"Just a flesh wound"
Infamous 'tough guy' line from the Black Knight in Monty Python's "Holy Grail" - yet fitting for the iconic athlete who sped on to the next realm a few weeks back - the incomparable Niki Lauda.
In need of some mental and physical toughness next time things take a bad turn on the golf course? The boys at Pebble will this week...
To follow, some inspiration from a duo who'll make that short putt you whiff look less... traumatic? Some perspective next time you hit a loose one, then don your drama queen outfit en route to your next shot (nice to even have a next shot - ever pondered that?)? Some incentive to pick yourself up & brush off the grass clippings, next time the game wipes you out.
Read, watch and listen on, fellow linksters, for some insight from a couple of true tough guys...
You shudder to watch hoselrockets, chunky chips and flinchy flatstick motions? I understand. However, time to take a deep breath and click on either Lauda image north of here, to have a better understanding of just what he endured - and recovered from - in 1976 at the German Grand Prix in Nuremberg.
Lauda emerged as Formula One's star driver in 1975 and was leading the battle the following year (catch the movie "Rush" if you have not already) when the crash occurred. Close to death after inhaling toxic fumes and suffering severe burns, not only did he survive - he returned a mere six weeks later and raced the Italian Grand Prix.
Shall I refresh your memory of the three "R's," boys & girls? Those that are crucial to you navigating the gnarly twists and turns in the golf park? Voila...
How do you respond to a less than perfect outcome? When the golf ball does not behave as you'd planned (ah - but did you plan/program what you wanted, in your pre-shot routine - or just hope & pray?)? Why not look at a miss-hap as an opportunity. A window to find a different way to the hole? And adventure waiting to unfold (like in that other game - life)?
Are you able to recover (as Lauda did out of his hospital bed) when the hairpins that golf presents rear their ugly faces & heads? Oh, and they will, my friends, trust CS on that one... And there are ways to stop the bleeding of strokes:
- Turn those triples into doubles, doubles into bogeys, and bogeys into pars. Not sexy enough for you? Think it's all about making slews of birdies? Take a good look at Niki Lauda's face, and the upcoming U.S. Open Championship, to further grasp this concept.
- Struggling with the ever-so-important driver off the tee? You have choices... Best to have a trio of sticks you can trust from the teeing ground, should the big dog be in a bad mood.
- Change the ball flight, and pre-swing ritual. You are trying to do something with your golf ball, each & every time, right? Trajectory, curvature, distance, and the like? What you 'seeing' not happening? Don't get stuck in neutral, doing the same thing time and time again expecting a different/better result. Change gears - before the round gets away from you.
- The pre-swing routine that worked yesterday, not jibing today? Give it three tries, then move on. Rehearsal swings, waggles or looks - try something new/other if need be - before your entire day crashes and burns.
Resilience: "the capacity to recover from difficulties; toughness. The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity."
Lauda pictured in his first race back after the horrific crash, above. Take a good look into that face and eyes - then go ahead and cry us all a fast-flowing river after your next missed shot, bad bounce, or big number on the scorecard...
The Badass Black Knight
Shift of gears - just like we all must embrace at times on the links, and daily sidewalks.
From real-life Austrian rockstar racer, to the super silly fight scene from the English merry men of Monty Python. Yet all with a purpose...
"Non shall pass," states the Black Knight to none other than the King of the Britains. Love the guy's resolve (there's another essential "R" for you and your golf, boys & girls), don't you? And what about you? Resolved to improve - or just loose talk gibberish? Resolved to put your ever-so-precious energy towards elements you can control, as opposed to those you cannot? Resolved to take all your learnings from this game, and apply them to make meaningful differences off the links?
Clicky click above ('cept when I ask, I'm not looking to swindle a click for self-profit...) to catch this memorable tough guy scene.
HOWEVER: unlike the pandering masses in our dreadfully so UN-social media channels, I'm not looking to swindle a click for self-profit. Rather, to transform your self-verbiage (in bold and italics, below..) in the golf park, next time the situation calls for a dose of grit, shall we say, courtesy of our no-quit black-clad warrior:
"'Tis but a scratch," he declares after losing arm #1. Use that one after your 1st less-than-perfect shot of the day (there will be more, promise).
"I've had worse." Feel like there are days out there when things just aren't going your way? Some 'bad' miss-hits? NEWS FLASH: it could, and might, get worse. Yet you can change the pattern; for you alone to choose what you want. "C'mon you pansy!!!"
"Had enough, eh?" You? Throw in the towel and stop trying when things get a little testy on the links? Or have you got some fight in you when adversity strikes?
"Just a flesh wound." The classic line from the scene. Please, please, please - put that in your self-talk jargon next time you hit a rough patch (Niki Lauda sure did).
"Chicken, chicken!!!" Are you? To have the courage to 'put out there' what you want (yes, as in a score, people)? The audacity to believe you can do it? The bravery off the course to put others ahead of yourself?
"I'm invincible!" Hey - this chap might very well be a loony - but you gotta admire his self-belief, eh? Powerful. Dynamic. Potent. You? Fearful? Doubting? Skittish? Guess what? You get to choose who you want to be on-course - you are not the victim.
"Running away, eh?" Are you? From the challenges in your golf game (weaknesses), and in life (it's called accountability). Maybe it's time to stop pretending, and dig your teeth into the honest process of improving (the limbless Black Knight surely would).
Coaching & Guidance
I'm here to help put a little fight & toughness back into your progress on the links.
Individual and small group guidance at Eugene Country Club, or a facility near you.
"Alright, we'll call it a draw"
-- Arthur, King of the Britains, from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"
~ CS ~