Everyone needs golf instruction, including the late, great Ted Knight in his role in "Caddyshack shown below.

This is a good video on the basic golf grip:

“Laughter Helps You Focus On Your Golf Game: 3 Tips On How To Laugh When You Really Don’t Want To.”

Remember to Laugh too. Years ago, I knew a successful club pro who told me a story about himself specially qualifying for one of the very few spots open at the time for Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Classic in Orlando. He was overjoyed and only 19 years old at the time. He began his first round walking confidently to tee his ball up tee with his proud father/coach on his bag and then proceeded to hit his drive out of bounds. A bit shaken but still eager to make a good showing, he teed up another ball and hit that OB as well. I stared at him in silence as he told me the story. Then he whispered, “It got worse from there on out....”  Well, he missed the cut but later went on to a successful golf teaching career. 

Playing bad golf can be stressful, embarrassing and excruciating. If you’re playing bad golf and can’t seem to correct it (which some same is worse than the “Cruel and unusual punishment” banned by the US Constitution) what should you do? 

“If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane.”

― Robert Frost 

Laughing is sometimes the last thing you want to do when your play turns bad – your bad feelings during bad play changes your chemical balance, and your mental game deteriorates. You know the situation. Your mindset tells you you’re going to hit the perfect shot then for some unknown reason your ball flies OB? I’ve heard one golfer say he pictures a blue sky with white puffy clouds in his mind before he’s ready to swing, or another golfer says he just keeps a single thought of making a nice swing before a crucial shot. Regardless of the reason(s) for the bad shot, after the unexpected bad shot happens and rage and anguish start to surface, should you try thinking of something funny? 

Sound silly? Not really.  For example, Lydia Ko’s caddy, Jason Hamilton, besides being an excellent caddie, has a wry sense of humor and tells Lydia one of his bad jokes after she makes a bad shot. She says she gets over the bad shot better that way. 

It’s been scientifically proven that laughter causes the body to send more oxygen to the tissues. In fact, if you combine laughter with exercise (wave your arms and smile), more oxygen will flow throughout your body. A research project at the Univ. Of Maryland studied the effect of laughter on blood vessels. One test group was shown a comedy movie while the other test group was shown a drama. The comedy group’s blood vessels were normal yet the drama group’s blood vessels became constricted restricting blood flow causing less oxygen to go throughout your body.  We all remember feeling relieved exiting a cinema after watching a serious drama? 

A 2014 Loma Linda University Study proved that Laughter actually produces brain waves similar to being in a state of meditation.  “It’s as if the brain gets a workout....which allows for the subjective feeling states of being able to think more clearly and have more integrative thoughts,” according to Lee Berk, Dr.PH, MPH, the principal investigator of the Loma Linda study. In other words, a good laugh helps you regroup and think more clearly and focus.  Laughter has also been shown to break a state of negativity and also helpful in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

Okay, but how do you start to laugh after an unexpected and traumatic bad golf shot? 

3 Tips on how to laugh (when you don’t even come close to feel like laughing) after a bad golf shot: 

Smile. You’ve heard it many times. If you want to be confident, act confidently. Likewise, if you force a smile happy feelings will follow.  Okay, but say that doesn’t work? Try the next tip. 

Think of an old joke. Keep the funniest joke you’ve ever heard in the back of your mind. But you may be in such anguish you can’t think of a funny joke, so try writing it down and keeping it in your pocket (you don’t have to pull it out and read it, just reach in your pocket and touch it so it will come to mind.) For example, I went on line and searched for the “Funniest joke ever told” and found this one:  “A woman gets on a bus with a baby. The bus driver says: ‘That’s the ugliest baby that I’ve ever seen.  Ugh!’ The woman goes to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: "The driver just insulted me!" The man says: "You go right up there and tell him off – go ahead, I'll hold your monkey for you." 

If all else fails, think of something positive!  For example, say to yourself, “My next shot will be excellent.” After the anger starts to subside and you feel yourself starting to relax, think of or look around for something odd or funny (e.g., Bill Murray’s hilarious antics playing the Pebble Beach Pro-Am? Your favourite part of “Caddieshack?”, etc.). Then try thinking of your joke again. Or, if you have to, let the anguish out for a second, but try hard to relax after you do, then force a smile and laugh it off. Your focus should return and your golf play will improve. 

Bonus Tip: For some fun things to do when you’re on the course and you can’t shake the bad golf, check out Golfwell’s fun section.

Again, golf is a game "played between the ears." Most of us need to learn how to control the urge to hit it hard. Most of the best players only hit their irons at 75% for better accuracy. We think you'll like "Effortless Golf" and you might want to give this book a try. We sincerely believe it will help your game.

We have some old but actually new views on Professional Golf Instruction See the paragraph below on a company that researched swings of the best players over the past 100 years.

Also, your Club Pro usually gives you the best instruction if he knows your game. Don't ask your caddy if he's likes to joke around.

We feel it's very important to be taught the right way if you're just beginning. If you want your kids to take an interest in golf, pick an instructor who has a track record of teaching kids who later get golf scholarships. We know a lady who has no fear of sand bunkers since her club pro made her hit balls out of a trap for an hour each day until she felt comfortable. And, if you're starting golf later in life, ask your friends to recommend a local well known patient instructor. You'll enjoy it more.

We think you'll find this interesting: Has your game gone downhill? (One thing about golf is that it can always get worse! Especially when you try harder!) Don't know what's wrong? Need a quick fix to get back to basics? One company has actually researched the techniques of the best players over the past 100 years and surprisingly they've found very few similarities among them. They came to this conclusion by spending countless hours studying literally hundreds of the game's greatest golfers (Nicklaus, Palmer, Bobby Jones, Tiger, Rory, etc.). They identified a small and distinct set of commonalities that they call the 5 Simple Keys or "5SK".  In other words, 5 basic things to get back to....Steady Head - Weight Forward - Inline Impact - Diagonal Sweetspot Path - Clubface Control.

Lydia Ko was coached by Guy Wilson while she was growing up in New Zealand for several years was very successful in teaching her the right things. His record with her speaks for itself.

We recommend the instructional books shown below and see the golf publications we recommend.