January 29, 2013

Getting Matched with Randoms

This weekend I played Chester Ditto in Arlington with Salman & my dad. I played the course last week too - the back nine absolutely destroyed my face.
Our group of six was too big for one flight so Salman and I were paired up with two randoms. Random #1 was nice but random #2 was super unpleasant. He threw his clubs on the ground after bad shots, didn't crack a smile, just constant brooding.  #2 ended up leaving after a bad tee shot on the tenth hole and that made the rest of the round more enjoyable.  The fact that I shot two over par on the back nine didn't hurt either (^-^).  #2 reminded me of how rare it was that I enjoyed the company of randoms (maybe it's me...). Playing golf with others means I'll be spending the next four to five hours with them and I always try my best not to ruin their time away from the real world.  Maybe it's naive of me to assume others feel the same way because bad tempers and foul attitudes happen more often than not.  But if there's anything I learned from watching Les Miserables, it's to never give up hope.  Especially if Wolverine is on your team, or if Catwoman is your mom.  But I digress...
Guaranteed slice with that backswing
Picture this:  Fred works 40+ hour weeks and devotes whatever spare time he has to his family. Fred's wife suggests that he take an afternoon off to play golf with his best friend, Barney.  Fred's twosome gets paired up with Tiger and Phil. Tiger and Phil claim to be 11 handicappers but in actuality they rarely shoot under 95. Fred and Barney are enjoying their round for the first few holes but Tiger's constant complaining and Phil's moping is beginning to affect them. Fred's finding himself walking on eggshells because of Tiger's short fuse, and Barney feels uncomfortable joking with Fred because of the cloud hanging over Phil's head. Before they know it they're on the 18th tee box; Tiger is blaming poor course conditions for his weak play, Phil is still dragging his feet, and poor Fred and Barney are both silently hoping that their next round (whenever it may be) will be more enjoyable than this one.  Fred returns home feeling like he should've just gone to work instead, lists his golf clubs on craigslist, and cries himself to sleep.

I know golf is a 1-player sport.  It's just you, your level of sobriety, your equipment, and the course.  But consider this - you would be hard-pressed to find a golfer who considers their time on a course as anything less than sacred.  Therefore, it should follow that golfers appreciate that other golfers see their time chasing par as a sanctuary away from the stresses of life as well.  It does not.  Temper tantrums and whining are too common; and although potentially hilarious once or twice, one to four hours of constant negativity can absolutely ruin a beautiful day outdoors.
Do yourself and everyone around you on the first tee box a favor:
  • Keep it playful
  • It's just a game
  • Realize that your foul mood will ALWAYS affect your playing partners.  ALWAYS.
TL;DR:  A round of golf is sacred. Don't screw it up for others.

January 25, 2013

New Years Resolutions!

It's 2013! This year I have one goal!
I want my full swing to look super nice by finishing with perfect balance every time.

Last year I was too focused on shooting low and I'm realizing that that's not gonna happen consistently if the golf swing is a complete mess.  I also realized a big flaw in my game and something I never really considered before this year:  With every good shot my first thought was always "I got lucky that the ball went where I aimed."  It needs to be the opposite.  I need to expect that my shots will go where I intend for them to go, and I need to be surprised at my faults.  I won't ever be perfect, but I need to stop feeling like I got lucky for sending the ball where I meant for it to go.

In 2013, I will get my swing under control.  Scores don't matter this year. 

  • In-to-Out club path
  • Relaxed grip
  • Club face control through impact
  • Maintain the spine angle until the club pulls me out of it
  • 80% power at most
  • Hold the finish
  • Hold the finish
  • Hold the finish