Thursday, April 06, 2006

Golf: a (m)entalman's game

Yesterday was admittedly my worst day of golf I've played in over a year. The reason it was the worst is because I've never hit the ball better.


Remember that person that told you the game is 99% mental, and the rest is skill? Well the reason they told you that, is because they had a day like I had.

Let me set the beginning up for you:
I'm playing a premier course; Cherokee Run....a Palmer design, and a sought-after course to play when folks visit here during the Masters weekend. I'm dialed-in on the range, and I'm psyched 'cause I'm coming off a very good round I played last weekend in Savannah (Henderson Golf Club)....and none of my body parts are barkin' at me. It's a beautiful day out, Spring is in full-bloom.
I sink a 20-footer for par on the 1st hole, and I'm rarin' to go. I LOVE golf!!!

Then the proverbial poop hits the fan.

Let me set up the middle for you:
This is the best spring-time ever, everything is in bloom....bad news for me though 'cause I'm freakin' allergic to everything.

I 3-putt from 10 feet.

I can barely breathe without sneezing or annoying. We're playing in the afternoon, so the sun is creating long shadows. It seems that everytime I'm addressing the ball, I'm standing over my shadow...this is starting to irritate me as my shadow is a terrible golfer.
I pull-hook my drive, I think it was doing 3-G's before it bored its way into a Pine.
For the price to play, the tee boxes are all hacked up....I expected better course maintenance. Now I'm thinking price vs quality of course and I'm getting depressed. My Google ads won't make up this lost money.
What is with this slow play? I'm thinking to myself, as I'm waiting what seems like forever to take my next shot. I hate slow play because it gives me more time to think about why I hate it. Geez, I can hardly breathe...stinkin' Dogwoods.

I hit my 5th GIR in a row, but 3-putt again to keep my 4th straight 3-putt. Yes! Let's keep that streak alive!

Let me set up the end for you:
By this time I've lost confidence in my putting. The lead tape I added to my putter (I channel-surfed over the Golf Channel one day, and the expert said putters should be minimum C8 weighted) has been tossed in the ivey-infested woods. Stupid freakin' experts.
The Bent-grass greens have messed me up as the last few courses I've played have been Bermuda. I start messing with different grips, stances, balls......nothing's working. The key, I tell myself, is to be below the hole on fast greens, but the wind is blowing about 15 mph...I haven't played the course in over a year.... I don't have a yardage book....and I'm starting to believe that yardage markers are off....and I given up complete control to my shadow.
This course is worse that I remember it. It's getting late...5+ hours to play a round of golf, and I'm starved. What a ridiculous day. I'm starting to believe spring-time is overrated as I clamour for another Claritan.
Now I remember why I HATE golf....there are more ups and downs than at Six Flags.

This morning I'm still thinking about my putting. I'm doing my usual stretch routine when the old light-bulb-in-my-head goes on.
My old coach taught me to imagine holding an egg between my left elbow and ribcage when putting. Doing this keeps the putter on a truer line going forward, and will eliminate pushing the putt.

I get excited about this revelation (one of remembering an old swing-thought, and two of just being able to remember).

You know, I still have my clubs in the's a beautiful day out.......hmmmm......I LOVE GOLF!!!!!!!

Thanks for reading. Keep it in the short-grass.


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