Three Secrets That Shouldn't Be Kept
I've never been good at hiding how I feel, so I'll come right out with it:
Golf is the greatest game of all, and golfers are the luckiest people on earth. If you play golf, you are blessed with the rarest of gifts: to walk in beauty, to enjoy fine companionship and to discover the true essence of living with every swing.
What more could we ask of any game?
Embedded in the game is something vast and limitless but also practical. In particular, golf is the perfect arena where you can master the three secrets of success in business and life. By learning the three secrets of conscious golf, you can get better at golf, business and lifeall at the same time! In working with nearly a thousand executives over the past 30 years, my colleagues and I have discovered that the master moves of golf, business and life are the exactly the same.
I consider these three master moves the very foundation skills of good golf, good business and good living. If you understand how to apply these skills, you will know how to stride the full round of your life with integrity, zest and good success.
In this book I make clear distinctions between the three master moves primarily for the sake of understanding. In teaching them to several thousand people, I've found that it really helps to break the moves into distinct components. In the early stages of learning to drive a car, it's helpful to practice putting your foot on the brake over and over as a separate skill. Ultimately, though, you steer and accelerate and brake as part of one automatic movement. The same is true for the three secrets of conscious golf. When you're out there in the fast, real world of golf (or business or life), you'll ultimately find that the three moves blur into one. My hope is that the three master moves will become one smooth automatic move, whether you're driving a golf ball or a hard bargain.
The Perfect Way to Learn about Business and Life
Golf gives us two gifts at once: Insight and transcendence. We reveal who we are as we play the coursethat much is certain. Play a single hole of golf with three strangers and you will have immediate insight into whether you would have dinner with them, do business with them or loan them your car to drive around the block. However, golf gives us a great deal more: With every swing of the club we have the chance to ascend to new heights of the person we wish to become.
I didn't realize all this until I was well into midlife. In fact, I've come full circle in my attitudes about golf. Earlier in my life I thought it was the stupidest game I'd ever seen. I grew up steeped in baseball. My grandfather was the groundskeeper at a minor league ballpark in the area of Florida where most of the big-league teams came for spring training. As a result, I spent a lot of my childhood watching baseball and hanging around ballplayers. To my young mind, baseball was the only game that really mattered.
At a deeper level, I think my initial sour opinion of golf was probably based on sour grapes. Golf looked to me like a game for the "rich kids," and I definitely was not one of those. Also, I often saw boys going off to play golf with their fathers, and I did not have one of those, either. (My father died at the end of World War II, during the time my mother was pregnant with me.) This conditionnot rich, no dadprobably caused me to devalue golf so that I wouldn't feel bad about not being able to play.
As for watching golf on televisionforget it. Compared to games I liked, such as baseball and football, golf looked about as interesting as a 4-hour session of watching paint dry. Plus, there were those awful checkered pants that the golfers of the 1950s seemed to favor. I figured that any game people played in checkered pants had to be regarded with intrinsic suspicion. I very much enjoy the sweet irony of life's delightful twists, that I should have come from that background to be a cheerleader for the cosmic potential of golf.