Play Diary 5/3/2015

Man, the weather was ridiculous on Sunday. 82 degrees, sunny, a few puffy clouds in the sky. Sounds like the kind of weather to take the sticks out and get in 18. Unfortunately, my son had not one, but two tournaments to play. The first one was an 18 hole event out at Chateau Elan. Gorgeous golf course nestled just north of Atlanta. All fine and dandy for him at least, he got to play. His tee time was around 8am which meant, we were leaving the house at 6:10 to make the hour 15 minute drive. Love watching him play, but it really doesn’t count as a play diary entry if I didn’t play. I will share this picture though….really beautiful golf course. Thinking, a review may be around the corner on this gem.

On to round two, a 9 hole team event. My son was paired with his good buddy looking to do a little damage out there. I’d been going since 5:00 in the morning, a little tired spending the day in the sun walking like crazy. The second event was held at Callahan Golf Club in Waleska, Georgia. I like Callahan for what it is, a value golf course with some interesting holes and a very laid back attitude. The staff is generally courteous if not down right friendly. I had the clubs in the trunk and decided to see if I could get out for nine after my son’s group went off, they were the last group so I thought it would be worth a shot. The gatekeepers were able to fit me in, but I was warned it would be slow going out there. The place was absolutely packed.

Certainly expected some slow sledding when I got out. Took almost 30 minutes to just get an available golf cart…..maybe not my best idea, but it sure beats walking and watching. No knock on Callahan for the slowness, I knew there was a junior tournament in front of me, expected delays. Tee’d off on the back, started with a shortish par 5. Nice drive cold, had 198 to the pin. The green doesn’t allow for a short shot to run up. Tried to fly a 5 iron, hit the top of the hill rolled back down into the collection area. No big deal, a little chip up and had a good shot at birdie.Unlucky with the greens being aerated so the roll was funky curling off line at the hole, take my par on to the next. Pulled up to the next tee, the group in front of me hasn’t even teed off yet. Yep one of those kinds of days.

I was patient, taking in the scenery which you don’t often get to do when you are in such a hurry. My son’s group was actually the next to last, so I got to watch them play some holes which was a win win for me. I took closer notice though to the two young guns playing directly in front of me. The oldest had to be 8 the other, maybe 6 or so. They were part of the tourney as a team and their dad was driving them along. You can learn a lot when you watch sometimes. These little guys were unbelievable. The golf they played was nearly flawless. Excellent drives pretty much dead center each and every time. Fast play even, which again I found fascinating. Amazing how much faster the game is played from the middle of the fairway with approach shots reasonably close to most pins. Entertaining to witness, providing further food for thought.

So my round was pretty pedestrian. I hit a stellar flop shot on 6 to salvage a bogie. Made a 20 footer on 9 to save par. These two shots only remarkable because of the bonehead shots that put me into those scoring positions. Ended up shooting 39, but more importantly, I may have gleaned a little bit of knowledge from afar. Watching these kids play (really watching good young players in general), there is an opportunity to learn so much about how you should ideally play golf. The phrase that comes to mind is “a happy fearlessness”. Hazards whether it’s sand, woods, O.B., or the specter of lots of water didn’t bother these young players. They simply aren’t afraid to hit the ball and worry about the outcome later. Golf is a pure, joyful, soul enriching experience. No creeping doubt dooming the next tee shot. Faulty swing thoughts paralyzing, toxic instruction limiting the probability of finely struck golf ball. It’s all needless chatter that I wish I could learn to tune out. Playing golf instinctively, with vigor, with an authentic honesty, unleashing your potential on any given day. The way this silly game is meant to be played.

My hope is to adopt these “swing thoughts” on my next outing. I’ll let you know how it goes….the not thinking. Target golf without fear. This should be fun. For the record, the two little tikes ended up going 3 under for the 9 holes. I know, team scramble event waters it down, but I’ve been on team 4’somes that didn’t best that over 18. Just saying……


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