Carl Moos, 1924
Why not on this Valentine's Day 2018? Re your golf, and your life? Whatcha afraid of? The new? The unknown? What's outside your friendly, stagnant and oft-constipated comfort zone?
I understand. Perhaps you're in need of a splash of inspiration, a dash of motivation - a little push out of your box (better yet: get rid of the box all together). CS has some multi-sensorial options for you, the same pieces you need when learning to swing a golf club, and while playing these wondrous games of golf, and life...
Enjoy the timeless sport art throughout this missive.
Let that blue-lit TV screen of yours bring some fluid, fearless and fantastic models into your living room in the form of Olympians competing at the Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
And - BEFORE YOU DO EITHER OF THE ABOVE - click below on the blond-haired angel boy, cig in hand (that get your attention?), crank some volume on your device, and get yourself a little blast from our boys of Van Halen! St. Valentine surely would.
"Ah, might as well jump"
Dwight Clark Shepler, 1940
That's what 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist Shaun White did a few months back after splitting his face open trying something new (the YOLO flip - and you think a high-lofted pitch shot over a bunker is scary?) in a gruesome accident that required 62 stitches and five days in intensive care.
"I'm in the hospital and can't recognize myself in the mirror. I was like 'What does this mean? Do I really want this? Stepping out onto the snow again means I'm willing to let this happen again to me. That's a big decision.'"
But White had set a goal; have you - for your golf, or better yet - for something that would truly make a difference for someone, or something? You know, something motivated by love, care and compassion. It's VALENTINE'S DAY, brothers and sisters - time to take some action from the heart that will make a difference.
Take 5 minutes out of your day that is more-than-likely geared, in some way, at putting $ in your pockets, pandering likes on your SM feeds, and/or some activity that strokes your ego - and click on the tearful SW above - after one of the more bad-ass performance in sporting history... Hoping in some way, this will help you, help some others.
"I get up, and nothin' gets me down
You got it tough, I've seen the toughest around"
What gets you down during a round of golf? Easy to deal when the golf ball is 'behaving,' huh? But what happens when it starts to misbehave (oh - and it will!)? Get you down? Frustrate? Fluster? Flummox? Toughen up, 'cause this game will chew you up and spit you out, over and over.
Here's a thought that can snap you back to reality next time you hit a little mogul in your walk on the links: print and laminate that image of Shaun White above, and hang it from you golf bag. Next time you suffer a little boo boo, stare into those eyes and that battered face.
"Go ahead and jump"
Or, just take off your beanie in sub zero temps and sprint up the hill they name after you in destroying the competition to take home the gold. That's what Norwegian cross-country stud JH Klaebo did in the men's sprint. Click below and catch some inspiration, the final starting around the 1:10 mark. How about confidence + humility (bury your arrogance under a snow pile, please) for a winning cocktail, people? On the snow, or on the links.
Confidence? It comes from trusting (that's where effective practice comes in) your abilities when things get a little dicey, or chilly, in Klaebo's case. Train2Trust.
"And I know, baby, just how you feel
You got to roll with the punches and get to what's real"
Erich Hermes, 1936
I do, actually, know how you feel. When things go South, on the links and off. And, when life is but a well-groomed slope. Indeed: roll with the punches (the game of golf's got a nasty left hook, doesn't it?) and get to what's real.
Real - you mean what's the 'truth,' or what's 'meaningful?' - 'cause they ain't the same. Sometimes you need to sit back like our mountain-lover pictured above, and ponder what is real. What is important. What is needed. Sit back, reflect, sun in your face (dang, yet another cigarette! There is a large body of research on the effects of nicotine & learning, BTW - so...) a cup 'o something tasty nearby, and reflect on what it is you need to do to evolve as a golfer (and humanoid).
"You say you don't know
You won't know until you begin"
Slovenian cross-country skier Petra Majdic (above) didn't know she had broken ribs when she took home the bronze in the classic sprint at the 2010 games in Vancouver. In fact, neither did a doctor upon viewing an ultrasound following a crash in warm-ups:
"I don't know," the doctor said, "but it looks like everything's OK."
Oops. Miss-diagnosis. Like some swing teacher trying to get you to move like a legendary Tour player. Like some average. Like some optimal. Or a 'mental coach' addressing effects, instead of causes. Shame, shame. Ignorance is bliss? Sometimes...
Ms. Majdic gritted her teeth (give that a shot momentarily after whacking one astray - then take a big, deep breath and remember how lucky you are to be playing this game, outside, in a big park), went through a qualifying race, a quarterfinal, a semifinal, and a final where she fought to an improbable bronze medal.
She finally went to the hospital where she was diagnosed - correctly this time (think: what is the cause of my wayward shots...) - with four broken ribs. The stabbing pain she'd felt during the semifinal? That was one of the broken ribs puncturing her lung (and you thought it 'hurt' to miss a short putt?), which then collapsed. She missed the rest of the games and was in the hospital for nearly a week.
Add this image to the one of Shaun White to your golf bag's hanging display. Oh, you're upset 'cause you stubbed a chip? 'Cause it's rainy and cold and you have to play golf? 'Cause you don't hit your driver far enough?
On The Horizon 1 Day Golf School with Yoga
You also won't know until you begin how much some daily yoga could help your body, mind and spirit - on the links and off. Known as "medicine" in many circles. Addictive? YES! Side effects? YES! The kind we like. Legitimately beneficial for your golf? YES! Do you think added mobility, strength and mindfulness would help you shoot lower scores, and enjoy the experience more? I do.
Come join us at Ghost Creek on Saturday, February 24 for some golf, and some guidance in the game and the practice that is yoga. CS on the golf side, rock star teacher Ali Matt (click on Ali's image below for more on her) on the yoga side.
Details & Agenda
- Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, Ghost Creek at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club
- 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM: Body & Mind yoga warm up, pre-round with Ali
- 10:00 AM-10:30 AM: Golf warm up with CS
- 10:30 AM-10:45 AM: Tee it up at Ghost Creek, CS in your group for 9 holes (at the very least)
- 3:30 PM-ish: Snack/Lunch and debrief
- 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM: Train2Trust Guided Practice lead by CS
- 5:15 PM - 6:00 PM: Restorative yoga with Ali
- $250 per person ($200 for Witch Hollow Members)
Shoot me a note on Christopher@ChristopherSmithGolf.com for more info.
Need some guidance in any (and all) aspects of your golf? I'm here. Pumpkin Ridge for a few more weeks - then jumping to my new home at Eugene Country Club.
"It's so foolish to live (which is always trouble enough) and not to save your soul. It's so foolish to lose your real pleasures for the supposed pleasures of the chase - or the stock exchange."
-- Willa Cather
~ CS ~