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Withering of the Mind

Been awhile since I posted something to this section of the site. Not like I haven’t been playing much golf, it’s just the state of play is such in flux it’s exhausting. Making a concerted effort to affect change in my swing. Primarily bringing the club into the zone more on an inside path to the target. Sounds simple enough. Normal people….not the afflicted…seek help in such pursuits. Quite certain my son will call a family meeting and discuss the possibility of staging an intervention. Having never paid for a lesson, I tend to tweak from time to time, ostensibly in the cloak of darkness. Ever put those blue socks on thinking they were most certainly black at 6:30 in the morning? I haven’t committed to the 12 steps apparently, absolutely refusing to admit I’m powerless over my addiction. Consider this post from a man happily festering in the sea of denial.

So this is more of a cumulative post. Drawing from the experiences, say over the past month or so. I’ve carded some pretty good rounds. A couple of 75s on our family trip to Hilton Head Island, beating my son in the process which is a bonus. He did clip me with a stellar 79 to my 81 at our favorite course just off the island (Hilton Head National), but I won the family championship, so “I be fat and happy” till next year. I know, crying about a game in disarray with some pretty good scores, but wait there’s so much more….”if you order now, we will throw in another one free” (just pay $14.95 S&H) . I’ve also managed somehow to card some truly scary numbers. During this same span, I carded a 42, 43, and a blistering 45. I shot two 87s to boot. I’ll give you an example for further illustration. Imagine a world, where you are a golf god, a par making machine, sprinkle in a birdie here and there…wait no, that’s my pitch for a movie I might write someday. One particular round, lights out on the front 8 (like that’s real or something) going into the 9th hole. Very solid drive in the middle of the fairway, playing a mild mannered par 5. I can just smell the fresh aroma of a 35. Insert the “Blink”, some jackass apparently pulled the pin on the grenade and tossed it in my bag. From the middle of the fairway I make a double bogey…double bogey…who does that? I should have been brought up on charges for the carnage I laid on the back 9. The only good news, I didn’t have a bogey on the back side and I managed to make 4 pars. The bad news, those other 5 holes I made double bogey (no trips damn you). Holes 9 through 11, I was on the double bogey train to hell. It was so bad, I think Lucifer himself was the staff engineer, that little engine that so “F$%GAD” could. All the while I could hear his maniacal laughter…that might have been when I actually crossed over to the other side of madness. A putrid experience.

I’ve learned to let these little jewels go. Those rounds you only share around the campfire late at night with the sole intent of scaring the little children back to their tents. Writing about them is my way of putting them in their rightful place, on the internet where they will surely shrink in the abyss of porn and Nigerian money order scams. Seriously, it’s cathartic in a way. Cleansing the palate as I move forward on this journey. You have to let the bad go. You can’t hold on to the negative that can happen on a golf course, let it lie and move on. I’ve played Bridgemill Athletic Club many times. It can be tough, but I’ve challenged par a few times and I’m positive I can break par given the right mind set. The elephant in the room or the fire breathing dragon as it is in this particular case, is the proper frame of mind. Proof positive, I played the other day, a little 9 hole practice with my favorite playing partner my son. Played well going out, 2 under through 4, could have easily been 3 under, but I guess we weren’t playing horseshoes…hope I don’t need to spell that one out. This is where you need to be particularly alert to the “Blink”. Mentally, you can’t let it happen, stay in your process. I blinked yet again, but I wasn’t as dismayed, because I recognized it for what it was. A moment in time is all. That inside move…produced the dreaded hook. I’ve made a real honest to goodness effort to only swear when necessary on the course. This particular ball, got the “oh no, hold….you wet mother.…”well I think you get the gist. Double bogey, but not the kind that sends a round spiraling into perdition. I was pretty positive, upbeat after the bad hole and I immediately moved on to the task of trying to birdie the par 3 coming up. Didn’t happen, but the shot I hit was good, very good, just got unlucky that it spun back off the green. The next hole is a par 5 that I have the most solemn of love hate relationships. Again, the positive vibe was still flowing, I’m still even par and a birdie will make it all better. I hit a very good drive that we both see hit right center of the fairway. Then the luck intervened, not of the good variety, the kind of luck dealt by IRS agents and divorce lawyers. Ball is nowhere to be found. We literally looked for 5 minutes and couldn’t find it. I drop, hit my shot to layup spot, leaving myself 95 yards to get up and down. Hit it to 8 feet, uphill putt that should break a little left. I hit it right edge, great speed, the ball just doesn’t want to go in the hole, bogey. To sum it up, I stayed positive, up until that point. I left the 7th hole feeling robbed, gypped, unjustly fleeced. You can’t score with that mindset. Ended up shooting a 39, because of a mental outlook that syphoned any of the optimism needed to finish the round strong.

It’s important to learn from these experiences. I hope sharing the success along with failure provides solace for some. If it helps one person, I swear it makes it all worth it. Everybody has to learn to defeat the obstacles that prevent realized potential. If the process was too easy, we wouldn’t appreciate the accomplishments and milestones when we reach them. Good luck, more to come. Played my first tournament, like by myself, with no help. That’s a post all into itself. Oh, my feeble little withered mind.

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