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!


Comments (15)

John GastonJuly 9th, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Hello my friend. Congratulations on your journey this far with your new book and the website. I am excitied for you and Lynda and wish you much success. I look forward to our time together this fall in high school golf and in the future as I know my game will improve…because of this Great Book.

Dick RosmarinJuly 9th, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Skip, I look forward with great anticipation to reading “The Back Nine” as I answered “yes” to almost all your questions. I hope this next chapter in our lives is a long and fruitful one leading to good golf and good health. Best wishes for much success.

Captain HermJuly 9th, 2012 at 10:33 pm

I was referred to you by a Pilates buddy of yours, and I am ordering the book. I wish you well!

Jim BrantleyJuly 11th, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Well Skip, You were and are an inspiration to those of us that
witnessed the smile on your face and the hope in your eyes
and voice – as you headed to your next doctor’s appointment.
I can’t wait to read my copy of The Back Nine, and here’s to you
and Lynda enjoying many years of teeing it up and hitting it

John RegerAugust 1st, 2012 at 11:16 am

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would highly recommend it to any senior golfer looking to revitalize their relationship with the game of golf! Filled with practical information from Skip’s real life trials and tribulations, this is a must read!

Steve AasheimAugust 9th, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Skip, my game has never seen the proficiency you have achieved. But for very similar reasons I’ve seen a decline in performance and (oh,oh) enjoyment. I’m looking forward to learning from your journey and re-tooling my golf game when we get back to Gainesville in the fall. All the best to you and Lynda!

Wayne McDannielOctober 7th, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Skipper – I throughly enjoyed reading the Back Nine; it certainly has good information and helpfull hints for those of us approaching the sunset of our golfing career; however, some of us reached that time earlier than others. I look forward to playing nine or more with you and maybe some of your students and learn even more about this fasinating game. My best to you and Lynda and see you soon…………….Wayne MCD

Linda KuderOctober 7th, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Skip, as you well know, I am not a golfer…but, I am a senior. For the first time in my life, I am lacking in motivation to be active. Your book has inspired me and your personal journey and fitness recommendations challenge me to get going again! Thanks. And congratulations on what you have accomplished.


Wayne McDannielDecember 11th, 2012 at 11:33 am


Dan GlassmanApril 13th, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Dear Skip-

It was an absolute pleasure meeting you and having an opportunity to golf. I really appreciate how welcome you all made me feel. I just wish I had helped the team a little more. Hopefully, you all will allow me to redeem myself in the future.

I also want to thank you for taking the time and looking at my presentation. It can be found on Youtube under Learning to Pitch and Dan Glassman. The presentation is broken into five little segments. It is my first full presentation so I know it is rough around the edges and not really polished. I would love any recommendations or suggestions you can make.

I have been blessed with getting married a few months ago and when I told my wife about you she said that she had met you at the Village where she used to work. Her name is Maggie Hardin and she told me to wish you and Linda the very best. She told me how highly she thought of you both. It would be our pleasure to take you guys out to dinner sometime.

Anyway, thanks again for everything. I really had a great time and it was a joy to meet you.

Warmest regards,


Skip EverittMay 24th, 2013 at 1:22 pm

If you live in the Gainesville, FL area join me for a book signing in the Haile Village at THE PERFECT GIFT shop. I’ll be there from 5:30-7:30pm. Stop by, have a glass of wine and snacks and talk some golf.

Erica JohnsonSeptember 13th, 2013 at 9:09 am

Skip, I work with Jim McClave at Info Tech and I have been searching for a way to contact you. I have only found a home phone number. If you could would you email me your contact information. Info Tech would like to use your consulting services. Thank you.

John C MedwinJanuary 11th, 2014 at 7:22 am

Hi Skip, Just by chance I ran into your web page and as I read what you had written suddenly realised that you had written what I felt as I gradually withdraw from the work force as a mechanical tradesman. At age 76 I find that so many things I’m now unable to do for various reasons. I want to but can’t physically. It frustrates the hell out of me.
I found that over the years the young people (who we were once) needed to be brought back to earth gently. One such young man I spoke to suddenly had a different attitude towards me. A respect that I wasn’t expecting.
“To the younger ones of you, I have seen a change in your attitudes to both work and towards myself. A growing respect when you suddenly realise that maybe I have forgotten more than you already know. Wisdom comes with the passing of the years. I am not criticising you, just remember, I have been there in my youth as well.
Your time is now, make the most of it.”
Feel free to add it if you wish
Golf, prolapsed discs in the spine, and angina hasn’t helped me either.
Thank you for the chance to comment.
11th January 2014.

Skip EverittJanuary 22nd, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Thanks to all of you who responded to this site. A second edition is already in the works and I hope to make the conversations and dialogue easier and fun for all of us. All my best wishes for 2014 and beyond. Skip.

Skip EverittMarch 13th, 2014 at 11:16 pm

John Medwin
Hang in there. My volunteer golf officiating has given me new purpose and a reason to stay in the game, Contact your state golf association for opportunities.

Best wishes, Skip.

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