Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Power of not giving a $%*!

"Mr. McGee don't make me angry.  You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
-David Banner, The Incredible Hulk TV Series
(And before any of you nerds try to correct me, yes I am aware that his name his Bruce Banner in the comic book but it's David in the TV series.)


The last time I went out, I wasn't able to play at my usual time.  I typically like to go on the early side.  Have a nice breakfast. Some coffee.  And then I'm fully relaxed knowing that I have the whole day to just stink it up on the golf course.  But this time, I wasn't able to go out until the late afternoon, a.k.a. Twilight.

The great thing about Twilight is that it is much cheaper.  But of course that discount comes at a price.  There's a very good chance that you won't get to play the entire course before it gets dark.  As a result, the pressure is mounting and it's a...RACE AGAINST TIME!!

Normally, I'm a fair-minded man.  I observe the etiquette of golf.  For instance, I would never tread on my playing partner's putting line.  That's just gauche.  But in a...RACE AGAINST TIME...all bets are off.

I was playing by myself and I had a golf cart.  (Seriously, what is anybody trying to prove by walking the course.)  After the 1st hole, I noticed a threesome of teenagers who, not only sucked, but were WALKING!  (How dare they!)  So I jumped them to go to the 3rd hole.  No luck there.  Turned out everybody showed up exactly 20 minutes before I did.  So I jumped to the 8th hole.  Played that one but then got stuck behind ANOTHER threesome of walking teenagers.  (I think there was a convention.)  Decided to tough it out until the 11th hole.  Then jumped back to play 3 through 7 and finally jumped to the 12th hole and played the rest of the way from there.

Sound confusing?  It should.  In fact, I'm not even sure how relevant any of that was.  The only point to get from it was that I was getting angrier and angrier as I encountered each obstacle.  And as everyone knows, the angrier you get, the better golf you play.  (Oh wait, no.  The complete opposite is true.)

So in the midst of all that jumping around, I managed to make Par on the 7th hole and make a complete and total mess of all the others while losing golf ball after golf ball.  (Did I mention that I was getting angry?)

Finally, I just said, "Fuck it.  I'm not keeping score anymore."  Now I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I magically started playing better.  I mean, this isn't one of those "Feel good movies from the '80s."  But I DID learn something from my little experiment.

Because I was so incredibly furious AND no longer concerned about the score, I just started to crank it up and try to hit the ball as hard as I possibly could.  And that felt REALLY good.  And when I hit a good shot, the ball would fly way farther than when I was using my "Old Man Swing."  And that also felt REALLY, REALLY good.

But the real lesson was this: Since I clearly didn't care about anything else, I kept my focus on one simple target.  I kept my eye on one spot of the ball and let go of everything else.  And regardless of what the result was, I felt good about what I was doing because my intentions were so clear.

The resulting shots were often...sporadic.  But the intentions...they were vivid.  And as long as you have clear intentions, then sometimes things work out even better than you expected.

Ain't nothing wrong with that.