Sunday, October 23, 2011

R.I.P. Lucky Golf Ball

"He was my friend. Faithful and just to me. But Brutus says he was ambitious. And Brutus is an honorable man."
-Mark Antony, Julius Caeser

My apologies for slacking on the blog posts. Two weeks ago was my first wedding anniversary. I'm sure you can all understand taking that week off from blogging.

Last week, I was simply too busy playing Fruit Ninja. That game is sick.

OK, moving on.

So a couple of weeks ago, I decided to make a MASSIVE attitude change to my golf game. As you may recall, I have given up on the idea of using the driver (Re: The Driver is Not My Friend.) In brief, a big club plus a hard swing = ball go "Bye Bye." I decided to take this approach to the next level by slowing my swing down even further. Down to a 90 year old man pace. And when you're 6'7" tall, about 225 pounds, and swinging the club that slowly, your manhood will be questioned.

But I found my inner peace and stuck to the game plan for the entire round. The bad news was, my score didn't really improve. The good news was, I didn't lose a single golf ball.

Hooray accomplishments!

But as you can tell by the title of the blog post, it was a short-lived celebration.

The following week, I lost that lucky golf ball on the 13th hole. But here's the kicker: My thought right before I lost that ball was, "I can't believe I haven't lost this golf ball. If I keep this up, I will do really well today."

The real question is, WHY DO I SAY OR THINK ANYTHING, EVER?

Of course, I immediately dumped that tee shot into the pond. I then went on to the 14th hole and dumped THAT tee shot somewhere in the Merry Old Land of Oz.

But rather than beat myself up any further, let's take a moment to reflect on the good times that we had together. It was a Pinnacle Gold. I actually found it on the golf course a couple of weeks before. Lost and alone. Abandoned by another golfer who was probably as bad as I am. He was a good friend and he will be missed.

Now I know why Tom Hanks was so upset about that volleyball in Castaway.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Meltdown Hole

They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that.
~Gardner Dickinson

Although it has never been reflected in my score, I have a very specific strategy for approaching the golf course and even being successful on it. However, I've always been thwarted time and time again. Now, the obvious reason is poor play and I'm not really in a position to argue the contrary. However, I think it does get slightly more involved than that.

You see, the Van Cortlandt golf course is a Par 70 course, i.e, if you're a really good golfer, you will complete the course in 70 shots. My goal has always been to finish in under 95 shots. (Which I did once, miraculously, a long long time ago.)

Now, my plan has always been that if I shot a bogey (1 over par) on each hole, I would score an 88. (18 holes, 1 over at each hole, 70 + 18 = 88...Still with me?) Well, that's not going to happen any time soon. However, it does give me a 7 shot "cushion" to allow me to reach my goal even if I make a few additional mistakes.

Believe it or not, when I typically play a round of golf, I'm able to maintain this scoring average for a majority of the holes. Naturally, I make a couple of mistakes here and there but I also actually make some very impressive shots. Things tend to go on fairly nicely. Not great, but nicely.

But then...there is the dreaded "MELTDOWN HOLE!!!!" It is inevitable. Sometimes it happens early. Sometimes it happens late. Many times, it happens more that once. But it's going to happen. Oh, believe me, it's going to happen.

If you haven't guessed by now, the Meltdown Hole is the hole on the golf course where everything turns shall I say?...shit. For some reason, whatever I was doing up to that point is just IMPOSSIBLE to recreate. I'll keep hitting the ball left, or right, or can't get the ball in the air. No matter what the issue of the day is, it will creep up for 1 (or 2) hole(s) and ruin any hopes I had of reaching my goal.

Sucks right?

But then again, there's always that lesson that I need to take away from those moments. Golf is a game of adjustments. If something's not working, you have to address it and fix it immediately. One bad shot can't mean the end of the world. Otherwise, I get all upset, start cursing and threatening people, and (worst of all) continue to hit even worse shots.

Let go of past mistakes and deal with the moment. Even if that past mistake was 5 minutes ago.