Golf Musings After Club Champs: April 10 2022
You arrive five minutes late but just in time for your tee time with your normal buddies for a quick round of golf after work or before work. You do not have time to chip or put or warm up before hand. You quickly pay for the round, run towards your tee where your buddies are standing and waiting for you. You are supposed to tee first. Glove on, tee out, ball, driver. You stand behind the ball, your mind is still elsewhere. You remember where you are, you see the target, you hit. Everyone is quiet because of the spectacular drive you just hit in your rushed state. You play level or close to it, maybe under par. No one, including you, know where that round came from.
But the key thing with this little narrative is: you did not think.
For the remainder of this post, I will talk about this weird thing in golf where the less you think the better things go. Maybe this is philosophy, maybe this is psychology. All I know this is my weird golf musings after club champs.
Golf Musings: After Club Champs
It is 6:55 my tee time is 7:00. I am late but I managed to put two puts on the green. Lightning quick. What a morning, chilly but pristine. You could not ask for a better day. But I know it will be a bad day.
My first drive is so far right I am on the next fairway. The next shot is almost the same.
It is the first round in two weeks because I needed to finish an article for an academic journal.
My hands are shaky. I am what they call a feel player. I rarely practice and I still play a solid round if golf. But this is without practice. Like the narrative at the start, I mostly play golf without thinking. Sometimes I get so close to play under par but then I start to think and then the wheels come off.
When you go out for a round of unconscious golf with the buddies, you talk, drink beer, there is no reflection on what you are doing. But this indirectly helps you play good golf. You don’t hit that bad shots. Feel kicks in and technique is nowhere to be found.
But now you play club champs, the first competitive round of golf in months and your third shot is not straight and it lands behind a tree. Your mind races, “what do you do now?”. Normally you do not reflect on what you need to do, you normally just play. Now you need to (i) think: stop reflecting (which you never do when you play a normal round) and (ii) play a shot you normally don’t play (because with the buddies you are always in the fairway or if you go in the rough you always get a good lie).
Simply put: when you play competition you play different golf than usually.
You push fade another drive. Three in three rounds. Normally in a round with the buddies there is never push fades, where did it come from?! How do you stop? You know the reason is because you are aware of what you are doing. Normally you are never aware of what you are doing. Normally you play unreflective golf now you are playing reflective golf.
But: your handicap is based on unreflective golf and not reflective golf. Oh damn. Sorry for the french. Golf is weird.
Your shot clips the tree. It falls behind yet another tree. This is your third day, you still have 33 left. This is going to be a long day.
You get to the fifth hole. You made three straight double drops. Normally you might be level maybe one under maybe one over. Now you are six over after three. You are not used to this situation. You have never really been there.
But then this stunning view comes before you. In front of you a majestic painting of a landscape unfolds real-time. It makes it worth it. This is golf and golf does not always go well.
Breathe you tell yourself. You breathe. You play the round. You stop the bogeys. You play a 46 front nine. You come back 36. Ten shot difference. That is golf. That is golf. Breathe.
Here is some psychology or philosophy; fermented golf musings: when you unconsciously do things like play golf or drive a car or breathe, and you try to do these things consciously you struggle to do them because you actually do not know how to do them consciously.
Funny, but that’s life.
Now I am having a beer and watching more golf. Because at the end of the day even after a bad round of golf, you always crave that next round.
Postscriptum or something like that
All of the photographs were taken with my iPhone. The musings are also mine, or more specifically, my bad golf’s musings. Stay active and healthy everyone!
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