Perusing Twitter the other day, I came across this video clip of Jordan Speith and it got me thinking. His response to “What do you wish you knew then that you know now?” is exactly what we need more of in golf. It’s how I try to model my thinking (not always successfully) and it’s exactly what we’re trying to build and promote at Stick and Hack. While we’re building the World’s Greatest Golf Club Without the Course, part of that is making sure we never take it too seriously.

My father put a club in my hand when I was 6 years old, and my connection to the game has deepened ever since. Golf has proven to be a vehicle for so many different people and experiences in my life. But when it comes down to it, golf is just a game — albeit the greatest game in the world. 

There have been times in my life when I’ve started to take it too seriously or allowed my mood or state of mind to change based on how well or poorly I played. Every time I find myself in this position, I try to think back to when I was a kid, just out there swinging the club and having fun. 

Refocusing my thinking back to that idea always inevitably lifts my spirit and allows me to get back to the root of why we all play — to have fun. 

Too many times in golf I think we set unrealistic expectations for ourselves that ultimately set us up for failure. That’s not to say you shouldn’t make goals for yourself and try to achieve them but always remember along the way that the reason you picked up a club in the first place was to have a little fun and escape from the troubles of life. Those troubles might have matured from chores and homework to finances and family issues, but the benefits of golf still abide. 

Jordan Speith’s response is perfect: Don’t take the game too seriously. It’s a game we all love, but at the same time, it has the ability to drive you mad. When all is said and done, just enjoy it. The skulls, the chili dips, the missed putts. At the end of the day, there are worse things you could be addicted to, like bowling.

To everyone out there who has been lucky enough to be bitten by the golf bug at some time in your life, I hope you can keep this thought in mind as you continue your golf journey. It has and continues to serve me well when I find myself taking the game too seriously. 

Ultimately, it’s a game, and there are far worse things in life than having the opportunity to play a game once in a while. This is the Stick and Hack mentality. Remember it, embrace it, and have a little fun!

Mike Ryan

Stick is a premier golfer with a 1.2 index and multiple victories of local tournaments that nobody cares about. He is the better half of the Stick/Hack duo but only on the course.