Thursday, April 8, 2021

Ramblings Of An Old Golfer

 Have you ever questioned why you play the game of golf? I have, especially now that have officially become a senior golfer. I have this impending fear that I'm slowing down. I don't hit the golf ball as far as I once did in my youth. While this may be true, my golf IQ is as high or higher than it has ever been. On a good day, I can still play with the younger crowd but I sometimes hang my head when I'm reaching for the six iron and the kid that I'm paired with is pulling his nine. Is this ego or hubris talking to me? I don't know? 

I work hard at playing the best golf I can. Noticing that my distance is dropping off just a bit, I went out and bought a golf launch monitor to help in my practice sessions to improve my swing, especially my swing speed. The thing I enjoy most about the monitor is it reminds me that I have a solid swing when in tempo, displaying a very good smash factor for the speed that I do produce. Am I overanalyzing my ability to play the game of golf? Am I concentrating on the correct areas of the game to maintain and improve my golf game? 

When I was younger I got a good lesson in the game of golf. I was taught that if I could be good from the green out to a hundred to one hundred and fifty yards that I could play with anyone. The short game focus is truly the way the game was meant to be played, in my humble opinion. Lately, my focus has been on how much my drive distances seem to be comparatively speaking to my playing partners. Why should I care? I still have the ability to get up and down and play par golf. 

Today there is so much focus on stokes gained in the distance game. Statics show that the closer to the green you can place your ball, the lower your scoring should be. But is it a realistic goal for the average golfer to hit the ball as long as you humanly can? I'm not sure. But it is nice to watch a perfectly struck drive get out there, isn't it! The sad part of this equation is that over swinging to achieve this goal usually puts you in the trees or the deep stuff that leads to a layup anyways! 

After writing these few paragraphs I think I've made a breakthrough. While I will continue to use the launch monitor to eke out a little more swing speed and distance, I'm going to go back to concentrating on what truly makes my game enjoyable, the short game. I think accepting what I produce off the tee box and then working out a strategy to getting up and down is probably the right way to play the game, at least for me. I'll concentrate on swinging in tempo, hitting fairways, and getting the ball in the hole once I'm on the green. In the words of David Byrne of the Talking Heads, "Same as it ever was!"

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