Thursday, August 1, 2019

"Golf is the closest game to the game we call Life." Bobby Jones

After three injections and four months of physical therapy, my left shoulder impingement and right shoulder tendinitis are both doing better.  In fact, I have played three rounds of 18 holes in the past 10 days.  It's so great to be back on the course!  Today, I played golf with my good friend. Barb, and we talked about how much golf is like life, with the many lessons it offers. I decided to write my weekly post about this subject, which is one of my favorite topics. 

What lessons does golf teach?  In no particular order: 

Patience - Golfers must learn to be patient with themselves, especially when they have endured physical health challenges and can't shoot an 85 first time out in two years. (I know this from personal experience.)  Golfers must also be patient when trying to find their  authentic swing, and while retrieving their muscle memory from years past.  Depending on the playing partners and the speed of the field, golfers must also be patient with others. Golf is not a game for a person with no patience. 

Winning and Losing - Golfers learn that winning is fleeting, as golf is "A game that can't be won, only played." (Bagger Vance)  If a player is lucky and talented enough to win, repeating that feat is difficult, so winning must be done with both class and humility. Losing is difficult, especially when a golfer feels he has given his all.  

Humility - No one can play a perfect game of golf.  One is bound to make mistakes, and rather than be embarrassed by a terribly errant shot, one must have humility and recognize that sometimes, winning and losing comes down to the person who gets the luckiest bounce.  Best to show humility when winning of losing, since they are often only a few inches (or just one stroke) apart.  

Self-Confidence - Sometimes,when the round is "owned" by the golfer, it is easy to be self-confident.  Conversely, when nothing seems to be going right, every bounce takes the ball the wrong way, and the putts just won't drop, facing the game with self-confidence is much more difficult.  I like to visualize past good shots and internalize that feeling from making a great shot. Playing with confidence, even when not playing well, requires some soul searching and remembering past good rounds, along with remembering basics and set up. Total effort is paramount to regaining self-confidence. 

Empathy - When you miss the birdie putt, your friends cringe with you.  When you lose a ball on the 18th hole of a straight-up match, your friends feel your pain.  Golfers feel each other's pain because they have all experienced the negative bounces that can ruin a game, and they share the highs of winning, because they know what it takes to get there.  True golfers have great empathy for their playing partners, and even for their opponents.  Just watch the end of a professional golf tournament, when competitors hug and congratulate their competitors. Golf teaches empathy like no other sport. 

Perseverance - Every golfer knows that feeling of "the worst game ever", and then, on the 18th green,making a 40 foot putt!  Despite a terrible round, it just takes that one shot that will make a golfer come back to play another day. Arnold Palmer says it best in the photo below,

I love the game of golf, and playing golf for these 50 years and coaching golf for 33 years have made me a better person, on and off the golf course. I hope you will consider playing, if you are not already a golfer.  It's the greatest game ever invented. 

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 
Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom.  GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.

Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!
 Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. 

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