About This Book

Golfers are a special breed. They endure bad weather, early wake up calls, great expense, and "interesting" clothing to engage in their favorite sport. This book contains Chicken Soup’s 101 best stories about golfers, golfing, and other sports. Chicken Soup's approach to sports books has always been unique — professional and amateur athletes contribute stories from the heart, yielding a book about the human side of golf and other sports, not a how-to book.

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Five tips for making sports more than just a pastime
Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tales of Golf and Sport by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Amy Newmark

Golf is more than a game — it's an obsession. For many, the love for the sport goes beyond the green and seeps into everyday life. Memories made on the course last a lifetime, from learning to swing to overcoming an injury to forging friendships. Whether you've just finished your first lesson or are a veteran of the game, the 101 stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tales of Golf and Sport about the joys, frustration and humor of golf and other sports will have you eager to get back to the game. Here are five tips for all sportsmen and women to make their activity more than just a pastime.

1. Remember why you play. Former U.S. President George Bush loves and hates golf. Although he enjoys the newest equipment and the company of old buddies, the former president regrets that his game is not what it used to be. Once, after a rough round that caused his companions to burst into laughter, President Bush quit golfing for two weeks. Yet he came back because of the rare, smooth and beautiful shots that make his relationship with this sport worth it. "The first nine was bad — the chipping and putting betraying me. Then came the magic," he shares. He made a four-par 11th hole in two swings. "Golf? I hate it, sure, but I really love it."

2. Keep traditions alive by sharing them. William Wilczewski's son is only three, but he is already thinking about sharing important life lessons with him — especially sports and the role they play in his life. For William, sports are about the little things, like baiting a hook, the smell of a new baseball glove, the traditions. Sports are about the fun things, like a team's signature cheer and playing backyard games. Sports are also about the meaningful things, like unyielding determination and childhood memories. "But most importantly," William will tell his son, "it's about passing all this on to your son one day as my dad did to me and I am to you."

3. Practice with your friends. Jim Nantz and Fred Couples were suitemates in college. Jim wanted to be a golf television reporter and dreamed of covering the Masters, and Fred dreamed of winning that tournament. Fred sometimes helped Jim practice his interviewing skills by pretending to be his subject, a Masters champion. Fast-forward to 1992, and both men were working in their dream professions. In fact, when Fred won the Masters that year, he was interviewed by Jim, who covered the tournament for CBS. Their practice interviews years ago had led to an incredible moment that the friends achieved together. "The thing that is so amazing," explained Jim, "is that all those years ago, we always knew it was going to be the Masters that Fred would win."

4. Be positive. John St. Augustine smiled at his daughter, Amanda, as she gave him a thumbs-up from the volleyball court. She looked happy and healthy, not like someone born with a kidney problem. When she was five, her right kidney had to be removed and the doctors told John that someday Amanda would need a transplant. In preparation for that future surgery, John wanted Amanda to stay as positive and healthy as possible. Every morning he asked her what she was going to be that day. "She would answer, 'Positive, and my kidney is getting better.' This became a ritual for us, a powerful bridge between the mind and body," John writes. Eight years later, Amanda successfully received a healthy kidney from her father. John attributed the miracle to her positivity, saying, "Her strength of spirit displayed itself in her physical condition."

5. Laugh it off. Todd Behrendt went golfing with Milt, his father-in-law to-be, during his fiancée's bridal shower. He had not played in a while and was nervous. And on the first hole, one of Todd's shots flew straight into Milt's hand. Todd was frantic, but Milt jokingly complained that if only Todd had hit harder, he could have collected on his golf insurance and retired from his job. He even got Todd laughing about it. "It was the first time I'd felt completely at ease with my future father-in-law," Todd says. "After all, who else but a family member could have forgiven such an act?" They completed the 18 holes and stopped by the bridal shower before Milt went to the emergency room. It wasn't until after the wedding that Todd learned he had broken a bone in Milt's hand.

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