Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Lessons from the Golf Course

                                    By Suzanne Y. Cordatos

For the third week in a row, a female executive in an expensive suit hops onto the driving range ten minutes late, balancing on a 4-inch stiletto heel while shoving her other foot into a stiff golf shoe. She nods at the instructor while speaking into the cell phone pressed between her ear and shoulder.
            The golf pro has lost patience, but not her sense of humor. She poses a question. “Are your clients expected to be on time for appointments? Early, right?”
            The executive nods and mutters ‘call you back’ into her phone.
            The pro holds out her hand and says, “Next week, you will arrive ten minutes early for my lesson. You will be dressed for a golf course. You will hand over your phone the minute you arrive, which will be how early?”
            “Ten minutes,” the exec replies, dropping her cell phone into the pro’s open palm.

My neighbor talked me into golf lessons this summer. When we figured out the key to a successful swing was to relax, I asked the pro, “How do CEO types relax enough to enjoy this game?” The story above was my instructor’s reply, hilarious when she acted out the details. That was the day I scored writing lessons along with my first par 3.

Writing Lesson from the Fairway

Keep true to your characters no matter what they are doing. 
People have different personalities and motivations. Characters should approach activities accordingly, whether they are skydiving, washing dishes or being treated in a hospital. How would your characters react to new situations? Brave and daring? Or timid and shy ?

If I put a team of characters together on the golf course, the individuals might:
            -Have brilliant beginner’s luck
            -Be riddled with self-negativity and despair with every swing
            -Sign up out of a golf widow’s desperate attempt to keep up with her missing husband
            -Be frustrated and curse every hole for its unfairness
            -Beat a hasty retreat to the clubhouse bar or befriend the beverage cart driver
            -Bask in the lovely scenery and quiet peacefulness of the course

Much more interesting writing fodder than a simple reporting, "Joe met his friends on the golf course every Saturday."   

More Writing Lessons     
Remember it is a game. Relax, have fun and your writer’s voice will emerge.
Each course, hole, and story is unique; approach each blank slate with confidence and the right tools.
Expect bad shots and rejections. Your best might be around the next corner!


  1. Hi, Suzanne. I enjoyed the post.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Susanne. Glad you enjoyed it. Here's a wish for happy writing, no matter what activity you find yourself doing!

  2. Suzanne, I also enjoyed your post. I love the golf pro's handling of the exec! It's true that people have different personalities, and it's true that people will react differently to different people and actions.