What is a Grateful Golfer?

Being GratefulRecently, an old friend dropped me a line to say hello. He told me about his great season, low scores, and awesome shots. It sounded like one of his best seasons ever and yet, he was frustrated. He talked about how he was not satisfied with his performance as he never seemed satisfied as he continued to strive for a better game. Finally, he asked me a question that caught me be surprise, he said, “how do I become a grateful golfer?”

At this blog, we talk about all things golf. We talk about scores, tips, and methods on how to lower your golf score. We talk about tournaments, the ups and downs of professional golf, and we acknowledge milestones of all players. I even have talked about being a grateful golfer on several occasions. I just assumed that through all this interaction, my message would be loud and clear….well I guess not!

Being a grateful golfer is completely different to every player or fan. I searched the term “how to be grateful” and it came up with 7,520,000 results. Yup, I guess there are many ways to be grateful and there appears to be no end to number of people who think they have the answer for you, but I am not so sure. Can anyone really tell you how to be grateful?

If you read the top twenty results, they all describe various steps of change that will help you seek what you are looking for. After further research, I noticed a trend and concluded that it is the experiences of gratitude on your journey to being a grateful golfer that is important. I believe being a grateful golfer is a state of mind that independent of your score.

Gratitude is found in many forms. Everyone is different and their reasons for being grateful are their own. Everyday, I try to be thankful for my awesome life and that naturally transitions into my golf game. My perspective towards playing golf is not always rosy because of my competitive nature, but no matter the result on the course, I can always be grateful for something.

In my case, there are a few tenants that help me be a grateful golfer. They work for me and might of value to you:

  • MindfulnessMindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.
  • Being Thankful   Aware and appreciative of a benefit; grateful. Expressive of gratitude: a thankful smile.
  • Manage Expectations – I am not a professional golfer, but I believe that there is an opportunity to learn and improve every time I play. My expectations are not always tied to my score (although I always try to shoot low), but the experiences during each round make it easy to be grateful.
  • Gratefulness is Catching – The more I actively and outwardly show gratitude, the more grateful I become about golf and my life. This may sound a bit utopian, but being grateful is a choice.

Being a grateful golfer is only one part of golf. I believe that gratitude allows me to fully appreciate my time on the links. I play golf for many reasons and one of the cornerstones of my game is being grateful.

I am not sure if any of this makes sense, so please help me out here! Let me know what you think!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

What the Duck is Going On!

Baby Duck

What the Duck is Going On!

What the duck is going on! I returned from my two-week holiday and found this little guy hiding in my chest of drawers. This new member of the duck family suddenly showed up and I was perplexed about how this happened. After a short scan of my memory bank and coming up empty, I knew that something was up!

As most of you are aware, I have written several duck stories in the past. For those of you who are not aware, the tales of the duck are steep in history! My friend Kirk and I have a friendly match-play competition most of the times we visit each other. The loser of the competition must keep the duck (in picture below) safe and carry it periodically while playing a round or two until we have a chance to play again.

Last Appearance of the Duck! Going Back the UK this weekend!

The Original Duck!

The rules are straight forward. I have to give Kirk strokes because of the difference in our handicaps. Half of the fun of the competition is the discussion / negotiation of how many stokes aside I have to give Kirk! But, that is a tale for another day. If we are still tied after 18 holes, we count the strokes (he receives a total of the negotiated strokes towards his score) to break the tie. I won for the first time in 4 tries in the spring and right now, the duck is in Europe safe and sound!

Back to new duck. I knew something was up because my friend Kirk or his son Brandon (who as an original member of the competition) had not visited in some time. So, someone different was getting involved in the duck saga. The first person I asked was my darling wife and she kept a good poker face and denied knowing anything. Still wondering, I started to think of who had been in our house recently!

Well, it did not take me long to realize that the pranksters were our friends, Kathleen and Michael, who visited us from Europe! Actually, I think that Michael was an unsuspecting accomplice in this entire ordeal, but he and I will discuss that over a libation or two in the future. Through my superior powers of deductive reasoning, I concluded that Kathleen, who is a fair golfer in her own right, had to be the culprit! She had the opportunity and devious mind to think of how to get involved! So, back to my wife I went!

Kathleen with Duck

The Master Mind of Chapter 2 in the Duck Saga!

With a big smile and chuckle, she came clean and told me the whole story. Sometime during their visit, Kathleen told Teri that she wanted in on the duck challenge! She asked if she could get involved and Teri immediately said that it was all good. With a smile, Kathleen fired the first shot and now she has started the second chapter of the duck saga.

Little does Kathleen know, that she has opened the door for retaliation. She will not know when or how I will be planting a duck or two around her house, but it will happen. Additionally, she has to challenge me to our first match-play competition. I do not expect that to happen anytime soon (as she is likely shaking in her boots), but it will happen.

Well Kathleen, you are in it now. All joking aside, thanks for the laugh and welcome to the duck saga!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Golfing for Charities

Each year I try to play in two or three charity tournaments because I believe that it is a great way to combine two important parts of my life. I love playing golf and I think that I should ‘pay it forward’ by supporting charities throughout the year.

Recently while visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia, my darling wife and I took a walk on the Halifax harbour front. It is a walk we thoroughly enjoy and make a point of trekking along the water every time we visit Halifax. During this jaunt, I spied some sort of golf pavilion and was drawn to it like a bug to light!


IWK Charity Golf Event. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

As I made a b-line towards the pavilion, two nice young ladies asked if I was interested in supporting a worthy cause for a chance to win a golf trip to the 2016 Canadian Open! Without hesitation, I started reaching for my wallet.

Charity PhotoThe H2O Golf fundraiser directly supports the IWK in Halifax. The IWK Health Centre is the Maritime region’s leading health care and research centre dedicated to the well-being of women, children, youth and families. Last year, there were 292,365 patient visits made to the IWK, which included 243,424 ambulatory (outpatient) clinic visits, 27,055 emergency room visits, 6,051 day surgery visits and 15,835 inpatient visits. The IWK is global leader in research and knowledge sharing, and a partner in educating the next generation of health professionals. (See more)

In 1996 the Izaak Walton Killam Hospital for Children and the adjacent Grace Maternity Hospital merged to become the IWK Grace Hospital for Women, Children and Families. At that time a new “Link” building was constructed to join the separate buildings. Having lived in Nova Scotia for 4 years, I understand the importance of this facility and happy to give!


Hitting to a floating green is harder than it looks.

The rules were pretty simple and the cost to play was $10. After handing over my donation, I was given one entry into the draw for the golf trip. Additionally, I was given three golf balls to hit on to a floating green. For every ball that stayed on the green, I was give an extra entry into the draw.

The centre of the green was 50 yards away the hitting mat. The only two club options were a 60 and 64 degree wedge. 50 yards is a stretch for me with a 60 degree wedge, but what heck it was for charity!

Taking my time to set up, I ended up laughing at myself as I smoothly sculled my first shot over the back of the green. It was not pretty, but it did give me an idea of the hardness of the mats and where to set up for my next two shots. Feeling confident, I effortlessly came up short with the next two shots! Both landed about 10 yards short, which is a normal shot for me with a 60 degree wedge. So as a result, no extra entries for the golf trip draw.

Supporting charities are very important. I believe that those of us who are fortunate should lead the way with random acts of kindness, positive intentions, and, if possible, financial donations. In this case, the H2O golf challenge for the IWK was a perfect opportunity to for me to make a donation to a worth cause and to have some fun playing golf!

On a side note, I want to thank the partners for the H2O Golf challenge. I am not affiliated with this charity or the partners in any way, but I think they deserve a mention. Without civic-minded community business leaders, many of the services we take for granted would not be as accessible. Thank you to:

Golf is a great way to support charities. I seek opportunities every year to give something back to the community and charity tournaments or events is a great way to give!

I am a grateful golfer!