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Play It As It Lies

Joseph Tom Riach – Author of successful living books and mystery novels, vivid views of life and business

Joseph T. Riach's


“Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal. Free thinkers and independent business communities are invaluable gathering places for sharing experiences. From that springs commercial endeavours of mutual benefit." - JTR



     I thoroughly enjoy playing golf. Not least because the game is played in beautiful settings. Be it a seaside links, forest glade or cliff top spectacle, a day on the golf course inevitably comes with breathtaking scenery. Indeed, there are those who say that 'a round of golf is a good walk spoiled'! But I don't subscribe to that view.

     For the game itself is great fun. It can be as demanding or easy a challenge as you wish. Taken seriously, it demands a high level of skill and concentration. Played for fun, it is relaxing and convivial. Either way there is something for everyone.

     One feature of the game is that it is an individual sport. You may play against or with other players, but you essentially play it alone. As such you can play when and where you like. It's entirely up to you. It's a game well-suited to an independent spirit.

     I very much find that not being committed to a time nor place to meet up with team members or others in order to play, suits me very well. I can of course plan to play a round at a particular venue with specific players on a particular day when I wish but I more often just stop off at a country course on a whim when I'm passing. It's a pursuit I can indulge in as the fancy takes me.

     The golf course is a wonderful environment in which to clear the mind. The demands of the game are such that you are unlikely to have other thoughts intrude while concentrating on your play. And, if just enjoying the scenery, fresh air and companionship of playing partners, it is equally refreshing. As an independent spirit I'd call it the ideal pastime.

     Professional tournament golf is quite different. In that realm players are dedicated to seeking perfection in their play. The game is their livelihood. The top tier of millionaire champions apart, success or failure on any given day determines what they'll eat for dinner - or if they'll eat at all! Yet, in spite of the pressure under which they play, I've long been impressed by the stoical personality of many professionals. They conduct themselves around the course in what I'd call an admirable manner. They are mostly good-humoured, polite and even-tempered. They police their own game, calling fouls on themselves at times and very rarely are known to cheat. I believe that they provide a wonderful example to society in general. To you and to me.

     When I first became aware of their impeccable behaviour it occurred to me that the nature of the game attracted individuals of such integrity. Then I thought that perhaps it was playing the game which moulded their personalities in that way. My conclusion now is that it's a bit of both. I don't believe that golfers with wayward temperaments are suited to the game. And those brought up to the game, soon learn that lack of personal discipline will not help them to progress.

     Either way, their professional demeanour provides a superb example on which to base your own approach to life and business. When tackling your own fairways and bunkers of daily existence, what better formula than to emulate the fine champions of golf.

     Set out to win but be gracious in defeat. Select your shots carefully but play them with gusto. Retain a cool head when all around you are losing theirs. Play hard but enjoy the walk too. Be utterly determined, golf favours tryers. How well you 'play', how much you earn and to what extent you enjoy yourself is entirely down to you!

     Lastly, remember the rules of golf. Paricularly the 'play it as it lies' rule. Regardless of how good or bad a shot a golfer plays, how accurate or wayward it might be, the player is required to play his next shot from where the ball comes to rest. It may be a good lie or a bad one, but the ball must be played as it lies. Golfers accept this and play their game accordingly.

     Do likewise in life. Wherever your 'ball of life' lands, good, bad or indifferent, accept it in good spirit and get on with making the next effort. No whining, blaming or self pity. Concentrate on your recovery. It's the next shot that counts. Play it as it lies.  

 I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal.

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'PLAY IT AS IT LIES' is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
I hope you enjoyed this presentation and found it to be of value.
To learn more please visit me on my Author Page.
See you there! Regards, Tom.

© Copyright Joseph T.Riach 1998-present. All rights reserved.

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  • Top Commentor

    It's great to see you Tom. And always refreshing and motivational to read your writings. This is also a refresher from your books.  I'm not a fan of golf, but your description of it gives me a much better insight into the game and the lessons that come with it.   I've seen it from time to time, and I do remember that saying, to play the ball from it lies, and it stuck with me throughout my life.  I've even shared it with my children.  I think I will give them a refresher on that statement.  Because it's one that really sticks out, especially when you get that bad lie. 

    • Top Commentor

      Yes Robin, you don't need to play golf to appreciate lessons to be learned from the game. I know you have read about it before in my books but, as in all of life, a refresher never hurts! Be it golf, life generally or any particular endeavour in it, practice makes perfect!

  • Wonderful words of wisdom, Tom.  Thank you!  ~Lonnie

    • Top Commentor

      Lovely to hear from you Lonnie. I'm delighted to know you are here and, doubtless, living life to the full. Keep up the good work! :-)

  • Top Video Contributor

    When it comes to life, I guess that we have no choice but to play it where it lies, but we do have a choice in our response such as acceptance and in good spirits, perhaps, even being grateful.  Getting on with making our next effort is what matters.  Thank you, Tom, as usual, for a very enjoyable read and for including a marvelous lesson.

    • Top Commentor

      I've no doubt but that you are a 'play it as it lies' guy George, and all the better for it. What is there not to relish about fresh air, the exhileration of 'the shot' and the adventure of finding where it takes us next!

  • Top Member

    Fantastic as usual and a great lesson for all visitors who read this. Humility and patience go along way in your life. I had to work on both of them. In this world it's very hard to do, however you stated "Wherever your 'ball of life' lands, good, bad or indifferent, accept it in good spirit and get on with making the next effort. No whining, blaming or self pity. Concentrate on your recovery. It's the next shot that counts. Play it as it lies.You're on point my friend.

    • Top Commentor

      Thanks Terri and good to see that you are 'concentrating on your recovery'. Seems to me that you are well back in the swing!

    • Top Member

      Yes I am and all I want to do is stay healthy. 

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