I’ll be honest; I haven’t been all that excited about playing golf lately.
My sheer incompetence, even at the driving range, combined with the inability to do anything about it, has left me discouraged.
But I hate quitting anything, and what was I going to tell my father-in-law, “Sorry, I don’t want to play today because all it will do is p–s me off”?
Plus the weather in West Hartford today was spectacular.
Today may not have been the last time we’re able to play golf this year — Buena Vista Golf Course stays open until the weather is unplayable, and I think we played the day after Thanksgiving last year — but I doubt we’ll have too many more days like this, even if the season does last another month.
So I figured, if nothing else, it would be a nice way to get outside in great weather for a few hours.
And while I was at it, I figured I’d also try something else.
My greatest opponent, no matter the sport, has always been my temper.
From the time I was a kid, my father has always told me that losing my temper wouldn’t make me play better, and I’ve always fought it.
After all, I’ve always considered it a side effect of the competitiveness and maximum effort I need to be good.
And even though, in my 40s, I’m finally realizing his wisdom, I still get into that mode (mostly playing pickleball these days) where I get mad about making a mistake, and then I make another one … and so on, and so on.
I even have a name for it … The Spiral. And even when I feel it coming on, it’s hard to get out of it unless something or someone yanks me out of it.
But today, I decided I was just going to hit the ball. Then I would find it, and hit it again. Whatever happened … happened.
And a strange thing happened. My slice is still pretty much incurable, I left more than a couple balls on the course for the guy who was collecting them in a plastic bag and I was still 1,000 miles from mediocre, but for me, I actually hit the ball pretty well.
The truly horrible shots were very few and far between, and I didn’t get mad once.
Am I onto something here?
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