“Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated. It satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening—it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.” ~Arnold Palmer
My friend, Jim Sellner, sent me this quote this morning. I have no doubt because I have become a touch obsessed with golf. Yes, the Ladies League Night has led to practicing, lessons and early morning golf tee times! In many ways I am having a blast. I am also fully realizing the maddening aspects of the game mentioned in the quote.
Just last night, I found myself having what I thought was one of my best games yet. I was hitting the ball longer, straighter and indeed started off with far fewer shots on each hole. However, in the end three very bad holes totally overtook all the good stuff in terms of my score card. My brain was screaming, “loser”, but my soul was singing with the satisfaction of progress and a few wonderful shots!
I don’t know that I agree that golf is the greatest game, but I do totally get the rewarding and maddening aspects as well as satisfying the soul while frustrating the intellect. Plus, I have come up with my own life lessons that a summer of golf is teaching me. These lessons do go well beyond the fairway.
- Loosen my grip. That may be obvious for some, but honestly I never knew that was why I was topping the ball or more importantly ‘coming in a situation well over the top!’
- Don’t think to much about it. Indeed another obvious one and still one of the hardest to break. I am masterful at reliving, well re-thinking over and over something and it generally leads to trouble!
- One short putt is just as powerful as a 220 yard drive. Those little things do count, even though to often the big things get way more focus and attention!
- Hitting over the trees (or water) may be a short cut but only if I really can hit over them! I love this one. There are signs on the course encouraging golfers not to take the short cut – but honestly most of us over-confident drivers – go right for the straight line and must of us aren’t really skilled enough to get there. Thus hacking our way out of the trees or worse hitting though a window of a house just on the other side! (this explains two of my three horrible holes – no broken windows but water and lots of trees! )
- Be willing to shift your weight. In any swing, except putting, there is a need to shift your weight from one foot to the other. Too often I find myself either hacking with just my arms or getting stuck with my weight on one side. This one may be even truer off the golf course: I need to be willing to shift off my own fixed position!
So golf is teaching me many lessons! Plus I am meeting new folks and enjoying some community building. I doubt I’ll ever be good, but my soul is still singing with the satisfaction of making a few great shots! Some short and some long!!