The trials & tribulations of the worlds most frustated golfer.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Golfing for Zeros

Well the weekly disappointment has happened again. After yet another brilliant performance during my golfing lesson. I was ready to go and "kill it" on the golf course ( or the driving range if weather forced the issue ) This brought about the inevitable consequence of yet another dreadfull round where I could barely hit the ball 20 yards in a crooked curve, let alone a straight line.

The only comfort in all this is, after admitting to this eternal loop of repeating ups and downs, like some old soap opera, is this. I am not alone! After blurting it out to fill an awkward silence as several of us budding golfers waited outside for the instigator. I was almost relieved (well there was no almost about it actually) to hear that out of the four of us standing outside, three of us admitted to the self same weekly highs and lows of practice and failure. The fourth member of our little impromptu confessional said nothing. So we all just assumed the worst, especially after I espied a brace of new clubs in his hand? Had he snapped the old Spalding over his knee in a fit of bad shot blues, or was it just a coincidence. Enquiring minds need to know ? One of our not so merry band, told of taking a complete non player and golf course virgin, out for a round. We listened in sympathy for him and jealousy for his companion. A seeming golfing prodigy who had never hit a ball in his life, but was killing the ball with two hundred yard shots, straight from the word go. Alright, so he hit the occasional "air shot" or "whiff" as its known in the trade. The odd ball went left or right of the target. But if I could hit the ball half as well today, I'd be a happy man.

The strange thing was, I recalled my own first try, when I beat my own golf playing father and uncle, at the first attempt. It was, I reasoned, the fact that I did not know that I supposedly could not play. I knew nothing about loft or line, nothing of stance or keeping the left arm straight. It was ridiculously simple. "Aha" I mused to myself. I'd known it all along. Any fool could play golf. There was no trick or skill to it at all. Well... maybe the putting did require a little practice. But everything else could be picked up in a few afternoons on the course and a quick flip through the old rule book. In other words, I hadn't had any of the optimism of the non golfer drummed out of me. I simply knew that I could hit the ball straight down the fairway the pessimism, that I was "doing it wrong", drummed in to me. It's like a trappeze artist who doesn't know he cant walk the rope who is blithely sauntering across a thin wire without a care in the world. All of a sudden, somebody shouts, " but he cant walk that thin wire. He's bound to fall and be killed.." And there goes a potentially beautifully carrier as a daredevil high flyer, doomed to bite the dust, as he suddenly loses all softens and trips over his own show laces and becomes all self conscious.

Back to last nights lesson. Well three minutes with the golf pro and he had confirmed for me, what I already knew to be true in my budding golfers heart. My grip was wrong, my stance was wrong, my backswing was wrong, my.. well you get the idea. I had deteriorated from a "very promising" to a no hoper in one easy lesson. Where had it all gone wrong ? Actually I was sure that I knew where it had gone wrong. ie: on the first tee, the day after my last lesson. What I didn't know was why it had all fallen apart ? I was (almost) ashamed to say, my only compensation was that I was obviously and gloriously not alone. Whew! :)


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