Golf Advice from His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Illustration by Zack Causey

The flowing robes, the grace, bald. Striking.

In or around 1970, a young Carl Spackler had jumped ship in Hong Kong and found himself in the Himalayas, where, however improbably, he ended up caddying for the Dalai Lama. You can read the full account of this round as told by a young advisor to the Dalai Lama in The Bill Murray Issue of Whalebone Magazine. Here though, some of the tidbits from His Holiness that never quite made it into any golf guide.

Words of Wisdom from His Holiness the Dalai Lama

“The path through the rough is never obvious.”

“Always tip your ballgirl.”

“When you wear a robe with no pockets, a golf bag is a handy place to keep your golf keys.”

“Do not watch The Legend of Bagger of Vance unless it will bring joy to another.”

“The winner has the lowest score, but the loser has the most to gain.”

“Think long and patiently, considering your options carefully before challenging the green in two on the 10th at Montauk Downs.”

“Ask yourself, is a divot an imperfection, or has the hole always been there, waiting to exist?”

“Be the tee. Do not be the ball.”

“Material prosperity alone isn’t enough to sustain us.”

“Consider leaving the ball where it is and go have a cup of tea instead. You do not have to chase a cup of tea.”

“Keep your elbow straight on your backswing, and while following through, always keep in mind that there can be no peace as long as there is grinding poverty, social injustice, inequality, oppression, environmental degradation, and as long as the weak and small continue to be trodden by the mighty and powerful.”