I suck at playing golf.

I seriously do.

I never know who is going to show up. Or rather, whose swing is going to show up.

Sometimes I feel convinced that I have a beautiful swing. It is on a perfect plane with 3:1 tempo and strikes through the ball cleanly and crisply. Unfortunately, most often the ball seems to disagree. Personally, I would like to believe that the great majority of balls I hit are defective. Maybe bipolar. Probably.

  • Since Christmas 2015, I have hit approximately 12,000 golf balls at driving ranges.
  • I have had eight (maybe nine) hour-plus lessons with an excellent pro.
  • I have played over 60 18-hole rounds of golf:
    • 47 of these have been tracked and posted with Game Golf so far.
    • All eligible scores have been posted for my handicap.
  • I have hit uncounted chips and flop shots in the backyard.
  • I have read a lot. I mean a lot. Half a dozen books, 100s of pages of forum discussions on golf issues.

And I still suck. Sure, I am officially a “bogey golfer” shooting in the 90s. I’ve broken 90 exactly once, and on a really bad day have shot as high as 112 (in a tournament, no less) but after licking my wounds and spending two hours at the range, turned in a 92 the next day. My handicap has dropped from 25.1 to 17.1 , but since the handicap index is even more artificial than an FTE, and only representative of your best 40% or so of your recent rounds, it is hard for me to get too excited. Especially since most days I don’t seem to play close to that. (Nor should I, really, but that’s not the way the male mind works, is it?)

What is it about this silly, pointless, game of chasing a little white ball around a great big meadow that gets under my skin?

Maybe I need new clubs.

While possible, I don’t actually think it is my clubs. Or the balls I use. I think it is a damnably hard game, one that is harder still for someone with only balance nerve intact, anger issues, and a general lack of coordination. I am also rhythm-deaf and have a horrible sense of tempo and timing. (Except in humor. My timing is perfect there, except when it is off by a few years since I am often ahead of my time.)

Golf is hard.

After 27 disappointing holes on Saturday, I played in a scramble at Quantico Marine Corps Base in a fundraiser for the Young Marine Foundation. Since it was team effort where  we would each play from the result of last best shot, individual score wasn’t kept, and all I had to do was contribute. No stress. And my swing really did feel perfect much of the day – and the results very often matched.

Maybe the difficulties are in my head. I need to better manage the expectations I have for myself and just enjoy the experience. The problem is that I find it hard to enjoy not being awesome. Or good. Or even adequate.I really need to learn

Be nice. It won't hurt either of us.

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