Want to see your golf game improve in 2023? Try practicing mindfulness
It’s hard to know where Kevin Carpenter ends and his “superhero” alter ego, the GratiDude, begins. But it’s not hard to find out what makes them both tick.
“Ideally, 8 a.m. is my nectar sweet spot,” he says in an email meant to finalize the time for a phone interview. “Still riding the optimum balance of meditation, espresso and high-grade Mendocino cannabis at that time. Otherwise, you can catch my second wind after yoga anytime from 11:30 to 2 p.m. Be well and enjoy the holiday that is every damn day at the GratiDude’s crib: Thanksgiving.”
So who exactly is the GratiDude? Formerly, he was one of the founders of GPS Industries, the company responsible for bringing interactive screens to golf carts worldwide. Now, at “54 years old by law,” he’s the hippie superhero bringing mindfulness to golf through his new nonprofit, Grateful for Golf.
Here are his tips for a more mindful ’23, whether you’re on the course, off the course or on the astral plane.
1. Write down your daily G.I.F.T.
“G stands for gratitude — something you’re grateful for,” Carpenter says. “I is for intention — what you’re hoping to achieve that day. F and T are for the first things you’re going to do.”
2. Become a breath master
Breath work is essential to any mindfulness meditation and can even be done on the golf course. Try it for 60 seconds before teeing off on a hole, using breath counts of four or eight seconds. “Your job,” Carpenter says, “is to close your eyes and picture the golf course and the hole you’re about to play as if it were being seen for the very first time by the first set of human eyes.” Then the job is simple: enjoy.
3. Just … do it?
Ever notice that you tend to play your best golf when you aren’t thinking about scoring well? “Golfers don’t know they have an instantaneous meditation feedback loop when they hit a good shot,” Carpenter says. “They know they’ve been in the moment, but they don’t know why they love it. Meditation is what it is.”
In summary: breath, presence, gratitude, meditation. Pretty far-out stuff. But, hey, it worked for Ty Webb in Caddyshack.