I work hard. I don’t have natural ability so if I want to be good, I have to work hard. When I don’t, it leaves. I see the looks I get and probably misinterpret a little but it drives me and this is what I hear. “Why do you try so hard?” “You’re never going to make it.” “You are not very good.” “Your priorities are all wrong.” “It takes a real man to no his limitations.” “You are a loser.” “Dreamers aren’t doers.” “Time to grow up.” This is the way I’ve always interpreted it. It affects me differently now than it used to. When I was trying to play in my twenties this kind of thought drove practice sessions well into the night, my hands would bleed. I had to prove you wrong. I will be something. I was young. I didn’t get it and I misinterpreted what the game means, what the game will mean to me… The following is a very much shortened version of what a golf shot it to me. A full length explanation would dwarf most cinematic features.
The Golf Shot
The world’s noise pollutes my head. There are so many reasons to fail. It’s easy to fall down. It’s easy to listen to neigh Sayers. It’s easy to attract negative energy from a population that lacks positivity. It’s easy to fall down. Do you understand what it means to me?
A golf shot is hit well before the ball is ever struck by the club head. Minutes, hours, days, months are poured into range sessions. Sweat and tears run and stain our existence. If you pay attention and learn, it’s a good stain. The process on the range can be transferred to the golf course, this takes patience. This takes time. Art just happens. This is the statement of an ignorant man. You don’t think Michelangelo practiced before he painted that ceiling? Talent doesn’t just happen. Practice rounds are about learning. Subtle nuances in the grass, in the air. How far? Where? When and Why? Questions answered and preparation confirmed to be true. Day 1. Adrenaline you have to hold down, like giving your cat a bath. Your best clothes, chose wisely. A poor fitting shirt can be a difference. Time management, don’t get there too early. Stretch, loosen every muscle and now you have to worry about skeletal. Don’t forget to eat properly, blood sugar can do things to your nervous system that you can’t imagine. The retiree announces your name on the first tee. Calm, breathe. Have I done enough? What’s going to happen? What if I’m really not good enough? Pick your target and sink into your routine. Melt into “your” world and forget about theirs. They want you to fail. The take away lasts a lifetime, slow and smooth without a hitch but at the same time is scarred with your past and is uniquely yours. At the top there is slight pause and the noise is suddenly quiet. From here it no longer matters. You’ve done all you can. You’ve hit this shot before the ball ever moves. Let it go. A controlled violence is impact. The snap of the ball reminds me of the first time I landed a kick flip on my skate board when I was a kid. The melodic swoosh of air takes me back to keeping the nose of my snowboard up in the fresh powder. The powerful flight reminds me of the first time I stood on a surfboard, something that seemed so impossible, happened. Passion is in every ball I hit. My journey is reverberated in my core with every swing. I want to laugh, cry and scream joy, pain, sorrow, love. It reflects me. It is me. I love this game and will never stop. It’s more than just a golf shot.
Have a great day.