Nebulous Zone of Neutrality
Seems that's what modern-day golfers are aspiring towards: neutral, average and 'zero-ing out' on some plug and play wanna-be high tech device. Pity, since we are all in fact so unique, individual, and special (watch it, narcissists out there...).
'Tis the moment of the calendar year where night and day are in total balance, did you take notice? The autumnal equinox north of the equator, friends of the links. Perhaps you missed it - distracted by other seemingly meaningful thingies - as is the case so often in modern day golf, and strolls on daily sidewalks..
I'm all for balance, harmony and synchrony in golf swing, the playing of the game, and life - yet your attempt at finding the nebulous zone of neutrality (a phrase I first heard from longtime mentor and friend, Jerry Mowlds) might very well be leaving you, well... out in space.
Read and look on - images today courtesy of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope - the first astronomical observatory placed into orbit around Earth with the ability to record images in wavelengths of light spanning from ultraviolet to near-infrared (now that's high, and legit tech, boys & girls!). Some thoughts and insight on how those vague, ordinary and indifferent #'s, stats and data that seem so important, and large, may in reality by quite minuscule (like you and I) in the grand scheme of things..
Dangers of Perfection
That be the Lagoon Nebula up top, and Justin Thomas, just above.
Some background on this nebula: At the center of the photo, a monster young star 200,000 times brighter than our Sun is blasting powerful ultraviolet radiation and hurricane-like stellar winds, carving out a fantasy landscape of ridges, cavities, and mountains of gas and dust.
This mayhem is all happening at the heart of the Lagoon Nebula, a vast stellar nursery located 4,000 light-years away and visible in binoculars simply as a smudge of light with a bright core.
And you thought our sun was bright... and that is what a little breezy last time you teed it... and let us not forget: Augusta National was once a nursery as well.
Some background on JT's recent putting work, and dilemma:
"When I was hurt, putting was really the only thing I could do, and I putted so much that I was trying to be perfect," Thomas said. "And striving to find that perfection, I got worse, which is - quite frankly - mind-blowing and a bit concerning. So I came out of that thinking I was going to putt better than I ever have, and I putted worse than I have in a couple of years. So that was pretty frustrating."
And you (and JT) thought trying to be perfect was going to help you get the ball in the hole sooner... and that expectations were beneficial (beliefs, intention and goals, yes)... and let us not forget: only the Gods and Goddesses are perfect, fellow being of perfect imperfections (so acknowledge, accept and adjust accordingly, please)...
Just above, IC 63, aka "The Ghost of Cassiopeia," located 550 light-years away in the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen. Powerful gushers of energy from seething stars can sculpt eerie-looking figures with long flowing veils of gas and dust.
More and more "powerful gushers of blah blah blah" seething into your golfing life by wanna-be guides and teachers looking to impress you (and eerily looking to get into your pocket). And for free, nonetheless. Ah... but do they have the energy to find what is the optimal way for you to swing a golf club (if you haven't done a physical screen or assessment, your swing shall become gas and dust as well), and play the game (that would take observing you playing the game, of course). Just ghosts in your machine, and on your screen, otherwise.
The IC 63's ethereal glow might remind people of apparitions such as those reported by paranormal investigators. In reality, it's simply hydrogen that is being bombarded with ultraviolet radiation from the nearby, blue-giant star Gamma Cassiopeiae (not seen here), causing it to glow in red light. The blue color is from light reflected off of the nebula’s dust.
Bombarded, amen. Like us all, from every conceivable direction re what to eat, how to exercise and even how best live our lives - let alone play the ball and stick game. Apparitions of (seemingly) happy, beautiful and content beings flooding every SM outlet - much like golf teachers who only post success stories with their students. Talk about paranormal...
What about the depressed, anxious, down-and out-humans (look all around you, folks) - and the plethora of lousy shots being struck. Time to tap into your ethereal glow, fellow linksters: your intuition, your instinct, your subconscious savvy. Some kind of ultraviolet radiation spewing from talking, blue-lit screens afflicting those innate gifts and qualities we all possess?
Pedigree and Remnants
The Crab Nebula, above, is one of the most historic and intensively studied supernova remnants. Observations of the nebula date back to 1054 A.D., when Chinese astronomers first recorded seeing a "guest star" during the daytime for 23 days. The star appeared six times brighter than Venus. Japanese, Arabic, and Native American stargazers also recorded seeing the mystery star.
Coolio, eh? Like all the 'new' info on golf swing as we rapidly approach 2020? Uh, not quite. Yes, our ability to measure (as if the human mind, body and spirit system didn't possess this ability..) has been augmented, yet one very important aspect of why a golf flies as it does, has not. This crucial tidbit has not changed since 1054 A.D. - and before - it's known as physics. Fancy talk, in Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Native American, or any other tongue, cannot alter the fact that the ball responds 100% to its collision with the clubhead at the moment of impact. But even Old Tom Morris knew that...
Is your golf guide helping you, the artist, discover the best way for you to produce said 'collision' in a manner that helps your golf ball better behave? If not, you too may be floating amongst remnants, lost in space...
Guess what else hasn't shifted since the beginning the bi-ped playing golf time? The fact that our only connection to the ground is through our feet, and what might be enveloping them. Click above on our fav Crab Nebula, for some offerings from my brethren at Nike Golf for the upcoming post-equinox season.
I'm here to help move you out of your zone of nebulous zone of neutrality - and into something that best fits you.
"He who becomes the slave of habit,
who follows the same routes every day,
who never changes pace,
who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,
who does not speak and does not experience,
He or she who shuns passion,
who prefers black on white,
dotting ones 'i's' rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer,
that turn a yawn into a smile,
that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings,
He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,
who is unhappy at work,
who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,
to thus follow a dream,
those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives,
He who does not travel, who does not read,
who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself,
she who does not find grace in herself,
He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem,
who does not allow himself to be helped,
who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops,
He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn't know, he or she who don't reply when they are asked something they do know,
Let's try and avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.
Only a burning patience will lead
to the attainment of a splendid happiness.”
-- Pablo Neruda
~ CS ~