I just read an awesome book about golf and its parallel to life. “Golf Positive, Live Positive” by LPGA member Debbie O’Connell was recently published.

Throughout the book, O’Connell gives tips on how to succeed on the golf course and how living with a positive attitude will affect not only your golf game, but also your life in general.

To succeed you must ask quality questions and be open-minded enough to benefit from the answers.

Consider your desired outcome, and think about the coaches and mentors you need to surround yourself with in order to succeed.

When it comes to golf, you need to set realistic goals and have a golf professional who can help you meet these goals.

It is very important to be specific with your goals.

When I interview a student during their first lesson, I will ask, “What are your golf goals?” If I get an answer like, “I just don’t want to embarrass myself on the golf course,” then I know that I need to help this person become more positive and to set goals that are specific, measurable and attainable.

It is important to surround yourself with positive people. They can handle stress, challenges and adversity with gratitude. Being around negative people creates frustration and greater stress. Negative people bring you down.

Play golf with people who are fun and positive. If you are playing with people who complain about the course, the weather and pace of play, you will play poorer golf.

How you talk to yourself on the golf course is so important. You must talk to yourself like a coach and a friend. The language you use is critical. When approaching a difficult hole, think of it as a challenge and if you land in a bunker, say to yourself, “this is an opportunity to work on my bunker game.”

Always focus on your goal and not the obstacle. Focus on where you are going and remember that the ball is not the target. You have a golf swing not a golf hit. Thus, in golf and in life the follow through is important.

Finally, your body language is essential. Always walk to your golf ball with your chin up, shoulders back and chest up. Arms need to be at your sides swinging or behind your head, and not across your chest. As you walk, think about happy times, and smile before you hit the ball.

I recommend reading O’Connell’s book not only for your golf game but also to help you with positive thinking in all areas of your life.

Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at Brown Golf Management courses. jean.golfdoctor.harris @gmail.com; www.golfdoctorjean.com