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Friday, 9 September 2016

Why I Hate Golf

I had an interesting e-mail from my golfing buddy, Steve.  It came under the heading, Why I Hate Golf.  Steve is struggling with a hook and a pull hook.  He has also been occasionally a victim of my tutelage.  Here's what he wrote:

"It's the inconsistent advice from admired and trusted golf aficionados who are always giving  you their interpretation of the golf bible. You read their writings and/or listen to every pearl of wisdom that they so graciously impart. In one article they say one bad shot begets another then you read another of their articles where they have had many terrific shots after hitting a most terrible shot. They talk about how the left hand is THE hand in golf then you read where they wrote, yup I did what Jack always did, used the right hand and arm. It's obviously a game that can only be enjoyed by a Scot or a Greek ( includes the Russians and Ukrainians ) I hate it!!!!  ��"

Of course Steve has a point.  There are more conflicting statements, ideas, and theories out there about the golf swing than you can shake a stick at.  Golf can be as confusing, or as simple, as you care to make it.  But the real crux of the matter is that we all struggle with the game at one time or another; and sometimes we struggle more often than not.  Golf is a difficult game.

I sent Steve the following reply:

"Exactly!  It's a case of do as I say, not as I do.  Not every swing thought works all the time.  Eventually you get to exaggerating one thing at the expense of another and have to find another thought or feeling that helps.  Ultimately it all comes down to the strike.  The more you can focus on making the strike, the more your swing looks after itself.  The more you read all the books from all the great players the more you realize that this game is about "finding what works, losing it, then finding it again."  That's the nature of the beast unless you are hitting thousands of balls like Hogan or Moe.  It's a hard old game.

Sorry you are struggling again."

I guess we all have to either give the game up, deciding to hate it because we just can't ever master it, or just accept the good with the bad--even when the bad shots are more plentiful than the good ones.  Golf is difficult and it isn't always fair, but it's the same for everyone.  Even the great Jack Nicklaus had days where he couldn't hit his hat.  

As for Steve's comments about Scots, Greeks, Ukranians and Russians; that was a reference to some of the company he keeps on the course.  Some of the characters who love the game despite it's ups and downs.  Steve will likely send me an e-mail in the next couple of days saying, "I've got it!"  Then the cycle will begin again.  The only consistent thing about golf is its inconsistency.  It rarely gets to be boring.