Saturday, 4 June 2016

Finding What Works

I think it was Ken Venturi who said, "Golf is about finding what works; losing it, and then finding it again."  Right now I've lost it.

A week ago, the game was almost easy.  Right now, I don't know whether I'm punched or bored.  It's terrible.  The problem with most golfers is that we find a swing key that works and we eventually begin to exaggerate that at the expense of something else.  Instead of taking one teaspoon of cough syrup, we drink the whole bottle and we end up in big trouble.  

I managed to recover slightly today by focussing on the strike--visualizing a nail in the back of the ball and striking it down the target line. But, like any other key, it eventually needs to be replaced with something else as the charm wears off, or you start over-doing it and start hitting at, instead of through, the ball.

The last couple of holes I also tried to swing easier, just patty-caking it, like I seem to do whenever I play really well.  It worked pretty well. But, unless you make the putts, Old Man Par will still have your number.  I guess that's both the frustration and the allure of this game.  Once you think you've got it--it's suddenly gone, and the search begins again.  That's golf.  

One thing for certain is that it never gets boring.  Who wants to just hit it dead solid perfect every time anyway?  I wouldn't mind having a round like that every so often, but a great part of the game is how you recover from your misses.  There is nothing quite like getting it up and down from jail to save your par.  This game simply cannot seem to be mastered.  It's like a puzzle with no solution.

Actually, perhaps the key to mastering the game is to become resolute.  To learn to, as Harry Vardon told a young Bobby Jones, keep on hitting it, no matter what happens.  At the end of the day, that's all we can really do.