By Jon Levy

Let’s have a conversation about golf.

Not a fluffy discourse about how if you do this or that your 2016 season will be the stuff dreams are made of, with 300 yard drives and birdies at your beck and call call every time you tee it. No, I mean a down-and-dirty, no-holds-barred, real discussion about this so-called “game” you love, obey and obsess over every day.


Because golf is an incredibly (insert expletive HERE) tough game and since the slate’s now wiped clean with a new year, maybe you – a fellow connoisseur of great golf who some may even say is obsessed in its pursuit – can use a reminder as to why you play in the first place when all bearings are lost and you lose your (insert expletive HERE) out there. Which can happen. A lot.

Now, of course, this Eddie Haskell-esque golf thing pulls you in with the periodic “perfect” shots, out-the-blue Caddyshack moments when you can do no wrong and clinical range sessions when others can’t help but to gawk at you peppering high, feathery draws at your target because you’re in the zone and ain’t nothin’ or no one takin’ you out of it.

But, the other 90 percent of your golfing prowess?

Total. Freaking. Chaos.

Which, to be fair, is why you love golf so much and always get right back on the horse after falling off. Because, while struggle is in fact real in golf, therein lies the joy and when those awesome moments do happen, your high is unrivaled and all in the world is right.

So, I’m here to first say I get it, because as one who played competitively as a junior, in college and professionally, and who has watched others go through the same freeze-thaw cycle as a college coach in my own right, I should know. As one who’s also struggled with a career-ending degree of anxiety around the game competitively but who still can’t walk away from playing or working in it, I should most certainly know. And as one who still gets motivated by watching golf on TV, still sees the light after a can’t-do-wrong day on the course, and still has thoughts of re-stoking the competitive fire after a breakthrough with my Coach or on my own, I do know, and know better than most.

Play better golf

Which is why this exorbitantly long buildup boils down to a simple plea for my fellow diehard brethren to take as a mantra in 2016:

View golf this year as you feel in your heart of hearts it truly is: A parallel to the game of life, where the ups and downs and unwavering course through all of it make you a better person who values the understanding of hard work, patience and grit. Because, at the end of the day, there’s a reason you grind so hard and it goes deeper than a career round, league title or tight draw. It has to.

fist_pumpThe process of improvement itself is its own reward in this regard, and save for the one-off battle wins that do most certainly feel great, you’re OK with living in the trenches because the process is what it’s all about and nothing more.

So, pardon the unabashed philosophical message from left field when all you were expecting was a quick ‘6 Things’ and be on your way, but if there are any real resolutions out there for people like you and me, it starts with being honest about golf and why we’re even drawn to play it.

Good on both of us then for carrying this drive to flesh out every ounce of our potential, full well knowing golf’s roller coaster nature is the basis of its appeal. Because that’s more than many can say about anything, and while the game IS completely chaotic by its very nature, so if life. And this is why we love it.

A former Instruction & Equipment Editor at and guest author for, Golfweek and others, Jon Levy is an accomplished golf writer. His extensive golf experience also stems from a competitive background in college (Iowa State Univ.) and on the mini tours, and nine years as a college golf coach at the University of Colorado, Scottsdale Community College and Paradise Valley Community College. In 2007, Jon was named the NJCAA National Coach of the Year after leading Scottsdale to the NJCAA National Championship title.


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