Holding and winning from the center


Wakonda No. 1, May 2008

Wakonda No. 1, May 2008

The middle of the fairway is a good place to be. On Wakonda No. 1, the reward for going long and left is a shorter approach to an elevated green with the tree being the obvious risk. If you can jack it 270 yards on the fly, going over the tree and drawing the drive is a given as it will leave you a pitch to the green. Leaving yourself the right for a bailout area isn’t so bad because you may have better luck hitting a hybrid 3 or 5 wood on the flat versus an uphill lie 6 iron. But there be hazards to the left and to the right.

Iowa, in the center of the country, proves to me time and again that moderation, competence, and overall reasonableness are desirable qualities in these increasingly troubled times. If each month can be thought of as a hole in a round of golf, the country played June through October giving up two strokes to OB on each hole.

Remember, this round doesn’t end after 18, and when you’re caught in one of those hellish tailspins, the first thing you do is NOT increase the risk/reward -essentially going to the ATM and doubling down your bets. You give yourself a couple of gimmes -remember, three consecutive seven irons will get you onto most par 4’s and 5’s in three strokes -the key is keeping it in the center, sticking to what works, and regaining your confidence. 

Letting the banks fail, letting central government fail, letting the auto industry fail versus creeping socialism, rising taxes, and protectionism -these are the hazards to the right and to the left. I have no idea what would be the right thing to do at this time, but history has shown that Americans have a basic decency and optimism that seems to transcend the various cultures that have added to America’s tapestry. This is a country that won a two front world war, sent a man to the moon, and proved that it is not afraid to elect a reasonable sounding man of color in the worst of times. 

It is the center that must hold for us to prevail. Otherwise, you will see the rich retreat to well armed enclaves while everyone else fends for themselves in a dystopian America of foragers, permanent campers, and flea market barterers -check out Russia c. 1995. 

Check out this link which discusses how the Republicans lost golfists like me.

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