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Pinball Wizard

He who hoists the Claret Jug this coming Sunday eve in Northern Ireland shall have to be, undoubtedly.  Not just hoping for some leprechaunian magic...  À la Tommy (not Fleetwood - although he might be a great pick this week!) from The Who's classic mid-70's flick. 

If you recall, Tommy goes into shock (as many of you who practice indoors would, undoubtedly, upon arrival on the links of Royal Portrush, or the like) after seeing his stepfather murder his father during an argument over his mother.  The poor lad becomes psyshosomatically deaf, dumb and blind.

Traumatic, surely.  Much like what can happen to your mind, then physical body, after recurring poor shots.  Yet Tommy stumbles onto a pinball machine and discovers he is a natural prodigy for the game (what is your gift?), a master negotiator  and manager - just as an Open Champion must be - of glances, caroms and ricochets.

Isn't it time to discover how you best swing a golf club (time to hide those one-size-fits-all methods in some shadowy hollow, folks), play the game, and process potential traumas? 

Click above (cameo from Sir Elton, of course) and view below, for some insight on how best to proceed through the peaks & valleys in the golf park, and on your daily sidewalks...

"Ever since I was a young boy
I've played the silver ball"

You?  Played the little white ball since you were a young boy or girl?  Have things not changed since then?  Your physical body?  Your emotional states?  Your sheer lifestyle?  I think so...  Have you acknowledged, accepted and adjusted to - as we must do to the wildly wacky conditions of links golf - those 'alterations,' or do you whimsically believe all ought to be as before? 

"But I ain't seen nothing like him
In any amusement hall"

Indeed.  And you won't see nothing like what the Dunluce Links shall offer up, in a cushy setting like the one above.  Climate controlled.  Projected/predicted ball behavior data & #'s (ah... but what about the nugget's final resting place, largely determined by those rascally leprechauns, and Lady Luck).  Pristine, table-top flat, not a blade of artificial turf out of place, surfaces. 

Rather, you're amusement hall - and the one those stepping into golf's oldest championship over the next few days - will look like:

"He's a pin ball wizard
There has got to be a twist
A pin ball wizard,
S'got such a supple wrist"

The twist, boys and girls?  Creativity.  Imagination.  Improvisation. Seeing it (everything starts with a picture, did you not get the memo?) first, so as to pre-program the Magister (your brain/mind) what it is that you want.   

Oops - you thought those partial shots were all about perfect technique, smash factors, and hitting five balls (whaa... they don't give you do-overs in the Open Championship?) from the same spot, to the same target, void of consequence?

Ah, the wizards on the links would disagree... Supple wrists.  Deft touch.  Feel for the ground and the grasses underfoot.  Click on each image above for an example from past Champion Golfers of the Year.
"He stands like a statue,
Becomes part of the machine
Feeling all the bumpers
Always playing clean
He plays by intuition,
The digit counters fall
That deaf dumb and blind kid
Sure plays a mean pin ball!"
Your man Harry Vardon did - stand like a statue.  Of a man who captured this championship six times. 

"How do you think he does it? I don't know!
What makes him so good?"

I do...

"Feeling all the bumpers"

Go ahead and put your plug and play toys, green charts and formulas on and around this green... Or, you could spend some quality practice immersing yourself upon this wondrous chunk 'o earth, so that your brilliant mind/body system can capture the feel of it, via all its abundant unconscious resources.    

Part of the Open Championship machine, winning five times, and of course nearly a sixth at age 59.  Tom Watson.  And that after disliking links golf when he first experienced it.  The question then begs: what can you learn to embrace, appreciate & respect upon further investigation (links and life)?

"How do you think he does it? I don't know!
What makes him so good?"

I do...

"Always playing clean"

A "clean" strategy, intention and goals (ditch those expectations, please) are paramount before stepping onto that 1st tee, and letting the swing go.  Doubt, indecision and mistrust are killers on the course, and elsewhere in your existence.  Where the golf ball ends up is beyond your control - yet you are in charge of all that precedes its journey.

Watson chose to 'cleanly' navigate the breezes of links golf not by keeping the ball down - but rather by swinging much the same as in still conditions.  He simply aimed more left or right for crosswinds, while taking more or less club for helping and hurting winds. 

Clean.  Simple.  Wizardesque.

Another five-time champion, Aussie Peter Thomson.

"How do you think he does it? I don't know!
What makes him so good?"

I do...
"He plays by intuition"

Ah... but do you?  Or do you poo poo the notion, opting to overdose on metrics, averages and stats?  Do you ignore the little whispers in your ear hinting to pull a certain club, play a specific shot, or chose a particular path?  I understand.  Pity...

Your gut, instinct and intuition are powerful guides from within (internal Pinball Wizards), rarely misdirecting.  Yet instead, you often opt to listen to your loudmouth (much like our ever-posting SM golf experts, who themselves, have never won anything...) conscious mind, the know-it-all, experienced-nothing, part of self. 

Not Peter Thomson.  During a clinic not long ago, he was asked the unfortunate question, “How far do you hit your 7-iron?” Thomson silently replied by dropping three balls next to each other on the practice ground: one in a good lie, the second he stepped on, and a third on a tuft of rough. Making identical swings, he hit the 7-iron what looked to be 140, 150 and 160 yards. “Next question,” he said.

"That deaf dumb and blind kid
Sure plays a mean pin ball!"

Yes, he does.  And you can become a mean player of the little white ball and stick game without understanding conceptually & intellectually all that is being made important with the ability to measure it.

Hmm... are we making things important because we can measure them, or are we measuring things because they are important?

Makes you wonder Who is really deaf, dumb and blind...  


I'm here to help in the process of progress.

Train2Trust guided practice sessions in July, 2019:

Saturday, July 27, 10:00 - 11:30 AM

Plus: individual and small group guidance at Eugene Country Club, or a facility near you.

“I believe in intuitions and inspirations...I sometimes FEEL that I am right. I do not KNOW that I am.”

-- Albert Einstein



          ~ CS ~
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