High Expectations

IMG_0205There is a golfer who has written a book about breaking par (link) in the span of a year from a state of hack. I am a fan of windmill tilting, and I have preordered the book. The author is on Twitter probably by order of his publicist, but his genuine reticence to go full tilt shill convinced me of his genuine qualities.

I think for someone with a reasonable swing, going from bogey to par golf is an achievable goal if it is dissected as a process, much like making a good pot of coffee, a perfect pancake, or repairing a ruptured aneurysm. I fancy that I can make my swing work on occasion.

Of course, unlike the previously mentioned procedures, golf involves a great deal of emotional baggage. A round of golf can reveal emotional subtext like nothing else except for maybe Thanksgiving dinner with the family.

You see the flashes of perfection like the fluttering of angel wings at the periphery of your vision. The ball sometimes flies as if guided by Providence. These shots out of our dreams are glimpses of our better selves.

As much as I try to put bad shots out of my mind, I think the key to the next level is getting the good shots out of my mind -or at least the most recent good shot. I will concentrate on blocking out the past and on facing the present situation -it’s natural as breathing in my profession, so I must strive to apply it in my avocation.

If you double after a birdie, you’re still one over for two holes where typically you’d be two over, so what’s the problem? I think the birdie is as much the problem as the double bogey, and my goal for this year is to focus on the present -the address, the stance, the takeaway, the rhythm, the swing, the follow through, and keeping my head still. The cosmic injustice of double bogeys following birdies will have to be stowed away for discussion after the match.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” -Master Yoda.

Competition is an integral part of golf. Keeping an accurate handicap is the only honorable way to level the playing field. I proudly carry my most recent handicap card and keep a USGA Rules of Golf in my bag. It also means competing with my neighbors in our annual HAC series of tournaments, and entering in the tournaments in my club. Will keep you posted.

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