My Love Hate Relationship with Golf

7:12 AM.

Shaking the sleep from my eyes.

Saturday morning.

Gooooooooooolf!!!!!

I spring to attention like an army private to the sound of revelry blaring. My mission is clear. I will play golf this morning. I will face 18 holes of fairways, bunkers, downhill and uphill lies, deep rough, doglegs right and left, water hazards, and hopefully plenty of pars and birdies. This will be the morning all becomes right in the world, the day I master this strange, Scottish game that has tortured many, and that few have conquered.

A quick shower and breakfast and I am ready.

Golf clubs – check.
Lucky Marlins cap – check.
Android phone golf GPS app – check.
Bottled water – check.
New and improved attitude – check.

I am driving now. I can feel the energy build up, the anticipation. Today is the day. I can feel it. All those lessons and practice sessions are going to pay off today. This morning is the culmination of all that hard work, all the sweat, all the blisters. Remember not to over think it. Don’t over analyze. You don’t have to think about 12 different things during the swing. The club pro gave you 3 things. Just think about that and you will be fine.

There it is.

As I turn the corner, I see it. The links. It is still early morning, and the sun is just starting to poke through. I can see the mist hovering over the rolling hills. There is a slight breeze and I can see the flag on hole number one as it flaps gently, as if waving to me, enticing me, luring me in seductively. As I roll down the window, I can experience it all, the sights, the smells, the sounds of nature. I am ready for this challenge. You will not beat me today, Scottish game of torture. Today I will persevere. I will not be beaten down. I will not be drowned in your water hazards, or sunk in your bunkers. There will be no barriers erected around those lush landscapes you call greens. Today, I will conquer you.

This morning, I love Golf.

I am on the first tee now. The excitement is unbearable. I am playing the perfect drive over and over in my head. In my mind, I can hear the crisp sound of my metal TaylorMade Burner as club head meets ball, then the sizzling of the ball piercing through the morning air as it flies straight, settling down on the fairway, about 250 yards away.

Darn…

Slice…

In the rough, about 190 yards.

I am not deterred. The morning is early. Even Tiger slices one every once in a while, I tell myself. The rough is not that bad, and I can recover. This is a par 4, with water halfway down. Since my tee shot was short, I dare not try to clear the water, so I will lay up just before the water, then go for the green in 3, and try to save par. You see, I am thinker, and today is my day. This course will not beat me. Not today. I take out a 7 iron, set up, and…

Shoot….

Hit it fat…

Ok, don’t panic. You are not in the water, and now you are on the fairway. Yes the shot only went about 40 yards instead of the 130 yards you needed, but all is not lost. A 4 iron should still get you to the green. Ok you don’t have to par every hole. After all, you are not Tiger Woods. The goal here is to have a good time. Relax! Relax! If you tense up, things will just get worse. Remember, do NOT let this course beat you! Think!

Keep your head down.
Relax the hands.
Swing on plane.
Turn the hips and shoulders.
Remember to create lag on the downswing.
Don’t swing out to in.
Don’t hit it fat.
Don’t hit in thin.
Hit down on the ball, not up.
Remember to follow through.
Keep your swing compact.
Avoid the “chicken wing” on the follow through.

Plunk!

Darn!

In the water.

What did your instructor tell you? He told you not to think of 12 things during the swing. I scored a 7 on that hole, and the rest of the round followed the same pattern. The Scots were victors today. I drowned in water hazards, sunk in sand traps, and greens were as elusive as the fountain of youth. Once again, my golf hopes and dreams were dashed. How depressing.

I hate Golf.

But I’ll be back next Saturday.

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