Monday, August 29, 2011

Glutton For Punishment

Golf is assuredly a mystifying game. It would seem that if a person has hit a golf ball correctly a thousand times, he should be able to duplicate the performance at will. But such is certainly not the case.
- Bobby Jones

Now that things have settled down a bit on the acting front, I've been able to dedicate more time to my futile efforts on the golf course. This week's posting will reaffirm the age-old adage, "There's more than one way to skin a cat."

Last Monday, I headed out to the course with fairly low expectations. I hadn't played in a while and I was bound to be rusty. At the same time, screw that. I've dedicated a lot of time, energy, and money, to getting this thing right so I should have seen some improvement, right?

Well, as a matter of fact I did. There was quite a bit of improvement on the long and middle game. However, the short game left a little something to be desired. (i.e. It sucked donkey anus). I just couldn't get it together and I couldn't figure out why. I spent so much time (and money, don't forget money) on working on my chipping and had nothing to show for it. And then the putting was just out of whack. But that was probably attributed to the fact that I had very difficult putts after those horrible chip shots.

But then a miracle! Right at the final hole I realized the error of my ways. I was gripping the club a little off. Not by much, but enough to throw everything else out of whack. It took 18 holes but I finally nailed it.

Final Score: 100

It then occurred to me that if I had solved the riddle of the chip shot sooner, I would have reached my goal of breaking 90 very easily. Very, very easily. I had no choice but to venture out again the next day.

Tuesday was a beautiful day for golf. The sun was shining and I was feeling very confident. Again, I got off to a pretty good start. I made mistakes. But I accepted that mistakes were going to happen and I didn't allow those mistakes to create more mistakes. Long game was good. Middle game was okay. Had I hit the ball just a little bit better, mediocre shots would have been great shots. But I couldn't complain.

Short game was solid. In fact, I even chipped in from the rough to save par on 9.

Oh, this was going to be my day. This was DEFINITELY going to be my day. There was absolutely NOTHING that could have possibly gone wrong at this point. Honestly, that last few holes were really just a formality. Victory was in my grasp.

Except for the dreaded 14th hole. God, I hate that hole. And it hates me too, I just know it. Suffice it to say, I made a mess of that hole. Then went on to make a mess out of the 15th hole. Then the 17th hole. And finally, a hot flaming ball of mess on the 18th hole. The best way to sum up what went wrong was that the mistakes I made on those holes were not major mistakes, they were just the worst possible mistakes to make on those particular holes. It was as if someone had secretly stuck an "out of bounds magnet" on to all of my golf balls. (Investigation pending)

Final score: 100. Like I said, there's more than one way to skin a cat.

Oh well, I guess we are who we are and it's not very easy to change that. But I continue to hold out hope. I know that I have the knowledge and the skill to perform each individual shot at a decent level of competency. One day (hopefully soon) I will be able to put them all together for one good round of golf.

Okay maybe a decent round of golf.

Average round?

Non-Soul Smothering.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back in the Saddle

"It is nevertheless a game of considerable passion, either of the explosive type, or that which burns inwardly and sears the soul. "
- Bobby Jones

As my shows enter their final performances, I was finally able to make time to head out to the golf course again. And for a while, it actually felt pretty good to be out there again. But things hit a slight snag (More on that later). However, when it was all said and done, I felt that I was in decent place to build from.

The main thing to keep in mind is that when you take so much time off, and you don't have the opportunity to warm up (which is a flaw about Van Cortlandt that I've mentioned in the past) you are allowed (or should be allowed anyway) to take certain liberties in order to compensate for the rather unfair disadvantages that the situation presents to you. To put it bluntly, you cheat.

The first shot I hit, dribbled pathetically about 75 yards in front of the tee. The starter and my playing partner encouraged me to hit another one. It was a pretty slow day and that was a pretty bad shot. At first I decided against it, but since my partner hit a second one, I decided to as well. The second one was significantly better.

I referred to the first shot as a "Breakfast Ball." This is basically an officially unofficial rule that allows you to ignore your first shot and have a "Do-Over." Because we're all 10-year-old kids for some reason when we play golf.

The rest of the day actually went pretty well and I was on pace to reach my goal. However, I realized that when you take that much time off, physical and mental fatigue becomes a very big factor and I pretty much hit the wall at the 16th hole (Oh, so close).

I won't bore you with the details but suffice it so say, it is not customary, nor are you "allowed" at any point to pick up the golf ball with your hand and throw it into play. No matter how deep in the woods your golf ball lands. At the very least you should be assessed a penalty stroke.

So, that's where I am now. Hopefully the weather will clear up and I'll be able to head out again this week.