Thoughtful Thursday: The long wait is almost over

When the UK went into lockdown once again shortly after Christmas 2020, I knew I was going to be in for a tough few months.

No coaching meant no income. Not something I was particularly looking forward to. It would have been all too easy to find reasons not to do anything at all but my mind is far less capable of that than I thought. Rather than sit at home feeling sorry for myself, I decided to do something constructive.

Having previously co-written ‘The Lost Art Of Putting’ and ‘The Lost Art Of Playing Golf’ with my good friend Karl Morris, who I firmly believe has one of the best minds in the golf world, we decided to put pen to paper once again.

It was always our intention to write a third book in the Lost Art series and lockdown provided us with the perfect opportunity to dust off our respective laptops and get our thinking caps on one more time. 

When we launched The Lost Art Of Putting at The Scottish Open with the help of 1999 Open Champion Pail Lawrie, who very kindly wrote the foreword, we had no idea if we would actually sell a single copy. In fact, we joked that if we didn’t sell any, at least we would have a very nice, but expensive, business card!

Thankfully we needn’t have worried. Both books have achieved sales way beyond our expectations. More importantly, judging by all the positive feedback we have received, our thoughts and ideas appear to have resonated with golfers around the world.

5-star reviews on Amazon along with hundreds of emails, messages on social media as well as in person, from golfers of all standards from weekend warriors to Tour Pros competing at the highest level, suggested we might just be on to something. That alone was sufficient motivation for Karl and I to get started on “The Lost Art Of The Short Game”. 

Much of January was spent racking our brains and scribbling in notepads. Countless hours of research and speaking to various industry experts helped fill the days which passed way quicker than I had anticipated, which was a real bonus.

We got in touch with a number of people we have the utmost respect for to ask if they would be interested in writing a piece as guest contributors. Thankfully they all said yes and their contributions are all exceptional. I don’t want to give too much away at this point, you will have to buy the book to find out who they are, but we are eternally grateful to everyone who took the time to help us put together what we believe to be our best work yet.

Our initial time frame for the first draft to be completed was by the end of March, which at the time seemed ambitious but achievable. We just about managed that and only missed our self-imposed ‘deadline’ by a few days. I remember thinking that the hard work was over at this point. It’s amazing how quickly I ‘forgot’ that writing the first draft was actually the easy part. The hard work was just about to begin!

I have lost count of the number of times I have re-read and proofread every single word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter looking for mistakes and inconsistencies. Proofreading has to be one of the most difficult things I have ever done. 

What makes it so difficult? It works kind of like this. You set out to highlight and amend grammatical errors and typos. You aim to pick up on a lack of or excessive punctuation and correct those mistakes accordingly. Sounds simple enough but the reality is that you start reading a sentence and your brain says ‘I know what is coming next, I wrote it after all’ and before you know it, you have read three paragraphs, then three pages and you think this is actually pretty good, then suddenly you realise you haven’t been paying the slightest bit of attention to what you should be looking for. Frustrating? Extremely! You have to retrace your steps and start all over again. 

At this point, we realised the best thing to do was to let go, for the time being at least, and hand it over to others to cast a critical eye over our work. 
The first draft became a second and third draft before sending it on to our editor for his thoughts.

In the meantime, we also had to approve illustrations, which we are delighted with, along with cover designs for both the book and a box set of ‘The Lost Art Of Golf Collection’.

After much deliberation and seeking the opinions of people we trust, covers were finally agreed upon and approved before being sent off to the printers to bring our musings to life in the form of books and dust jackets.

What started out as a project to prevent us from climbing the walls during lockdown, is now about to become a reality. We have been informed that we should have books in our hands by or on Monday, October 11. At last, the long wait is almost over and we cannot wait to see, hold and read what has been yet another labour of love.

It is always very satisfying to see all your hard work actually morph into something tangible and we cannot wait to share what we have put together with golfers around the world.

Please check out – – for updates and how to order. We are also updating the Amazon pages of all three books where they are available in hardback and Kindle versions.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on ‘The Lost Art Of The Short Game. Discover what is truly possible for YOU around the greens.’

Until next time, appreciate the opportunity to further your golf education and put it into practice on the golf course.

All the best,
Gary Nicol