This month is always close to my heart because it’s the month our Central Alabama Community College Golf Program begins the spring competitive schedule. February is the month that I was married. My ex-wife was leaning on Valentine’s Day as a choice for our wedding, but I thought that was a bit overboard. She knew how awful I was, especially back then, on remembering dates. I promised her I would not forget February 2. She questionably agreed, and we scheduled it. She had no idea that it was Groundhog’s Day. Possibly not the most romantic thing I ever did.

Aside from Groundhog’s Day, February is a month when we consider that spring is near and thoughts of love abound. When we think of love, we think of our heart. The word, heart, may have more idioms than any other word that comes to mind. In this month’s article, I will use some of these idioms with the word heart, give their meaning and how they may also apply to golf.

• A big heart: Said of someone kind and loving. In golf, this may be your wife, who allows you to go play a round of golf with your buddies on your wedding anniversary.

• Bare one’s heart: Share one’s feelings or thoughts. “If I ever 4-putt again, ever – I’m going to give my clubs away to the Salvation Army!”

• Break one’s heart: Cause someone emotional distress. "Yes, sir, this is the guy that can’t hit his ball out of his shadow but chips and putts like a bandit and always seems to win the money at the end of the round."

• Cross my heart: said as an oath to assert one's honesty. This term is usually heard from the guy who improved his lie in the fairway but will not admit to moving his golf ball. “I swear I did not touch that ball, cross my heart."

• Eat your heart out: Said mockingly to someone expressing the desire for them to suffer; usually facetious. "No question – this guy's ball bounced off of a rock in the penalty area, onto the green and ended 2 feet from the hole."

• From the heart: Said with sincerity. Having the chance to enjoy a round of golf with a friend whom you admire greatly. “From the heart, this was a great day.”

• Have one’s heart set on: Be obsessed with obtaining. “I had my heart set on playing with you to get my money back from the last time you stomped me.”

• Have one’s best interest at heart: Doing something for someone else's benefit. Giving up your normal day of playing golf with your friends to spend the day on the course with your kids.

• Heart goes out to: Said in regards to feeling sympathy for someone. “Yea, Jack had it going pretty well today until he hit those two tee shots out of bounds on No. 18. Poor guy still hasn’t broken 80 yet.”

• Heart is in the right place: Said of someone well-intentioned. “I am sorry I sneezed during your swing; this hay fever is driving me crazy. Do you want to hit another one?”

• Heart’s desire: What one wishes deeply for. Please, please Lord, please, let me make this 10-foot putt to shoot 79. I promise I will never miss a Sunday service again.

• Heart skips a beat: Said of someone excited, frightened or surprised. “Man, after I hit that golf ball from the woods and it bounced off that oak tree and was making a beeline at my head, my heart skipped a beat.”

• From the bottom of my heart: Said profoundly. “Brother, from the bottom of my heart, I would rather win $3 from you on the course than have Kim Bassinger kiss me square on the jaw.”

• Lose heart: To become discouraged. Now honestly, anyone who has played golf for any time at all, who has not been at the lose–heart position, has never tried very hard to improve.

• Heart bleeds for: One is sympathetic. “Haha, my heart bleeds for you brother; you 3-putted the 18th hole again. Haha, now give me the $5 you lost to me.”

• Heart sinks: One becomes discouraged. “I guess I would be down if I were you, too, Joe. That is the seventh ball you have hit in the lake today.”

• Put your heart into it: Do something with conviction or enthusiasm. “Billy, you’ve been my partner the last three rounds. If you don’t put your heart into it and get rid of that shank, I am never going to partner up with you again.”

This game is all about heart. If you want to get better, put your heart into it. If you don’t see improvement, don’t lose heart – seek help.

~Dave Jennings is the men's golf coach at Central Alabama Community College.