The Wisdom of Cousin Eddie
Sooooooooooo profound. Oh no - has it sped by you faster than Santa's reindeer - like your most recent text message, news flash ping, or random & fleeting thought? I understand. Yet this 'simple' man from the holiday classic Christmas Vacation (mandatory multiple viewings in the CS household at this time of the year) has so many useful, meaningful and even poignant (dare I say. I dare!) messages to help us on the links, and our own personal city sidewalks.
William Wordsworth knew that:
"Wisdom is oftentimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar"
Creativity, Imagination & Problem Solving
You never really know what you might discover on a morning stroll - or when faced with a seemingly straight forward shot on the course. 'Supposed to' do this. 'Should' hit this club. 'Need to' play it this way. Really? According to whom?
Our man Cousin Eddie happened upon an object during his morning cold therapy session. Notice the inquisitive look on his face. He's pondering. Wondering. Picturing/visualizing. Curious. Seeking answers to the puzzle.
What about you when you play? Stuck in someone else's playbook (that's what realm you're in when the word "should" pops into your thought process and/or verbiage)? Pretending like you've got the speed and ability of a Tour player? Following some trend that will soon be out of vogue?
Cousin Eddie knows: The gist of the game of golf is to get the ball in the hole as soon as possible. Unlike figure skating, no points or reduced score for "prettyness." Ball. In. Hole. ASAP. Using any club, at any time.
Struggle with the driver off the tee? Hit something other (more loft = more forgiving = more often in play). Think you should (there's that word again...) be able to hit some iron a certain distance? Maybe, maybe not. That's why you have a club that goes a little further than the one you think you 'ought to' (a term that is a close relative - like Clark & Eddie - to 'should') hit distance "x."
Iffy with a lofted club around the green? Ditch it until you become more proficient, and try something different. The Scots will tell you to never hit the ball in the air unless you have to. Wise, like Eddie.
The Life of the Party
Always ready to rock and roll, Eddie is. You? On the links and daily upon awakening? Last I checked golf was a game - and games were originally designed to be fun - like a good party. Ah yes, the sport has been dissected, diagnosed and science-ized like never before. Yet like in all games, there remains a bit of luck, a splash (Eddie's about ready to make a big one, above) of the unknown, the unfair, and the unfathomable; and, such a large portion is out of your mathematical and measuring mind's control...
Why not then enjoy the mishaps, the bad bounces (don't forget the good ones...) and the adventure that a round of golf actually represents. You think you've got it all mapped out? Planned? Dialed? Think again, boys and girls: you're next round of golf will be as random & chaotic as if you jumped into Cousin Eddie's "RV" for a little trip...
That being said, why not know the relevant #'s, data and stats, when it comes to a round of golf? Quite possibly might lower your 'expectations' (there's another word, along with 'should,' you can toss into the sewer this Christmas) for your golf.
Click on pool-bound Ed for the poop from Scott Fawcett and DECADE Golf.
Gracious & Patriotic
Always. You? When you put it on the peg each and every time? Lots of folks aren't so fortunate... Take it for granted? Take a moment next time you're out in the golf park and look around. Carefully. Appreciatively. Graciously. For those of you who are all about "low scores," you might be surprised at how much balance, harmony & synchrony flood your body/mind system, and help to enhance mindset, clarity and overall performance.
Our hero Cousin Eddie knows: he's happy as a hog - or his dog "Snots," below - with some brutally dry and overcooked turkey (as long as he gets the neck...), jello, surrounded by uber-dysfunctional family.
Oh... you thought Snots was void of wisdom as well? Think again. As aficionados of this classic flick well know, Snots has a bit of Mississippi leg-hound in him. I shant elaborate further, except to say that sometimes we encounter a hole or shot that appears easy, kind or straightforward. Basic. Then, a la Snots, it can jump up, lay into you - and perhaps worst of all - hold on.
When situations on the links appear overly simple, it's easy to lose focus, concentration and intent, momentarily. Result? Poor stroke, swing, or sloppy hole. Then, if you are not careful, that mean, critical, Grinch-like part of you shows up - crucifies you for screwing up on such an elementary task - and lingers with you thereafter.
In Snots' case, apparently, it's best to "let him finish." However, in your case, you get to choose, who you want to be, and when. When it's time to put a stop to negative thinking and emotions, belittling yourself, and bemoaning your mistake. You are in control, not someone, or something else.
More wisdom, re dogs, and their masters, from one of my heroes - Edward Abbey:
"When a man's best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem"
Goes without saying... The dickey. The slacks. The glistening white loafers. Puts the likes of Doug Sanders, Payne Stewart and Rickie Fowler to shame. And the Eddie look above is just one of many in his arsenal.
"Look good to play good," right?
Certainly no harm in hitting the links in style. My brethren at Nike Golf have some ideas for you, and your loved ones (it's not too late!). Click above.
Knows his Christmas Tunes
Just like B-B-Bing. At a pool party, or around Christmastime.
Rhythm, tempo and timing are becoming lost arts in so much of modern day instruction, and in the playing of the game. Yes, it's more and more a 'bomb & gauge'/'send it' game in current times, especially off the tee. Yet, observe the truly skilled linksters on and around the green:
- Feel for the partial shots.
- Finesse with the flatstick.
- Fine tuners with the wedges.
Maestros with the scoring clubs - like Crosby was with his voice. You? Stuck in some position-oriented technique? Trying to copy someone who isn't you (ah yes, identity-theft strikes again)? Considering buying another wedge (or maybe St. Nick will bring you one?) to help with the short shot woes?
Here's a last-minute CS offering for the season: practice and play with only one wedge for a few weeks - or longer - and learn to make the ball perform, and behave as you desire - with that single club. Isn't it time you allow your inner artist to shoot down the chimney, and come out and play?
Click on our dapper, pipe-toting (kinda like Santa) crooner just above, and have yourself a Merry Christmas, wherever you may be.
Coaching & Guidance
How about this for a last-minute gift of improvement for the golfer in your life...
Pre-round warm-up, 9-hole playing eval/lesson at Eugene Country Club, 90 minute post-round technique-oriented instruction, & game plan/road map for the future.
$575 for non ECC members
$500 for ECC members
"Unless we make Christmas a time to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won't make it white"
-- Bing Crosby
~ CS ~