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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Finding My Mental Beast: Road Trip Update

I lost my match today, but that's not the story.  I found my mental beast!  I actually summoned my mental beast, and the summoning worked!

Here's what happened.  I've struggled for 2 days with the par 3s.  I've never had to deal with par 3s like these.  All of them have all kinds of marshy and woodsy lateral hazards and funky sloping, undulating, elevated greens.  They've been getting the best of me.  I'm embarrassed to share my scores with you, but we all know there's no picking up in a tournament.  So I've been finishing the holes and watching my score go uppity up up.

Barb and Shirley did sports therapy with me last night.  Today was a different story. I don't know what part their therapy played and what part CoachDayne played and what part Darrell Williams played, but I underwent a transformation standing on the first par 3 tee box.  It was the easiest one -- a simple straightforward 78 yard shot from the tee to a slightly elevated green.  No reason to be distracted by the wet, marshy stuff on the right or the waste area between the green and the wet, marshy stuff.  Over the past two days I've visited all these areas.  Today I went directly to the green.  I used the same 7 iron that I used yesterday and the day before.  I used the same kind of ball.  I wore the same shoes.  Nothing on the outside was different.  Barb and Shirley and CoachDayne and Darrell and I just walked up on the green, teed up the ball, took a gentle little swing, and then looked up in time to see if land on the front edge of the green and roll, roll, roll up toward the cup.  Nothing to it.

The next par 3 is worse.  In addition to the marshy wet stuff that curls in from of the tee box and then forms a lateral hazard that runs from the tee box to the very elevated green, the approach to the green is sort of rotated to the left at about a 30 degree angle to the tee box.  The "straight" shot from the tee box sort of ends up in a bunker.  For two days I've been avoiding the bunker by sending ball after ball into the wet marshy area.  I considered, and I attempted, to make a short shot to the left, but everything kept going right.  Today my first ball went into the marshy wet stuff, like always.  I stalked back to the cart, ripped open a sleeve of balls Barb had given me before I left for the course, took one out, brought it up to eye level, growled at it, and told it, Ok you sorry little sap sucker.  This it it.  The party's over.  Stop the shit and get on the green.  (I cleaned this up a little bit for Shirley.)  The ball got on the green.

Again, same club, same shoes, same type of ball.  Again, nothing on the outside was different.  But I was feeling the roar of a wild animal down in my gut.

The third par 3 is still worse than the second.  There's more wet marshy stuff, most of it between the tee box and a very elevated green.  The right side of the little 125 yard distance up to the green is another lateral hazard, this one a woodsy area that I KNOW is infested with snakes and other undesirables.  I had donated several balls to the woodsy hazard over the last 3 days and didn't want to give up another one, so I went back to the cart, got Barb's special ball, summoned Barb, Shirley, CoachDayne and Darrell, teed up my ball, snarled get your ass up on that green, and took my shot.  The ball flew straight, soared over the wet marshy stuff, and landed on the green just in front of the pin.  I didn't care that it rolled past the pin, to the top of the green, and glided into a shallow bunker.  I just didn't care.  I'd accomplished what I'd intended.  My beast war roaring.

I think this may have been the first time in my golfing career that I've actually been in charge of the ball rather than turning the fate of my ball over to the golf gods!  It's an amazingly powerful feeling, making the connection with the beast inside me.  I can hardly wait to tee off in the morning!