Houses of Rising Suns
A gathering that never fails to disappoint, educate and enlighten, via examples (the most potent of all things), the little springtime shindig in Augusta, GA, known as The Masters. The genius, the disappointment, the unexpected, and so much more - wrapped into a week-long festival of golf.
Houses full of rising suns, dens full of falling stars; read on for my take, observations and insight, and how what we witnessed can help you, on and off the links.
I wonder: what did you learn? 'Tis the first question I ask my students & players after a competitive round of golf (yes, even before "what did you shoot?), 'cause it's the most important, IMHO. No learning, no growing. No learning, no betterment. No learning, no evolving.
That threesome irrelevant to you? No problemo; if so, click below to see how I might assist.
The image up top may have stolen the entire show, and it happened after the last stroke had been played. The unpredictable lurks around each and every corner at ANGC (as it does when you put your ball on a peg on the 1st tee) - but you know that by now, right? The question then begs: are you ready for the adventure - or in search of some consistent, mundane & predictable outcome?
Shota Hayafuji, the youthful and innocent looking caddy of eventual 2021 green jacket-donner Hideki Matsuyama, showing class (something. alas, the almighty $$ cannot buy), gratitude and respect, with the simplest of spontaneous gestures. No language barrier here amigos; like with a smile (it's OK, fellow humans, smiling doesn't transmit the dreaded bug), an act of consideration, or a selfless choice. Try those on for size in the very near future.
Click on the image for a reminder. Then, next time you set upon life's daily sidewalks, remember that kindness, respect and a friendly gaze have the power to instantly change someone's day for the better. Take responsibility for the energy you bring into any space, golf park, or other.
Tears in his Eyes
Yet no Cinderella story here, peeps. Hideki has been rocking it worldwide, with world class, for a while. Congrats to him, and his team.
The difference? After the skies cleared on Saturday PM and play resumed, Matsuyama went on a tear as the rest of the field flailed with the altered conditions. Softer ground with a bit of moisture led to irons airmailing greens, and putts being left woefully short.
Except for the eventual winner; his recipe? Acknowledge. Accept. Adjust. Get sized for a green jacket.
Even the coolest of customers can be overwhelmed by emotion, as can you. Emotions walk hand-in-hand with thoughts, and thought precedes action (not so much what you are thinking - a swing thought, cue, or feel - but how - attitude, mindset and flow-state - you are thinking). Best to get in touch with yours so you can better manage them, so they don't manage you.
No dry eyes for 2020 winner Dustin Johnson last fall either. The property that Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts brought to golfing life can do that to a fellow.
What about you? What brings about meaningful feelings in your existence? When things don't go quite right during a round, take a look for a moment at the people & pieces in your life that really matter; suddenly, that less than perfect shot might not seem so important.
Better yet: look at all that happens in the golf park with a slice (not all slices are bad, BTW) of humor, Carl Spackler certainly would (click below for a refresher; the ridiculous distances he ponders are becoming more of a reality on Tour; have you noticed?)...
24-year old Masters Rookie Will Zalatoris captured the imagination of us all. Built more like a middle-distance runner than a modern-day PGA Tour player, kid got big game, period.
You see that look on his face, above? A lesson in itself for those of us a bit more weathered from the highs & lows of a round of golf: take what comes with a grain (especially the results you don't adore..) and march on! Zalatoris had a plan, he had intention, and he followed those undeterred to the 18th green on Sunday.
And best of all? Arguably (yet again), after the golf for the day had been completed. The interviews he gave were a true breath of fresh air for the younger (and more grizzled, and angry, read on...) generation. Attentive. Present. Humble.
Another threesome to put under your headcover next time you have any interaction with a fellow human being (as opposed to distracted, disinterested, or arrogant).
You missed them? Click above.
Fooled ya - didn't I? Much like the gusty winds often do at Augusta National. You thought you were going to tune into some words from a wise-beyond-his years Gen Z'er - and you get a blast (really, what did you expect from today's title, anyway? Shame on those expectations!) from The Animals, circa 1964.
OK, here ya go then, click just north (good thing he kept his 'head down' on this partial shot, huh? #amateursteachingamateurs) for Zalatoris' press conference. Oh, you don't have 12 1/2 minutes to listen to it all, but you do have hours and hours to bang balls on the range without purpose, or any idea whether what you are practicing will endure, or transfer to the golf course?
I understand; it's why I developed my Train2Trust programs. Its principles are based in science & experience (love me a good cocktail, don't you?), not some BS agenda, bias or preference. Click below for the ever-so juicy truth...
And I bet you missed the relevance of 1964, didn't you now? Why, it was the year Ken Venturi won his epic U.S. Open title at Congressional in the steam-room/sauna and 'forgot' to drink water. The same Ken Venturi who first helped a young Will Zalatoris back in the day at The Cal Club.
Ironies and messages (other than those popping up on your dumbphone right this second..) everywhere, people, for you golf game & peace of mind - if only you'd take the time to take notice.
The Perennial Bridesmaid
Perennial contender I'd say (it depends on how you perceive infamous glass 'o water). Then remember: nothing is permanent.
Xander Schauffle is simply "stacking the deck" (thank you yet again Dr. DC). He does everything in his power to prepare for when it's his turn to win, and he shall; what we fail to recognize, is that sometimes it's just not your turn...
Now it's your turn for a bit more listening, watching (the facial expressions - especially the sincere smile, even after heartbreak) and learning. Click above or below (you have choices when you play as well - not just on what club to hit, but on 'who' you choose to be, how you respond to various stimuli, and much more...) for Schauffle's Sunday post round interview.
Sorry - no audio here - however, much to learn. No smile - but a fantabulous smirk, thank you. Indeed, America loves a good train wreck, but CS does not...
Obviously disappointed, yet then again, welcome to the golfer's club, Brooks Koepka. Co-founder of this iconic event, one Bobby Jones, had a nasty temper himself for a long period of time. Seriously doubt he'd drop a bomb to the masses, a la Brooks, though. Oh well, who knows if his invitation might get lost in the mail for 2022...
Once again, perhaps it's what you are not seeing... Like BK's footwear, designed and distributed by my brethren at Nike Golf. Click on a disgruntled BK for some fresh Tax Day looks.
Billy on his Bum
Back to that 'humor' thing, folks. Please do keep a sense of it whilst playing this wacky game - and here again - we see the importance of proper footwear (click on a grumpy Brooks, if you haven't already..).
"DOWN GOES BILLY, DOWN GOES BILLY!" With the Augusta patrons reacting in much the same way they do when a player misses a short putt (clicky click). Phil seems unimpressed - then must play informer re 'soil on the backside.'
For a fellow who often prances around with a puffed-up chest (yes, PLEASE DO copy his posture & gait for your own on-course performance - preferable to head down + slump-shouldered), only fitting that he find some balance (pun intended) upon the around Rae's Creek.
CONTRIBUTING = CARING
Joy for seriously ill children mustn't be an exception - it must be part of their regular care. And it's why I’m taking part in a Golf for Joy Challenge to raise $ for the Children’s Cancer Association.
I'm planning a fantastic (and LONG) day this April 19, 2021, upon my old stomping grounds at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, in the form of walking and playing 100 holes to benefit CCA. The kids deserve it!
Please join me in making a contribution to my Golf for Joy Challenge fundraiser, by clicking above. Your generosity will help deliver music medicine, mentorship, and meaningful experiences in nature (think about what a golf park does for your well-being?) to young patients facing serious illness.
Contact me for a consultation; click on my logo just above for further specifics.
Remote and in-person coaching options at Eugene Country Club, & Puerto Los Cabos, Mexico. The development of an optimal practice program for you, your needs, and your schedule. Ideas and referrals in the equipment domain - those sticks in your bag, and your physical body. Science and evidenced-based help in achieving higher mental acuity on the course. A competent, comprehensive and on-going loop for learning, regardless of where you are on the planet.
“Class is an aura of confidence that is being sure without being cocky. Class has nothing to do with money. Class never runs scared. It is self-discipline and self-knowledge. It's the sure-footedness that comes with having proved you can meet life. ”
- - Eppie Lederer
~ CS ~