The Great Outdoors Upbeat in

GOLF 101

The Upbeat Sports Outlet Growing Old Isn’t For Sissies

by James Fish •

Santa Rosa, CA. ~ As a good friend once told me, “Growing old isn’t for sissies.” Aging with grace is no mean feat and every year brings with it the slings and arrows of fate. Hopefully we are wiser today than we were yesterday and smart enough to learn from our mistakes. Golf affords us many opportu- nities for growth and reflection along the way. Football or chess, take your pick. Self-loathing and shame are all-too- familiar


but we always have a choice as to how we wish to proceed; and it’s never a bad idea to be thinking a few moves ahead. Crawling out from the

wreckage of a double-bogey or worse is no quaint trip to the country fair. Understanding the fact that we are not alone doesn’t necessarily ease the pain. A great spiritual master once said, “Unless a seed falls into the earth and dies it shall not bear fruit.” We all must die into our pain and regret before we can be born again. I used to think I could run away from

those things and experiences that I didn’t like. That was a myth. Now I face my demons and gladly embrace a stiff challenge.

Those things we detest the

most will eventually find us, on or off the golf course. So the sooner we face our fears better


the our are

for acquiring wisdom and grace. I used to hate sand bunkers like high-school bullies.

Once I figured out the

correct technique for fairway and greenside bunkers I no longer feared them. After pip- ing a drive with a three-wood into a stiff wind on the ninth hole at Bodega last week I felt great until I realized I had found a fairway bunker. Once I accepted my fate I prepared for the shot. Standing 85 yards out and facing a strong wind in my face I knew I needed to pick the ball clean. When my three-quarter swing with a gap wedge did just that, I watched as the perfectly struck shot soared towards the green.

Men do change, and change comes like a

little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy

perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass.

John Steinbeck Anything you're good at contributes to happiness. ~ Bertrand Russell UPBEAT TIMES, INC. • DECEMBER 2019 • Pg 25

When it landed ten feet above the hole and then sucked back like a moon-walking Michael Jackson; it shivered over the edge of the hole. What could have been a disaster or an ea- gle turned into a tap-in birdie. My playing partner Patrick

said to me, “You looked like a wizard the way you es- caped from that peril..!” “I was Harry Houdini in my last life…” I guess I could be Hou- dini or Crazy Horse because I was no longer afraid of the sand. Learning to execute the proper technique is important but knowing how to face a demon or tame one’s dragon is not only how we succeed but how we grow old and find grace. And Golf is that place.

Santa Rosa, CA!

A man walks into a shoe store and tries on a pair of shoes. “How do they feel?” asks the sales clerk. “Well … they feel a bit tight.” replies the man. The assistant promptly bends down and has a look at the shoes and the mans feet. “Try pulling the tongue out.” offers the clerk. "Nath theyth sthill feelth a bith tighth.” He says.

JOKES & Humor #5

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