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The Good Stuff of Upper Level Golf: A List

I heard a Kenny Chesney song titled “The Good Stuff”. He’s writing and singing about the great, but mostly less-shiny, things that happen in a deep and important relationship. So I thought I’d write a list of things that I LOVE about golf (as that is obviously a deep and important relationship), with no regard to big or small or what seemingly is surface level or not. Here goes the good-golf-stuff:

-Sunshine hitting the dew when you stand on the first tee of an early morning start.

-Catching a 6-iron dead flush on a par-three, with the divot starting an inch in front of the tee. Tee remains unbroken but pushed deeper into the box. You have to kick the club-head against the tee to get it loose.

-Hearing the spin of the ball grab the grain on a low skidding pitch, as it hops, checks, then stops.

-Hitting a shot in the dark as the daylight fades, and knowing it’ll be 5 feet from the hole, because you did exactly what you wanted to, even though you can’t see it.

-Hitting backwards shots off of steep bunker lips.

-I used to want perfect pyramids of balls and brand new grass, but now it’s brand new grass, and one of those cool leather tote bags full of brand new shag bag balls.

-New wedges, that have just begun to rust.

-A three-footer that matters and you take a deep breath, a last look at the hole, and then you bury it right in the middle.

-Wanting to fly it past the pin and spin the ball back off the ridge, and then doing so.

-A new glove that you’ve hit about 25 balls with. It’s brand new, so there’s no scuffing yet, but it has a little sweat and stretch to it.

-Shirts with collars that don’t curl.

-Watching a putt turn on a slope, and knowing it’s going in 10 feet out.

-Clearing a very high lip in a fairway bunker, one that you weren’t quite sure you could get over, with a perfectly clipped— weight on the back foot — throw the club head at the ball— launcher that you didn’t chunk and it flies directly to the middle of the green and stops cold.

-Any moment in practice that makes you say, “Whitehead to win the Masters”.

-Taking the hammer and finding a way to win anyways.

-Going blind lone wolf and winning anyways.

-Silver (1964 or earlier) quarters as your ball marker. (This is better than any of you realize!)

-Courses with pine straw.

-Champion Bermuda greens over everything.

-Finding perfect trust in any part of your game (or even a single shot!)

-Getting up and down so many times it frustrates your competitors.

-Thinking you can carry the bunker, but only if you hit your best one, and then watching it sail over the back lip free and clear.

-Standing to the side of a green while your playing partners putt, and watching the bass in the green-side pond.

-Your first ever hole-in-one.

-Aiming for the gap to get out of the trees, and splitting the middle.

-Chunking your first chip, then holing your second.

-Those blisters from when you first started playing golf that now have turned to calluses.

-Not falling for new putter hype, but just repeatedly working on the simple things and turning yourself into a great putter.

-High long irons and low wedges.

-Earning the wear-spot on your irons and woods.


This is just a fragment of a fairly exhaustive list. Did I miss anything you deeply care about? Let me know in the comments below!


The wear spot on a 3-wood golf club after hitting a lot of golf balls.
My 3-wood wear spot

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And I thought I was the only psycho who exclusively marks his balls with quarters from the 60s!

Replying to

Ha! No way. It just feels different doesn’t it? And the 60’s numbers are only good vibes!

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