The next Hosel and Ferrule book is coming…

Being the father of a junior golfer means that I have less time to dedicate to the blog and other creative endeavors during the height of golf season. Now that school is in session and golf is saved for late-afternoons and weekends I can get back to work.

My next book, DADDYSHACK, is a hysterical comedy about what it’s like to participate in organized junior golf competitions and how easy it is to lose your cool, your mind and your self-respect.

DADDYSHACK is geared towards teenagers and adult readers and will have something for everyone who enjoys the game of golf.

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The Puddle Club – behind the imagination of Michael McGruther

Creative writing is one of the more mysterious (and difficult) crafts for many to learn.

The idea of sitting down, staring at a blank page and bringing it to life with words, arranged in such a way that draws the reader into an emotional journey — is incredibly daunting and the process of writing is different from person to person.

In the next few blog posts I am going to reverse engineer The Puddle Club and take you on my writer’s journey within the journey so that I can share my process with you.

In order for this to make sense you should go back to the first Puddle Club posts by clicking HERE. Once you’re caught up, come back to this page.

The premise and the real world collided in my mind when I first noticed my own reflection in a puddle and realized that PUDDLE THEORY applied to me in the writing of this book as well as being a central theme in the story.

For the longest time I would talk about my secret desire to write books instead of screenplays. I would flirt with writing a book but never truly went for it until I decided to write The Puddle Club after my walk on that damp spring morning.

It was time for me to stop talking and start doing. I needed to jump right in and follow through on a dream I’ve had for a long time. I’m experienced enough to know that process over outcome would save me from losing focus — so I began to tell my story, projected onto the hero, who is based upon my daughter in real life – the same girl I have been teaching these hard-leaned life lessons since her birth.

Jumping in…

Skyler, the book’s hero, travels through a puddle and lands somewhere in a mystical golf course.  I started to connect the plot to real life locations I knew from walking my dogs around my home course.

What you see below is the 9th hole tee box at Applecross Country Club. I liked this hole because it is a very long par 5 and really is made of “rolling hills of green” If you knew nothing about golf (like Skyler) you would not know this was a golf course if you were magically transported to this spot.

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After Skyler lands in the general area of the image above – she is naturally curious about where she is. The question in her head (if I’ve done my job right so far) is the same as the question in the reader’s mind and that is the perfect moment to create more questions that need to be answered by the hero, who in turn answers the reader’s questions.

The only structure Skyler can see is a shed that sits at the top of a winding trail. In the book the shed is more rustic and has smoke coming from a chimney to signal to her that someone is there. In real life this is the grounds-keepers shed where he stores all of the golf course maintenance equipment.

Skyler starts walking to the shed. Along the way she meets Ralphie the talking golf ball. In my next post I’ll show you the exact spot where Ralphie was found.

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The story behind The Puddle Club – Part 7 – Play with a Purpose!

If you’ve been reading this blog you know that The Puddle Club book is a fantasy tale about how golf and life are similar. It vividly shows young folks that the tools they first learn to use in golf are again used in life.

Golf is a game and so is life.

You cannot beat Golf and you cannot beat Life. Both require one seemingly simple gesture – you must play. There are really just two ways to play — you can Play to Get By or you can Play with a Purpose.

You know folks who Play to Get By — you can tell who they are because they never do more than is required, never face the danger of the unknown, and are always making big plans that just need more time before they’re ready to execute. They secretly enjoy being in the safe space known as the bench. Most folks postpone Playing with a Purpose because they don’t feel or believe that they are ready.

This is a lie. What they really lack is an understanding of process, it’s supreme importance at the start of any action and how to develop one of their own.

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You know folks who Play with a Purpose – you can tell who they are by their willingness to jump right in and get dirty, do more than is required, and never take their eyes off the ball (goal). They don’t judge themselves for their mistakes along the way because mistakes show you where to adjust your PROCESS.

Playing with a Purpose can be boiled down to simply focusing on the process needed to move forward and constantly adjusting according to what the situation requires.

Purposeful players reap most of life’s greatest rewards as a symptom of their effort. That chance meeting that changed your life? It’s a symptom of process. That book that “found you” and contained in it just the information you needed at that moment? It’s a symptom of process.

LUCK is a symptom of process.

What kind of a player are you?

The story behind The Puddle Club – Part 6 – PERSONAL PAR

One of the big ideas we present to readers in The Puddle Club is something called “Personal Par”

Most folks understand what par means in golf — Par is the number of strokes (hits) it should take you to get your ball from the tee box into the hole.  Each tee box has a marker nearby that tells you what the par is. A par 4 means it should take 4 hits, par 3 means 3 hits, etc. Par is the same for every golfer and never changes. The only thing that is variable is the tee box itself. Most golf courses have three that are set at different distances from the hole. The par remains the same.

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Personal Par is a little different. Personal Par is the number of tries it takes you to reach a goal in life. You’ve set the goal, now you must work towards that goal. Someone who reaches the goal quickly has a low personal par for that achievement. Someone who takes more time and has a longer journey has a high personal par.

A high personal par is not negative!

Instead it just means the journey may take longer and be more interesting. The real important part to remember is that the journey is what matters most, not the result. You will win some and lose some but nothing happens if you don’t get moving towards your goal.

Every human being has a fluctuating personal par that is low or high, depending on the situation, skill set and obstacles. The exciting thing is that over time you can bring your personal par down by mastering the skills needed to reach your goal.

So what are you waiting for?

Set goals and begin your journey because winning and losing are just PAR FOR THE COURSE in the game of life.

The story behind The Puddle Club – Part 5 – Game Of Life First

     Today I’m going to go over the underlying theme of The Puddle Club and briefly examine why the book is resonating so deeply with readers of all ages.

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How many times have you heard the expression “life is just a game”? I’m guessing quite a few, because it’s one of the truest of truisms that everyone hears but few adhere to.

Instead, most folks adhere to Practiceopolis, which coaxes one into a perpetual training-mode for the game of life, while masquerading as the playing field itself. Practiceopolis is a defeatest state-of-mind and entire industries have been created to cater to those under it’s spell.

This is a trap. It removes the danger and dangles the life-changing journey before you like a carrot on a stick. Someday you’ll be ready…but not now, so why try?

The true game of life is played out on the wide-open fairways of possibility, the rolling hills of uncertainty, the sandy pits of doom and the seemingly dead-end of losing it all.

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Sometimes losing it all is what it takes to make you see clearly again.

The fundamental key to the game of life is simply to play though every situation as the temporary challenge that it is.  Move from one hole to the next. It matters more that you dig in and play than if you win. Winning is a symptom of playing with a purpose and always giving your best effort.

Folks who are in this “fully alive” state, all know the game, their purpose, and most importantly, how to play through to the best of their own abilities. The other part of maintaining this positive state-of-mind is to always be on the lookout for your inner Gollum. The temptation to stop playing and instead protect your “precious” is ever present and removes one from the game entirely.

This theme of knowing yourself and playing through accordingly is what makes The Puddle Club the enduring book that it is becoming.

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