I've written poems and played golf for almost as long as I can remember and have enjoyed the ongoing struggle to master both activities. Through my practice I've discovered many similarities between poetry and golf, with the primary unifying principle being that they both pose “problems to be solved.” Indeed, the solution to a specific swing problem that may have vexed me for some time often becomes clear to me in a dream, as if a great golf teacher were giving his or her lesson directly to me (in fact, they often do!). Likewise, images, ideas, or phrases for poems sometimes come to me in a dream all in a piece, and I wake up excited to write them down on a pad of paper next to my bed.
As a young man I wanted to become a great poet and a great golfer, though more than one sympathetic friend or family member pointed out to me the difficulty of making a living from either, let alone excelling in both! Therefore, although I've written and published poetry throughout my life, just as I've worked to improve my golf game from my days as a college player, I've also heeded reality's call by choosing to earn a living as a freelance arts and golf writer.
In a world of specialists, my work in multiple fields has raised eyebrows, and even I have felt confused at times as to where my true passion lies. A moment arrived when, rather than fight this division, I decided to integrate the two passions. As a wise friend of mine once said, “It's better to proceed through life via addition rather than subtraction.” It is in this spirit that I began writing The Poetics of Golf.
This book does not argue that golf is literally poetry. Rather, it takes golf as its subject matter and a starting place for what aspire to be poetic essays, memoirs, journalism, short fiction, and other meditations on the game, the arts, and life.
For my title, I owe a nod of recognition to Aristotle's Poetics and