Retiree Shares Lessons From Pro Golf Quest

JACKSONVILLE, FL--(Marketwire - Nov 1, 2011) - When Keith Gockenbach went on a quest to join the Champions Golf Tour, he learned as much about life as he did about golf. His new book, "Inside, Outside and On The Ropes" (, includes plenty of war stories from PGA Q-Schools and competing in tournament qualifiers, as well as the life -- and golf -- lessons learned.

His tips on how to play life "from the pro tees" include:

  • If you don't enter, you can't win -- I know this sounds simple, but it's easy to be stopped by the daunting odds that face a pro every week, trying to get on the Champions Tour. You can apply the same logic at work. Make the extra sales call at that plant you've driven by a dozen times. It's the one the previous salesman said, "Don't bother with them; they've never ordered a thing."

  • The greatest regrets in life are for things you didn't do, not the things you did and did poorly -- People usually regret stopping after only a few piano lessons a lot more than spending two years on the lessons and never becoming very good. I know it's true for me. I quit piano lessons at age 13 after only three visits to the local teacher. I've regretted it every time I see someone who can play the piano competently. It's the dreams we didn't chase that we regret.

  • Every stroke counts -- I know from playing in the qualifiers that one shot here or there can make the difference between qualifying and going home empty. A good attitude and focus for every shot takes less than a minute each. Life works the same way. When you're driving a car, focus on your safe driving. Take the extra two seconds to learn the secretary's name and sincerely thank her when she gets you that appointment with her boss. Every interaction in life deserves a positive approach and relaxed focus. It's a good habit to develop.

About Keith Gockenbach

Keith Gockenbach grew up playing golf in Robinson, Ill., and caddying for Bob Goalby and other pros in the PGA Tour's Robinson Open. He was the top chemical engineering graduate in Clemson's class of 1977 before joining Eastman Chemical Co. He obtained his MBA at MIT. Gockenbach "retired" in 2004 to chase his dream.

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Ginny Grimsley