Google+ Badge

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Buzzard Shadows

Sadly, I did not even come close to that perfect round today, although the weather was certainly perfect and I can't complain about the wind -- there wasn't any -- or the buzzard shadows overhead that distracted me at critical moments -- there weren't any of those either, although Tony Schuster has assured me that most of my flawed and failed shots are probably the result of dastardly distracting buzzard shadows.  But quite honestly, there weren't any buzzards overhead, lurking and waiting for exactly the right moment to float across my putting line.

I managed to eat what passes for breakfast and get to The Fort with enough time to hit a few ball on the driving range, enough to get my arthritic body turning into my shot without that screaming inner muscle resistance those of us who qualify as senior golfers know so well.  I started well, which is to say my tee shot made a perfectly lovely metallic pinging sound (as opposed to the dreaded dull thump) landed in the fairway a respectable distance from the tee box.  My second shot was a little left, but left me with an easy flop shot onto the green, and with a 2-putt I walked off the first green with a bogie.  That constitutes a satisfying start, for me.  Then another bogie on the 2nd hole, which I played for the most part in the right rough.  My putts were great, but my drive began to deteriorate on the 3rd hole.  What happened to that down-the-middle shot from the first tee?  A shot to the right on the 4th hole.  Again on the 5th hole.  Not following through -- my oldest and most persistent sin.

I think it's a fundamental character defect, not following through.  By the 6th hole I'd started inventorying all the ways I don't follow through -- on the tee box, vacuuming regularly, financial management, Christmas thank-you notes, remembering the birthdays of the people I love in time to get gifts and cards in the mail.  I'm convinced at this point that if I can consciously and consistently follow through on every tee shot, I may be able to correct all my other failures to follow through.  It's a state of mind.  "Finish what you start," my frustrated grandmother used to admonish as I glided from one project to the next.  Perhaps Tony is correct.  The problem lies with those pesky mythical buzzards floating overhead and around inside my head, just waiting for the opportune moment to distract me.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Why Golf?

At the risk of offending golf purists, I begin this blog with a simple core assertion: the game of golf is a flawless metaphor for life.  The corollary is, of course, that the lessons learned on the golf course perfectly parallel the lessons learned in a well-lived life.  And so, I begin.  I hope you'll enjoy and even join in from time-to-time on my voyage of discovery into the inner life of my golf game.

Let's be clear from the outset that I'm not a "serious" golfer.  I've never thrown a club into a pond or the woods and I've never finished a round wishing that I hadn't gone to the golf course that day.  I just don't take my golf game very seriously.  That may be because from the beginning of my relationship with the game of golf I've enjoyed the social dimension more than the technical aspects of the game.  That's not to say that I haven't (and don't) occasionally try to buy a good swing with a new club, or succumb to the seductive allure of the perfect golf ball that will automatically correct my problem de jour.  I confess to all kinds of etiquette breaches -- profanity (typically targeting missed putts), shirt not tucked in (pleading ease of swing), walking on another player's putt line (whoops) -- just to mention some of the more obvious and common offenses to the game's sensibilities.  Still, as with life in general, golf is a game that, when played with others, is most smoothly navigated  by some basic guidelines of civility.

I hope, as this journey with the game of golf unfolds, that you will feel free to share some of your own experiences, understandings, and insights, and that together we'll gain a clearer understanding of why we keep going back, week after week, beginning each round filled with hope and high optimism that this, today, will be our "perfect" round.