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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Golfing Road Trip: What Was I Thinking When I Said Yes?

I thought it was a good idea in February when Barb and Shirley asked me if I wanted to participate in the SCWGA Match Play Championship.  A week at the beach in June always sounds good in February.  So I sent in my tournament registration fee and paid my part of a beach house rental and put the event on my calendar.
Sanctuary Golf Club, Beaufort, South Carolina

Now the road trip and the tournament are upon me.  I'm not ready.

I didn't know my game was going to fall apart, that I'd forget how to grip the clubs, that I'd start bobbing my head when I putt, and peeking at the ball out of my left eye, so I could watch it veer to the right just before it dropped into the cup on every putt I attempted, even the little 18-inchers, and that I'd lose my 100-yard shot about half-way through my Saturday round on my home course.

I asked Barb what to do -- she's my unwilling golf guru when Tony isn't available.  "If I knew what's happened to my 100-yard shot I could probably be more helpful," she growled while she swilled her post-round adult beverage.

I've learned that if I don't bite when she tosses out the bait, I'll eventually get some guidance, so I just looked her down and waited.  It worked.

"You've gotten nervous again, and when you get nervous you decelerate your swing," pause for a sip of beverage, "and when you decelerate your ball goes to the right.  Right?" Another sip.

I nodded.

"So pick your club, have faith in your club, take your swing, follow through," pause for another sip, "and hope."

How many times will Barb and I have this conversation before I'm able to remember it by myself?

I had forgotten, when we made our plans in the depths of February, how humid June in South Carolina can be, raised to the 4th power for beach trips, where the ambient air temperature and the humidity level are generally within 5 points of each other.  The Carolina Low Country is very sweaty now.  Why would I want to be here, facing a practice round tomorrow?  The air is so heavy my balls won't fly.  I'll never find my 100-yard shot.  I'll have to use my 3-wood.  I'll get weak from the heat and forget to follow through.  I can't find my broad-brimmed straw hat.

What was I thinking?  That playing on a new course with women I've never met would be fun?  That I'd enjoy the humiliation of watching all my drives fly wildly to the right,  all my attempts to execute my trusty flop shot race across the grass at warp speed because I looked up or flipped my wrist or both, all my putts dribble off track at the final, crucial moment?

Surely I'll be able to dig deep, bear down, bear down harder, go to my happy place, let the competitive animal that lurks deep down inside my gut rise up and take command!

Is this the same person who shot 44 on the back 9 tlast Thursday, the same person who has dutifully worked on the driving range for the past 2 weeks to get my grip issue sorted out, the same person who for the past week has been hitting 80% of the fairways?  Am I a wimpy little old lady or am I a fierce, fearless animal, ready to rip my opponents apart?  We'll have the answer to that one is a couple of days!