The "word of the week," wasn't it, boys & girls? Rocked us more than the latest and greatest swing method - except this one has slightly larger implications than destroying 6 out of 10 golf swings. And the insidious, oft-ridiculous measuring games go on, whether it be one's nuclear button size, wallet girth, or 7-iron carry distance.
I'm doing my very best to keep politics out of my missives (however, there's always an underlying theme that can help your grow & evolve as a golfer - you just have to dive a bit), yet on this day where we pause to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I'd be doing my soul a disservice by being quiet.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Well, I've still got a lot of living, and learning, to do - don't you?
Sure, we could just ignore the beyond inappropriate and embarrassing comment from this country's commander in chief - just like you could ignore the embarrassingly weak link in your golf game. We could just avoid listening or viewing the news (fake, or other), just like you could (try) and avoid some shot, club or situation that torments you on the links. And, we could certainly just turn a deaf ear and blind eye towards the actual situation, just like you could turn a deaf ear and blind eye to the reality of accepting that creating a new pattern, motion or mindset in your golf game and/or swing is a process, not the quick fix the modern-day golf charlatans are slinging your way.
Read and view on for some insight on how to address your perfect imperfections, via the fantastico golf-inspired covers from "The New Yorker," and a pocketful of thoughts that might just prompt you to think twice about staying silent...
Isn't that just one of the things we relish about this great pastime? Golf calls you out on you BS, doesn't allow you to hide, and keeps you accountable. Skin tone in the dimple-shaped eyes of the golf ball? Irrelevant. It's all part of the beauty, nature, and aura of golf. Do you too have some chinks in your golfing armor? Welcome to the club. Or, are you just putting up walls - on the links and in your life - pretending like nothing's wrong?
Measuring "Excellent Health"
You know - the important things - like blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, heart rate, and weight. Really? That's like telling me how many putts per round you take (TOTALLY dependent on # of greens-in-regulation), how far you hit your driver (on your best day, of course, downwind, on an airport runway - and never mind about the dispersion), and how your short game is really pretty sharp (my "very stable genius" self tells me that's probably not the case).
But what about the piece that's controlling the entire show? It is, after all, primarily an Inside Job (click on the previous two words to read a terrific article from legit putting guru and pal, David Orr), didn't you know? Ironic - or not - that the golfer pictured just above did not undergo a psychiatric exam, even though modern day leaders of this country typically do regularly, and a release a doctor's report declaring them "fit for duty."
"Knowing what I do, there would be no future peace for me if I kept silent."
-- Marine biologist and poet laureate of science Rachel Carson
What do you really know re your own 'mental health' on the golf course? You know - who you become when things take a bad bounce or turn for the worse? How you respond and react to the peaks, valleys and inevitabities of everything in a round of golf? And most importantly: how it affects your game?
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
Since thoughts and emotions precede actions, maybe it's time - New Year 2018! - to have your mental golf health assessed, dare I say measured... Like with your golf swing, what are you tendencies, your trends, and your favorite mistakes? Do you know and recognize the 'you' who performs best on the golf course, and who (or what) you become when things go South? And again: do you have actual tools & strategies to get you back on track? Trying to 'relax,' 'breath' and 'stay in the present' might temporarily trick your conscious mind - but your issues (based in fear), dear friends, are all dwelling in the subconscious.
Apologies - a bit too deep for you (like the shitter pictured up top)? You prefer to stay in your safe, snug and stagnant comfort zone, where it's not so scary. I understand. How's that working for you, BTW? And did you know: everyone is watching.
"To sin by silence, when we should protest, is to make cowards out of men,"
-- Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Measure the bliss from walking on grass, sun in your face, and breathing fresh, marine-incensed air (give CS a seaside links layout anytime, please).
Measure the pitter-patter of your heart courtesy of the uncommon challenges this game presents, the re-connection with nature (especially when we hit it crooked) you so desperately yearn for, and the anticipation of the little event they have each Spring in Augusta.
Measure the value of the camaraderie, the diversity, and the pleasure of taking part in something where etiquette, respect and honesty are still treasured.
Go ahead. Measure away...
"We realize the importance of our voice only when we are silenced,"
Interesting and important (for your putting as well) article and data from stats stud Rich Hunt. Ever track - yes, that's a form of measuring - what type of putts you do well with, and which are thorns in your side? Click on our wanna-be Camilo/Spiderman above to peruse Mr. Hunt's piece, then begin to note your biases.
The chap above was a pretty good green reader in his prime, to say the least. Wonder where he'd be today if Dr. King had just kept his mouth shut, stayed silent, and not spoke up on things that matter...???
TW will be back in action in a few weeks. Your current action in need of some fresh looks? Gotcha - and so do my peeps from Nike Golf. Click on the pic of the big cat above for some ideas.
CS Escape in So Cal
Minimal measuring to be had during the retreat at Pauma Valley Country Club, February 22-25, 2018. Some yoga, some golf, some instruction, some shared bread-breaking and conversation with a few like souls. In a pristine setting. Click above for specifics - only a few spots remain.
Yoga teacher Ali Matt (more on Ali below) who will be joining us this year to guide us through pre and post round practices. Rev the body and mind up before, restore after.
Also, if you have a partner or spouse who is interested in joining - yet not into the golf piece - Ali & I have a plan... Shoot me a note for details.
"Better to trip with the feet than the tongue,"
~ CS ~