Charles Howell III: ‘Don’t take yourself too seriously. The game is too hard. Life is too short.’

There’s going to come a day when none of us have a tee time out here anymore, so don’t take yourself seriously. The game is too hard. Life is too short. We’re lucky to be doing this.

This philosophy has helped me in the later stages of my career, but not when I was younger. I’d never have listened when I was 21 or 22. I would have said, “No, I’m gonna grind, and grind some more.” I wish I could go back and tell myself, “Hey, man. It’s just a golf shot.”

I know, at times, we all want to make this life and death, but it’s just a game. Having two kids, and wanting to raise them how I wish I had been at times, has been the biggest influence on my new perspective.

During the years when I wasn’t winning on Tour, I’d calm myself by remembering that this is just a game. Winning the RSM Classic last fall—11 years after my last PGA Tour title—was more of a relief than anything. But it was also a reminder of how good these guys are around me. I’m 40 now. I’ve got to keep pressing to be good. I want to stay out here a bit longer.