Golf and Discipline a Celebration

Golf discipline in our life is to be celebrated. It is to act in accordance with rules, a regimen that develops and improves our mental outlook.

Our game demands discipline and we must learn it. Discipline is the practice of our new mental patterns. I have found my frustration with my game comes when I am not practicing a mental discipline, I become a “sloppy” golfer which is a reflection of my sloppiness in other areas of my life.

Golf is a game of honor and has a particular code of conduct. We are supposed to develop character and become ladies and gentlemen.

Discipline refers to our training to accomplish certain mental tasks and adopt particular patterns of behavior, even though we would rather act another way. It is the self control over those fears and desires that cause us to misfire when we swing. We develop an instinct for better course management.

Discipline in our life is to be celebrated. As we demand focus during our swing, we need to demand the same during our time off the course. Discipline needs to be practiced in all areas of our lives, to achieve the discipline of discipline.

After my mother died in 2006 our family was shaken to its core. She was the glue that kept us together. It didn’t matter that she was 93 when she left to be my father who died 16 years early.

Mom was my best friend. We bought a “carriage” home in a bundled golf community in Naples, FL, in 1999 together. Mom said that the winters in MI were getting too hard for her. We would spend six months each in FL and MI.

After Mom’s death the family was particularly worried about me, being Mom was the most important person in my life. Being single and having no children, she and I grew even closer after Dad died.

My grandniece, Cathy, was unusually concerned. She gave me a gift when I was ready to leave MI and return to FL, something to "read on the plane". The book was: Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. I have taken excerpts and put them here so you too can share in the celebration.

The Disciplines:

1. Submission

“A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.”

Martin Luther

2. Worship

“To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God"

William Temple

3. Confession

“The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.”

Augustine of Hippo

4. Guidance

“Dwell in the life and love and power and wisdom of God, in unity one with another and with God; and the peace and wisdom of God fill your hearts, that nothing may rule in you but the Life, which stands in the Lord God.”

George Fox

5. Prayer and Meditation and Solitude

“True contemplation is not a psychological trick but a theological grace”

Thomas Merton

“Settle yourself in solitude and you will come upon Him in yourself”

Teresa of Avila

6. Simplicity

“God made man simple; man’s complex problems are of his own devising”

Eccles. 7:30

7. Service and Celebration

“learn the lesson that, if you are to do the work of a prophet, what you need is not a scepter but a hoe.”

Bernard of Clairvaux

“Jubilee is exodus spelled out in terms of social salvation”

Johannes Hoekendik


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