True Life Through Golf

It has been liberating to not open a laptop for 5 days! Able to monitor emails and posts via my phone gave the chance to really enjoy our friends and family gathering at a popular campground in Merrimac, WI. Also, miraculously, was the lack of drama and sincere enjoyment of the venue and camaraderie as 6 families went on this first-ever attempt to celebrate Eid al Fitr this way. Although we were there for 3 days, it took me nearly 3 additional days to catch up in opening mail, cleaning and storing all the gear, doing laundry, and restocking the groceries to a moderate level. There have been a few attempts to read the backlog of email, even after I purged myself off several newsletters before the trip, but I’m still behind a few days and did not even attempt to view the 73 notifications from Facebook.

Part of the delay in getting back on track is because my two youngest started a new term in high school, literally within 7 hours of our return, and the second reason is my priority to accept my husband’s invitations to play golf. He is quite the birdie-par-bogie player, while I am still in training.

We managed to play the beautiful Glacier course at Devil’s Head Resort, and I found it truly gorgeous! Hopefully, we will try to get back one more time before the end of this season Yesterday’s 18 holes were at Maple Meadows, which is in our area, and for which I have acquired a discount card with intent to play the 3 associated courses with more frequency However, Friday twilight was my first attempt, and it was fraught with frustration. We walked and sweated, for it was 93 degrees, but I also like to shoot and run for the ball because I find it fun and it usually gets a chuckle out of my partner. My first hole was a disaster, par 5, and I shot 10. Then I recalled excellent wisdom that was shared with me to not read the results of the first hole toward the whole game. I persevered only to come to the conclusion that my first 9 holes were a wash, since I am in training mode, especially not having practiced much in Ramadan. Unfortunately, the second 9 also resulted in a not much better score, but I did have more fun.

The problem as best as I can analyze is that strategically I know what to do, and I can even “see the movie in my head” before taking the shot. But there is a disconnect between my vision and my execution for which I can only surmise indicates that I need more practice. Teeing off, I can get great distance, but I’m vacillating between slicing and keeping it straight. I’m trying new things with my stance for that. Also, I either top the ball or hit too far behind, creating a divot before “bouncing” into my iron shots. Although I attempt to “hit down” on the ball to get loft, I top or ground it, so I’m struggling with consistency and learning where I meet the ball with various placements.

Golf truly registers a person’s character, just as my father always said. I was very disgusted with my performance on the front 9, and battled my own head to keep my focus in check before resolving the “rebirth” on the second 9. It didn’t help either that Riad accidentally lost our score card after the first couple of holes, because I had to tally my entire round mentally, counting up each shot while realizing the end score would seem astronomical. Ugh!

Then there was the 14th where my competitive, risk taking aspect of personality became evident. Envisioning a strategically safe tee shot toward the left of a right dog leg, my shot sliced right into the first of a string of 5 chained sand traps between me and an elevated green. Instead of taking the safe route, and potentially wasting a shot or more to get to the fairway, I risked the play to land successfully on little strips of grass while shooting a projectile out of the trap. The first landed safely on the turf, but the next shot just missed the green and I settled into the trap nearest the green. All in all, I’ve had great coaching on how to play sand, and the pulverant grit on my skin post-game proved it. Now I need Putting University, as it is literally half the game!

With that, I hope to return to more driving range and executive 9 hole courses for training, as I really want to master this…another telling sign of personality.

My husband says, “You shouldn’t be so stubborn,” but I contend that it is not so much stubbornness as a belief that the necessary skills are within reach and that the glory and satisfaction of their accomplishment is worth the effort. After all, isn’t that what we educators try to teach our students? Persevere, even through difficulty; apply consistent discipline, through adversity; and anticipate a just reward whether tangible or intangible for the effort. We have to walk the talk.

1 thought on “True Life Through Golf

  1. I really like your conclusion! I need to go back to the range and start practicing again so I can go down and dirty on the green! =D


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