The Five Fundamentals of Golf AND Life

My father was adamant that a minister in our hometown, Jim Epperson, conduct his memorial service just as he had my late mother’s and scores of others. Part of that process was the meeting to ask questions and find out more about the departed and gather information for the service. In a very short amount of time, Jim indicated he “had an idea”. He wanted to talk about B.I.’s life and his legacy by discussing the principles of something Dad loved dearly, the game of golf.  And then weave those into the bigger message of how to live your life. With so little time, no notes being taken and a sketchy idea of how that would work I was skeptical to say the least. But I knew how much everyone trusted Jim so I went with it. I am SO glad I did. Jim nailed it and even gave me some hand-written notes and highlights afterwards in order to use the message as a basis for this newsletter. With his blessing, here ya go.

Fundamental #1 – Your Stance

The first key that sets up everything else is the stance. The correct stance is the building block for everything to come after that. Get that right and you have a much greater chance for success from there.

What do you stand for? Is it clear and is it “the right stuff”? You know the old saying, stand for something or stand for nothing. And HOW you stand is a key part of that.

Fundamental #2 – Your Alignment

Alignment is another important key to golf and to life, without a doubt. Where are you aimed? What are you aligned with or to? If your building block, the stance, sets you up for a successful swing in golf and through life, you need to be aimed in the right direction! It only makes sense that these two things, stance and alignment, would almost have to go hand in hand would it not. What’s the path you want to follow and where do you want to get?

Fundamental #3 – The Grip

There are many types of grips, or how we lay our hands on the club, for you non-golfers. But one common theme most great teachers preach, not just in golf, is to not grip TOO tightly. Too much tension, tightness, pressure can lead to bigger problems. The old analogy of “not too soft but not too hard; lay your hands on the club like you’re holding a bird” would seem to be full of great and practical applications in our personal and business lives as well. And a key piece to this message, thanks to Jim Epperson, is that with the right grip on life we have a much better chance of surviving and coming out of its innate trials and tribulations whole. It helps us to weather the storms!

Fundamental #4 – Swing

There are many, many different swings in the golf world. Exhibit A would be a pro golfer by the name of Jim Furyk. For those that have never heard of him and want to see a “different” way to get the job done, Google him and I’m quite sure there will be some sort of video there to show you first hand. But it works for Jim and has for years. He’s very successful in his career. My Dad had a somewhat unique swing as well, but he stuck to his principles, repeated it over and over again and made it work for him quite well. And Dad did much the same in how he lived his life. The key that Jim Epperson spoke about was this, SWING. You have to take a swing to hit the ball. Take YOUR swing, no matter how it might look to others. And if you miss or hit it off line, keep swinging. You can’t “hit the ball” without taking a swing!!

Fundamental #5 – Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Last but not least, keep your eye(s) on the ball, in golf and in life. If you don’t keep your eyes open and focused on your objective you won’t be able to succeed. While seemingly so simple, it’s often the hardest thing to master, in golf and in life, for most of us. So, quite simply, KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL.