Guest: Judy Penz Sheluk

Edith here, writing from my last morning on Cape Cod. The talented Judy Penz Sheluk has a new mystery out and I’m delighted to host her on the blog again.

Golf and Writing: Not So Different As You Might Think

AHoleinOneWhen I was in my late twenties, my mother bought me a set of inexpensive golf clubs for my birthday, hoping that I’d take up the game and play with her. Or maybe she hoped I’d meet a nice guy at the golf club, since I was still single (much to her chagrin).

Whatever the reason, I tried golf a handful of times, but with no natural ability, no money for lessons, and no eligible bachelors on the horizon, the clubs soon found their way into the back of my closet.

Fast-forward about ten years, I’m married (mother greatly relieved), living in a small town an hour+ north of Toronto with a lengthy commute to my job as Credit Manager, and seriously in need of a hobby and some local friends. As luck would have it, Silver Lakes Golf and Country Club was located a couple of miles from my house, and they had a Monday evening Ladies League geared to “women of all ages and abilities.” I dusted off my pink golf bag, wiped down my irons and woods, and signed up.Opening Day

Fortunately, the head pro put me with a threesome in need of a fourth player. In addition to being respectable golfers they were extremely patient— I was truly terrible that first year. But I took lessons, went to the practice range a couple of times a week, watched golf on TV, and gradually improved from dismal to not-quite-as-dismal. The following year, I won “Most Improved Golfer” — don’t get too impressed. When you’re routinely scoring “double par” (72 for nine holes; 72 is typically par for 18 holes), and find your way down to the low 60s, it’s easy to gain the title of Most Improved. But I’ve been encouraged by less.

Looking back at my golf and writing journey, I have to tell you that they have a lot in common. I started writing in high school (longer ago than I care to admit), fell away from it, and went back to it in 2002 when I signed up for a Creative Writing workshop. A couple of short stories published in 2003 encouraged me to take additional courses, including a Certificate program in Fiction Writing. But writing, like golf, is a lot more than lessons. It’s putting in the hours, trying different techniques and sometimes failing, but sometimes, succeeding, too. When I signed the contract for my first book, The Hanged Man’s Noose, with Barking Rain Press in July 2014, I felt as if I’d just been awarded Most Improved Writer.

My mother always told me to “never forget where I came from.” And so, I leave you with the opening paragraph of the Acknowledgements page in A Hole in One, my latest release, and the sequel to The Hanged Man’s Noose:

Hole 3The idea for A Hole In One first came to me while I was golfing. As a longtime ladies league member of the Silver Lakes Golf & Conference Centre in Holland Landing, Ontario (the inspiration for Lount’s Landing), it seemed only fitting to design the third hole of the Miakoda Falls Golf & Country Club based on the third hole at Silver Lakes (although I promise you, there are no dead bodies in their woods, nor does a trail run directly behind it).

So yeah. Golf and writing. Not so different as you might think.

Readers: Any golfers out there? Where is your favorite place to play? If not golf, what do you like to do for your dose of fresh air?

An Amazon international bestselling author, Judy Penz Sheluk is the author of two mystery series: The Glass Dolphin Mysteries (THE HANGED MAN’S NOOSE and A HOLE IN ONE) and The Marketville Mysteries (SKELETONS IN THE ATTIC). Her short crime fiction appears is included in several collejudy-penz-shelukers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she currently serves on the Board of Directors as the Regional Representative for Toronto/Southern Ontario. Find Judy on her website/blog at, where she interviews and showcases the works of other authors and blogs about the writing life. Find Judy’s books at all the usual suspects, including Amazon and Barking Rain Press.

19 Thoughts

  1. Hey, Judy! No golf, I just don’t have the patience (or money, around here) for it. But I have a spectacular view of the golf course across the street from my front porch. Does that count?

  2. Loved this, Judy! You brought back many happy memories of golf with my best friend in high school. She still plays and wins tournaments, but arthritis sidelined me decades ago. Looking forward to your book! –Kate, writing as C.T. Collier

  3. When I was very young (6/7/8) I had my own very small putter and used to follow my Dad around this golf course. It was not a Country club it was a place where you paid for the day and could golf all you wanted to. We took a picnic lunch and made a day of it. I do not golf now though.

  4. I can barely mini-golf. Although in high school we had golf during PE (swing and putting lessons) and the teacher pulled me out to have everyone watch my swing. Congratulations on the new book!

  5. One of our local churches has a labyrinth I walk about once a week (plus hanging out wash and doing yard work).

  6. To me, writing and golf are a natural connection. Work hard, play hard, and nobody knows except you how much time you put in to improve. lol I’ve written a few posts about bodies on the golf course and can’t wait to read your new book!

  7. When I was in Jr. High, my uncle bought lessons for himself, my grandfather, and me. I played a bit through highs school, even semi-joining my high school team my senior year, but my scores were always pretty much like yours. When my grandfather passed away, I took the used golf clubs he’d bought, but they just sit in my garage collecting dust.

    I run as training for mud runs and play ultimate Frisbee, so I do get out in the air. I’d love to play some golf, but I’m probably so rusty right now it would be funny. And there’s the money aspect of it, too.

    1. Yes, golf can be pricey for sure. I belong to a couple of leagues, so that helps. And I’m in Canada where we have 2 seasons: Winter and July. So our season is short. I couldn’t afford to do it year round.

  8. Welcome back, Judy! My family has always been divided between golf lovers and golf haters. I fall on the hater side. However, I do think your analogy works great. It’s all about putting in the time.

  9. I learned how to play golf when I was 11 or 12 mainly because my mother wanted me to be able to play with her and my sister, who also learned how to play at 12 or 13, supposedly because my mom was tired of my dad telling her how to play. 🙂
    I haven’t played in a good ten years. No time. My favorite course to play is Sankaty Head Golf Course on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. It’s true links golf, with rough up to your knees and needing someone to watch where your ball goes so you have some hope of finding it.
    It’s a private club that my parents were members of and now that they’ve passed, so did the membership (which is okay because I live nowhere near Nantucket).
    I also played with my mother at the golf course we lived near just outside of Houston. Quail Valley Golf Course. It’s a nice course. I always enjoyed playing it and I enjoy watching it on tv. I grade papers when it’s on. (Summer school!)
    My sister, by the way, had her eldest son learn how to play golf. He still does from time to time. Her two younger ones had other sports so, no time.
    Your analogy is a very good one. I struggle having enough to time to write but I do write FAR more often than I play golf.
    What else do I do for exercise. I teach. I rarely still down during the day.

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