August 06, 2007

Golf Talk

There was a time when I was a pretty good golfer. I actually received a varsity letter in golf my 8th grade year. I'd been golfing so long, I didn't even really think about it, which is really one of the key aspects of the sport: to be so familiar and comfortable with it, you don't even think about it.

Well, around the 2001 timeframe, I fell away from golf and started focusing on martial arts, including hapkido from 2001 to 2005 and Brazilian jiu-jitsu from 2005 to the present. The result being, when I do deign to weild the golfing blade, I find myself thinking about way more than I probably should.

When you think too much when golfing, you set yourself up for all sorts of crappy shots. If you think, for example, about how you want to avoid going out of bounds, chances are you'll go out of bounds. If you don't want to hit that nun crossing the street, there's a 90 percent chance your ball will seek out and hit that nun crossing the street.

Putting presents its own mental hang-ups. Starting around 2003, I developed a debilitating mental block when it came to putting. No matter how hard I tried, for any putt longer than 10 feet, I'd pull my putter toward me just at the point of contact with the ball, sending the ball in completely nonsensical direction nowhere near the cup. I tried a variety of pathetic fixes to counteract this disastrous effect, including using a chipping iron on the green, which must be against the rules, but I didn't care.

This year has been the first in ages that I've been able to get out regularly on the driving range and the putting green, and for the most part I've managed to smooth out my erratic golf game, although my putting problems still crop up from time to time, and I find myself thinking far too much when it comes to whacking the ball.

There was a time when I could golf nine holes in the low 40s and consider that an "okay" round; while yesterday I hit a 43 and felt like I deserved a parade. Until I realized I had been golfing with a 70+ year old man who also hit a 43, at which point I was humbled.

I can't believe I lettered in 8th grade.

Posted by Ryan at August 6, 2007 09:36 AM | TrackBack

Why have you not yet signed up for the MiLF?

Posted by: LearnedFoot at August 6, 2007 11:27 AM

One, if not THE biggest reason is because Aug. 24th is when Melissa and I embark for Yellowstone.

Posted by: Ryan at August 6, 2007 11:41 AM
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