This Article is About
damn game
trials and tribulations
tiger woods
handicap
fresh air
strokes
concentration
excitement
stroke
tiger
That Damn Game Called Golf – How To Play Or Not To Play
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That Damn Game Called Golf – How to Play Or Not to Play

The “trials and tribulations” of that game called golf.

This is a sport I've played for 53 years and still don't fully understand. There are the days you play and the ball flies straight and true and others that it does the oddest of things. “Your swing is off, your too close to the ball, back swing too fast, swinging out to in” all misgivings of experts given by those playing with you.

The sport was never designed for mastering, to such a degree that we can all call ourselves Tiger Woods, and it even seems to have beaten him lately. What then is the attraction to continue playing this God forsaken game? The very hope that one day you will become its master.

When a player begins, their concentration, their very wish, is the ability to hit the ball, to play eighteen holes without a “fresh air” shot. This takes a long time, the Gods of golf that move the ball without one seeing, somewhere between addressing the ball, the back-swing and the stroke. It's never moved much, because when you look again it seems still in the same place, but it had to have moved for you to miss it. It could never been something you did wrong.

When the ability to play without the odd “fresh y” been reached the next step, to get that odd sounding thing a “handicap”. Why it's so named, anyone’s guess, at that stage of your sports development the game itself considered a handicap. The elusive ability to play within the allowable strokes for the handicap given, difficult, yet the more you try the closer you come. Then it happens you have that day, the ball flies high and long, the second to the green and with two putts the ball in the hole. The jubilation, excitement, the feeling of achievement. The next hole the same and after nine holes it looks like a winning day for you. The next nine go well and the score unbelievable, you're in with a chance for a win. Quick shower and then the wait for the Club Captain to announce the winner. Your name called, you've won, that first competition win under the belt.

This perks the need to return again, a winning streak imagined, how well can I play today, into the pro-shop to pay and register. Then it happens, he informs you, your handicap cut, you've played so well your down two strokes. Panic strikes this seems so unfair, how can it be, you only played well once, but the nuances of the handicap devil has made sure he is going to spoil your next outing.

This continues for years until the specialities of the game are better understood, and the abilities attained for a more consistent game. Winning more, handicap cutting no longer a panic, and you reach your peak, stand aside Tiger here I come. Then it happens, the day the golf ball discovers it can send you half mad by performing tricks you're unaware it can do. The brain starts to analysis (or tries to) what is going wrong, you're an accomplished consistent performer, what's wrong? Those playing with you start to give hints of advise, they've never seen you play like this for years. Every shot becomes a lesson run through the brain and the ball will still not do what you expect. This can continue for many rounds till the brain manages to over power the ball's willpower to do its own tricks, and again all is good till the next time. The ups and downs of the game, just as in any other sport.

This is what is known as that damn game called golf, the greatest destroyer of people's egos ever discovered.


Street Talk

Rob, I couldn't have said it any better myself. It can be the most frustrating and sometimes the most exhilirating game on the planet.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Hi Mike I agree, been playing for longer than I wish to remember, and can have a day like a pro and the next time out, beginner.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

What's your handicap? Oops! I see below it's a 5. Very good!

  
  about 1 decade ago
Kyle  

A frustrating game indeed. I still find it unbelievable how I can lose "everything" overnight...and learn bad habits that I had never had before. I guess the more you play the more consistent you get but it is a time consuming venture indeed. This was an awesome piece Rob and will hit the nerve with all golfers!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks Kyle, been playing this game for 50+ years been as low as a 5 handicap, yet I still have those days as though its my first.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Kyle  

5 handicap, that is pretty good Rob. I still haven't cracked the 70's, but I know I will get there. 12 or so handicap, depending on the course but like you said, I still have those days as well where it appears as though it is my first.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
C4rmen  

Ahh makes me laugh, I have never really gotten into golf but they way you have summed up an experience above makes me understand that drive (excue the pun) for excellence. But also the metaphor for life on the rhythm and timing of things.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

C4rmen you are so wise to the underlying meanings of an article, thank you for the input. Life is nothing else but a drive for excellence as we see it for ourselves, the over achievers and under achievers exist in Golf, those that arrive after 4 weeks away and expect to play a top game, as to those that spend time daily practicing reaping the rewards.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

LOL...a destroyer of egos! Love it! Perhaps that's why I gave up in my youth. Went for a few games with dad but always ended up in a terrible pout!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I have seen the game destroy many, I've just learnt to laugh at myself, so my eighteen holes games are just one big laugh.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Rob, So is that one of your many pictures? As in, you golfing:-) Golf indeed gets people doing all kinds of crazy things. blessings, Cynthia

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

You would not want to see one of my pictures in the article, Not of me or any that I have taken, for that you will have to wait for the book.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Aha! Your book's on golfing?

  
  about 1 decade ago

I have one on golf and one on the game park and photos.

  
  about 1 decade ago
Lemuel  

Interesting. Sounds like a sport that requires great intelligence and every game is a different experience. I haven't played golf before. So, even if you have the right mindset, your game performance can still go terribly wrong? it happens also in football. Nice picture choice by the way.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Lemuel, as per any sport the ups and downs are always there. No sport has been perfected by anyone, otherwise it just would no longer be fun. Golf no different from any other sport. Thanks for the comment.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Lemuel  

Perhaps I'll try playing golf one time. it's my uncle's favorite sport actually. I like the feeling of variability in a game - it gives me thrill.

  
  about 1 decade ago

My first experience in playing golf was with my Best man's brother right before my wedding. I did not know a golf club could be wrapped around a tree, but he showed me it could. :)

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Have seen that a few times, and even seen a club fly further than the ball.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Rob, My golfing career started in West Nicholson in 1969 ! (My Dad was a good golfer , handicap 8) There was a competition for the children, my Dad entered both my brother and I. I came in with an extremely HIGH score and proudly went about asking my friends how they did. Not knowing the game, I was certain that i had won !! After all, "I" had the highest score ! When it came to the prize giving, I became confused as , what i thought should be MY cup, went to someone elae. Then to my shock ! I received the BEST LOSERS prize ! As I grew older, I began to realise, of course I was awarded that prize...I had walked around with a HUGE smile but unbeknown to Committee - I thought that I had won, hense the happy 'loser' smile.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Ronnie thats where I learnt my golf won my first competition there when I was eight and been playing ever since. Was at one stage a 5 but time has caught me up and now a little higher than that.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

We keep going just to hit the one good shot and then we feel good again until the next time it goes into the drink or you loose that damn ball in the forest beside you.....then again we wonder why we play this damn sport.....then you get a par....it is all good again....funny isn't it....why do we do what we do.??????????? thats my take.....

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Its the memory of the last good shot, I remember my Dad talking about the 2nd world war and he had a blast I don't think any one fought in that war, when I asked him of the bad times, he told me its just like his golf he only remembers the good times.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Great article Rob :)

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks Stacy

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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