Yesterday I shot a 94 for 18 holes of golf. This is only notable because because it is the first time since starting to play this crazy game that I broke a 100.
Unfortunately, I can’t get too excited since it was a much shorter and easier course than my home course. Easier to the point that it actually caused my handicap index to trend back upwards four-tenths of stroke. Golf can suck like that. You can do what feels to be really well, only to find out that what you did wasn’t nearly good enough, in fact, it wasn’t even up to your usual performance.
It was however good enough to outscore the guys I was playing with who generally outscore me. I don’t actually pay much attention to that, but they do. I’m focused on learning to play again and am playing against myself and the course. Everyone else is really incidental. My biggest problem with golf has always been the mental game.
Last weekend I had an 18-hole playing lesson with my instructor. My son was along as well. A 25-handicapper playing alongside a playing and teaching professional really is playing a different game. The opportunity for instruction on course management and to watch him play close up was invaluable. It was also a very intense four hours on a Saturday.
I’ve also a spent the last two weeks reading the first two of four books by Dr. Bob Rotella that I have inserted into my reading list. Grappling with impatience and the Luke Skywalker Problem:
Yoda: Ready are you? What know you of ready? For eight hundred years have I trained Jedi. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained. A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away…to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless.
Staying the moment. Moving on from the previous moment, especially when it was a failed shot. I’ve always had difficulty dumping the past. I think it is about time I learned.
In fact, that is pretty much what happened yesterday. Jay has done a tremendous job helping me build a repeating good swing. It’s not where we want it yet, but it is worlds different. So I was able to trust my swing and stay in the moment, because the failures were failures and almost always immediately understandable. “I screwed up. Move on.” Further, his method of instruction has not only helped me to accept the fact that bad shots will happen and I don’t need to beat myself up about it, but also to rely on routine to make things work.
So, good, positive teaching is priceless.
And raw numbers don’t always tell the truth. It’s difficult.