Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
You've all read my last blog post (The Approach), and now you're all bursting with anticipation. You're dying to know how my first round of the season went. Well my friends, it was not pretty. I fell well short of my goal of breaking 90. And as much as I'd love to give you a shot for shot retelling of the traumatic events, I will instead provide you with the major moments.
I'm always nervous on the first shot of the first hole of the season. Everyone's watching and I'm terrified that I'll hit a horrendous golf shot. Not only did I hit 1 horrendous golf shot, I actually hit 2 horrendous golf shots back-to-back. Dumped the first one out of bounds into the trees then dumped the second one even further out of bounds into the trees. A far cry from what I had been doing the day before on the practice range.
Eventually, I was able to improve from God-awful to below average. There were even a couple of semi-decent shots in there. Coupled of course with the, "I can't believe I just did that," shots.
But then a very interesting thing happened at the 15th hole. At this point, it was obvious that I wasn't going to reach my goal. Not even close to it. So I mentally gave up and ceased to care about what would happen. And you know what? I started to swing the club better. I started to hit better shots more consistently. I started to play like I had practiced.
So I guess the lesson is, you can practice and practice and practice all you want, but eventually, when you get out there, you've got to let go and trust it.
Final score: 109 (that's bad even for me)
Monday, May 9, 2011
If all goes well, and the weather behaves, tomorrow I will play my first round of golf of the season. I went to the driving range today to prepare for it and it felt pretty good. Using my confidence building strategy (see posting: The Mental Game) I shot a 95 on the first "round" and an 85 on the second. Both excellent scores that I would kill for on the real golf course. (Literally. I would actually kill another human being if I could score an 85 tomorrow.)
However, as the big day approaches I find that there is only one tiny little problem: I seem to be consumed with dread and terror about playing. And it really doesn't make any sense. Maybe I'll go out tomorrow and stink up the place. (Like that hasn't happened before.) As an actor, I've performed in front of hundreds of people on numerous occasions so going out and playing golf with a couple of strangers shouldn't be that difficult, right?
(Please note: the preceding sentence was not a shameless attempt at self-promotion for my acting talents. However, the next sentence definitely is.)
Check out my short film online. It's only three and a half minutes.
The biggest issue that scares me is that after all the practicing, all the drills, and all of the positive self-talk that I've given myself, I will still be as shitty as I always have been. Please Golf Gods, let me show a modicum of improvement and I won't ask for anything else until the next round.
Monday, May 2, 2011
~ George Brett
There more I get involved with this wretched sport, the more I learn things that I should have learned many years ago. It really is a shame that I've only recently stumbled across this wonderful concept known as the Pitch and Putt. Having finally experienced my first round of Pitch and Putt golf, I can truly say that it has opened my eyes. Perhaps even changed my life for the better.
For those of you who don't know about golf and only read this blog to laugh at my pain, allow me to explain. A Pitch and Putt golf course is an 18 hole golf course but the length of the course is significantly shorter. The longest distance from the tee box to the putting green on any hole is about 80 yards. On a normal golf course, a hole can be as long as 500 yards or more. (That's just crazy.)
I went the the Flushing Meadows Pitch and Putt course and, for the first time ever, was able to actually get the sense that I knew what I was doing. There was very little pressure. Since the holes were so short, I didn't have to swing very hard. As a result, the mistakes were drastically minimized. On the front 9, I shot 3 over par and I was seriously tempted to rename this blog "The Joy of Golf."
Then the back 9 happened. Need I continue?
Fine. Let's just say that it wasn't quite as fun. For some reason, the ball just wouldn't listen to me. It would go long, right, left, short. Everywhere except for where I wanted it to go. And it was extra frustrating because I actually felt that I knew what I was supposed to do. I just wasn't doing it.
Oddly enough, the Golf Gods threw me a bone at the very end. I hit a tee shot that I thought was horrible. I just miss hit it very badly. Guess where it ended up? About 4 inches from the flagstick. Tap in birdie. (Yeah, tell me about it.)
I guess I won't be changing the name of the blog anytime soon.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Dear Random Loud-Mouthed Golfer who I will have the misfortune of being paired with in the future,
I get it. I'm not that great of a golfer. I also get that when I am struggling on the course it's just very painful to watch. I get frustrated. I'm using all kinds of profane words. You can actually see my head swelling up as it's about to explode. It's not pretty. Believe me, I know.
I also get how, when you see me suffering like a wounded animal that you are moved to try to help me in any way that you can. It's only natural. You're a human being. You're not unsympathetic. In fact, you've been where I've been before and you're thinking that if you could just give me a few tips you would solve all of my golfing woes and lead me to the path of salvation.
Well sir, I appreciate your desire to help but please, pretty please, with sugar on top, shut the fuck up. Seriously, keep your pie-hole closed. You can't help me. You don't know how to. You can barely help yourself. (I saw you slice your ball into the trees. Don't think I didn't.) You are not a golf pro. Do you know how I know? Because golf pros don't give you any golf tips for free. They get paid a lot of money for their knowledge. Plus, they know how to teach.
One other thing, I realize that I am tall, but if I fail to get the ball into the air, please don't tell me that I need longer golf clubs. This is simply further evidence that you don't know what the hell you are talking about. I've been measured for golf clubs (by professionals) and have spent a pretty penny on them. They are the right size. End of story.
So please Mr. Potential Playing Partner, let's just keep a friendly distance. I'll play my way and you'll play your way. There's plenty of things we can talk about. The weather. Our wives. Our jobs. You know, bullshit. But let's avoid the awkward tensions that will inevitably occur when I shoot you my passive-aggressive death stare after you politely mention that I should keep my left arm straight.
Monday, April 18, 2011
I am a certified genius. Either that or it has taken me an incredibly long time to figure out something that people have already been doing for years. Whatever the case may be, I've come up with a little system that seems to have helped my confidence level a bit. (My skill level is another story but we won't go into at this juncture.)
I've created a game that I play on the driving range. What I do is I usually bring 3 clubs with me. A Driver, a 6-iron, and a 55-degree wedge. To me, these three clubs represent the three major areas where my game needs the most help: The long game, the middle game, and the short game. (Pretty much everything.) Then, as I step up to hit each shot, I imagine that I'm playing the Van Cortlandt golf course. A course that is very near and dear to my heart. Also, referred to as the bane of my existence.
Since I have a very vivid picture of how each hole on the golf course plays, (seeing as how I've been reliving them in my nightmares) I have a strong idea of where each shot would land on the actual course. So if I imagine I'm at the tee on the Par 5, 12th hole, and I hit the Driver AND I hit it dead straight and just crush it, I know that I'll have another 225 yards to the green. (Please stop laughing. It might happen.)
Then I'll bust out the 6-iron. Now on the actual course, I'd probably use a 4-iron or 5-iron, but I refuse to bring all of my clubs to the driving range. So if I hit a good 6-iron, I'll assume that it would have been good with the "correct" club.
Finally, I grab the wedge and pick one of the targets on the driving range. If I can hit a shot to within, say under 10 feet, I consider that a birdie. Anything around 20 feet is a par. And anything over 20 feet, well that's a par as well. (Remember, this is a confidence building exercise. Don't judge me.) Basically, I assume that I'll two-putt everything.
I admit that I am completely honest with this system. (For the most part). I mean if I imagine I'm on the tee at the 9th hole and I hit a horrible slice, I can't pretend that the ball wouldn't have sailed out of bounds and somewhere into the land of Narnia. However, on the 4th hole, a slice is not bad because it would end up on the 5th fairway. I do take penalty strokes and I assume that if I had to lay up that it would have been successful. Hey, those are the rules. I just make them up and then follow them.
So with this system, I have consistently broken 90 at Van Cortlandt. Which is nowhere near any actual facts. But I can dream can't I? And who knows. Maybe one day, the dream will become a reality.
Monday, April 11, 2011
"It took me seventeen years to get 3,000 hits in baseball. I did it in one afternoon on the golf course."
Normally, I like to reserve my postings for my own personal atrocities that I commit while playing golf. However, this was a huge weekend for the golf fans and I would be remiss in failing to address it in any way. And what an amazing weekend it was! It truly was anybody's to win. At least 6 guys were in contention to win it all coming down the stretch.
Yet, I don't want to get into all of that. There are far more qualified sportswriters who will recount the tales of heroism among the world's finest golfers. I will instead address the unfortunate circumstances that befell Rory Mcllroy.
For those of you who don't know, Rory Mcllroy is a ridiculously young professional golfer who was leading in the Masters from the very first day all the way up to the the back nine on Sunday. Then things went horribly, horribly wrong. On the 10th hole, if I'm not mistaken, he hit a tee shot that landed somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. And then things just went from bad to worse. It really was painful to watch.
My point in mentioning this golf tragedy is not to disparage Mr. Mcllroy in any way. In fact, I'm pointing this out to reveal how much that I share in his pain. While I've never been leading in the Masters (or anything golf related for that matter), I've certainly known the feeling of being powerless to stop a catastrophic free fall.
But what I learned from this remarkable young man was that it can happen to anybody at anytime. Even the professionals. And there are many ways to deal with it. Rory Mcllroy chose to deal with it by grinding it out, keeping up the good fight, and looking forward to the next opportunity to apply what he learned from the situation.
I, on the other hand, choose to swear. A LOT.
His way might be better.