits balls inside 100 yards then I’m sure his book won’t be flop 😉


Pamper yourself on Maui! Book your little piece of heaven in golfers’ paradise. Book now at and tell them Golfgal sent you!

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One comment

  1. I’ve got the itch too! I was talking to the GM of a course and he said the first round in 2010 was played on March 18th… not too far away!

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