Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Driver is Nobody's Friend

"To thine own self be true."
-William Shakespeare

The following little tidbit is a story from a little while back. I meant to share this sooner but a little thing called "The Birth of My Child" got in the way. (Which actually isn't the real reason. Mostly, I was playing a lot of Bejeweled Blitz). But I think it's a tender little morsel to share as it clearly shows how I'm not the only one dealing with certain, shall we say, "obstacles," in this sport.

As you may recall, I have firmly committed to the idea of never using my driver off the tee. It is a big, mighty and awesome power that I am neither responsible nor skilled enough to wield. I've accepted this fact and I'm and cool with it. Even if it means that I am the subject of ridicule from all of my playing partners.

And yet, one cannot deny the results.

Yes my friends. It turns out that this little strategy of mine is actually starting to pay off. Now bear in mind that there are many facets to the game of golf that I can screw up so the improvements are not necessarily reflected in the "score." However, over the past few months, I've felt confident that I can put the ball in play 90% of the time using this philosophy.

And that's pretty damn good.

So good, in fact, that my idea actually started to gain a little bit of popularity. (You can't see it, but I'm giving you all a very smug expression right now.)

So a few months ago, I was playing a round with a friend of mine, a friend of said friend, and a miscellaneous fourth person that we were randomly paired with. As I proceeded to keep my driver in the bag on tee shot after tee shot, I could feel everyone's scorn and derision. I proudly announced that I had no intention of using my driver and they could silently chastise me all they wanted. (Or words to that effect).

But pretty soon, friend of said friend could actually see the method to my madness. He tacitly acknowledged that maybe, just maybe, this game would go a little bit smoother if you kept the ball, oh I don't bounds. Next thing you know, he's adopted my style and has put the driver away.

But then...we arrived at the 9th hole. And this is were friend of said friend could no longer stand up to the mockery of original friend and miscellaneous fourth person. I could see the shame in his eyes as he reluctantly grabbed his driver to tee off. (By the way, the 9th tee is one of the most unforgiving tee shots on the course).

Goodbye golf ball. 'Twas nice knowing ya'.

I wanted to give him that very specific, "I told you so" look. So I did. But at the same time, I understood his plight. Sure, hitting playable tee shots that don't fly 300 yards isn't very manly. Sure, it may seem a bit girlie. Sure, you're playing partners will point and laugh at you. But isn't it so much better to confidently do what you know you are capable of doing rather than awkwardly try something you know you can't do. You have to play to your strengths while working on improving your weaknesses.

As I like to say, "If it ain't horrifically damaged beyond complete and total recognition, don't fix it."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I Have Returned

"Every time I try to get out, they keep pulling me back in."
-Michael Corleone

So the world may be ending due to global warning but the good news is that it gives me more opportunities to suffer (I mean play golf). However, in this week's posting, I plan to catch you all up on a couple of changes that have occurred during my brief hiatus.

First and foremost, my wife and I had our first child on February 21. (Hold your applause) His name is Colin and he's only the most gorgeous baby I've ever seen in my life. (No, I am NOT biased).

And while I'm a very proud and dedicated new father, I am still a very ashamed and dedicated golf fanatic. Don't get me wrong. If I'm faced with the choice of feeding my child or playing a round of golf, I'm confident that my child would win. But at the same time, I can't just abandon all the hard work and lost golf balls that I've been putting into this sport over the past 10 plus years or so.

So with some expert planning and clever budgeting (bye bye new...well, anything), I will continue to make my way out to the links and conquer that bastion of evil I like to call Van Cortlandt.

Secondly, and I don't want to jinx this (which I just did), but before the last season ended, I was actually (lean in a little closer please. I don't want to say this too loudly) feeling pretty good about my swing. (You didn't hear that from me)

I'm just saying I may have to change the name of this blog to The Wildly Successful Golfer in the near future.

Mark my words.