Introduction to the book
If you have discovered this website, I hope that it is because you are interested in becoming a frequent visitor and a member of the Back Nine Community.
I’m Skip Everitt and I wrote The Back Nine for two main reasons: one selfish—for me—and one for you, the avid senior golfer.
The selfish reason is related to an illness and an injury that I believed might end my playing days.
From 2008 to 2010, I experienced a series of health issues that brought me and my beloved game of golf to our knees. From cancer to two bouts with degenerative disk disease, I lost my golf game, my optimism and my hope for my future as a senior player.
To help me express and understand what I was going through, I launched a personal journal that began in February 2008 and continues to this day. By November 2010, I had somehow emerged from the illnesses and depression with my health intact and my golf game nearly restored to its highest level.
As I wrote a personal journal entry in mid- November 2010, the sentences started to sound like chapters in a book.
Each entry described a strategy, tactic or personal action that I had taken during the past two years to overcome the physical and mental “train wrecks” that had derailed my life and my golf game. After a few days of writing, an outline of a book was staring back at me from my pages of my journal. Coincidentally, during ordering an e book from Amazon, I noticed the ad at the bottom of the ordering page. It said “Independently Publish With Us”. The link led me to Create Space, Amazon’s publishing business.
At that moment, the journal that had comforted me and helped me to restore my health and golf game became an idea about how to share my experience with others facing physical and athletic setbacks. Perhaps they too could experience this “back nine” of life as a healthy, fun and competent senior golfer.
So, the second and most important reason for writing The Back Nine was for you, the avid, senior golfer. While I’ll leave the dictionary definition of both senior and avid to you, here is what those terms mean to me.
Senior means being somewhere between 55 and 85 years old. My definition is not absolute fact. The Champions Tour begins at age 50 and I know golfers in their nineties that play almost daily and occasionally shoot their age. However, at age 50, the avid golfer is pretty much physically who he or she was in his or her early midlife.
At 55 or so, our flexibility, recovery time and focus seem to enter a mild decline.
The energy, acuity, strength and concentration that were automatic endowments in our middle years now require conscious and deliberate routines and new habits to maintain our golf game- and a healthy life.
Avid means hopelessly in love with the game. The avid golfer undertakes activities that make the casual twice a year player or non- golfer just shake their head in bewilderment.
To respectfully borrow a style of humor from Jeff Foxworthy, a fellow Atlanta native son, “you might be an avid senior golfer if:”
- Most of your casual wardrobe makes you look like you are ready to head to the first tee.
- You have a box of scorecards dating back to the 1950s and 1960s that you call your “stuff”.
- You have at least one Acushnet Bulls Eye putter in your garage.
- You play in at least one golf league at your local course.
- You watch golf on TV every weekend.
- You read Golf and/or Golf Digest magazine.
- You have a lesson or two every year.
- You have taken one or more road trips with buddies to play several golf courses.
- You have attended a live professional tournament every year.
- You meticulously clean your clubs after every round.
- You have at least one piece of artwork depicting a famous golf hole hanging in your home.
- You have pouted for several days after a family gathering, funeral, wedding, or a carelessly scheduled cultural event caused you to miss the final nine holes of a major golf championship on TV.
And then there’s the avid senior golfer at the hopeless level. You might be at the hopeless level if:
- You visit 5-10 golf related websites a day.
- You join your state golf association and plan your entire spring, summer and fall around playing in events.
- You volunteer regularly as a rules official or marshal for local USGA and junior tournaments.
- You serve on your home course’s golf committee.
- You play in every charity golf event in your area.
- You get a swing analysis every three months.
- You own at least six putters and four drivers- and are constantly on the lookout for new and better ones.
- Your personal nomination for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Motion Picture was “Seven Days in Utopia”.
- You have attended The Masters at least once and resent those “patrons” that get tickets every year and don’t even understand the game.
- You have dedicated a room or space in your garage for use as a golf shop.
- Most of your household tools are related to the cleaning or repair of your golf gear.
- You have an apron that says, “Born to golf, forced to cook”.
We all know who we are and which level describes us. Our common bond is the game itself that possesses a powerful combination of difficulty, tradition and emotion.
This book, The Back Nine: How to Play Your Best Golf EVER in Later Life contains over 150 specific ideas, strategies and suggestions about how to continue to play at our most joyful level. So join me in this lifelong pursuit for competency and satisfaction among others who love and respect the game.
The Back Community website has two main destinations for your education and enjoyment:
Go to the Back Nine Clubhouse destination of this website to find helpful resources to improve your game and your quality of life. You will find short instructional videos, interviews with highly skilled players and instructors and links to resources that support the 18 chapters of the book.
Go to the Back Nine Conversation destination to read and reply to my blog about life as a senior golfer. Follow a conversation in progress, ask a question about the game of golf, rules or lifestyle issues or suggest a topic for conversation.
I look forward to welcoming you to the Back Nine Community. Now, let’s tee it up!