GOLF IS GOOD:

Golf Australia - - CONTENTS - AN­DREW DADDO

WOULD it be okay to ac­cept what life and God and time have given you, and set­tle for it?

To say to your­self, very qui­etly so no one else can hear and hold you ac­count­able, “This is my swing, it’s what I have. I’m okay with it be­cause we’ve been through so much to­gether and we’re more than mates, we’re like lovers. I know you’ll do the right thing by me when you can. Of course there’ll be days you let me down by be­ing weak or in­sipid or down­right stupid. But on oth­ers, you’ll sur­prise me by be­ing so God­damn lov­able and per­fect. Those are the days we’ll cher­ish.”

Or is that not okay? Should we all be hell bent on be­ing bet­ter, for if we’re not bet­ter, are we ac­tu­ally worse?

So many ques­tions, I know, but this is the stuff that’s been clog­ging up my bet­ter think­ing mo­ments and it’s time to let the de­mon loose and see if any­one else wants to lose some sleep. Se­ri­ously. There was a bloke in our four the other day and he’s just come back to golf af­ter an ex­tended break be­cause he was re­build­ing his swing.

He’s 51-years-old! He plays off two! TWO! And he’s just taken his swing into the shop for a ma­jor over­haul.

Now, I don’t know about you, but noth­ing shits me more than peo­ple who talk about their swing faults aloud. Okay, park­ing in­spec­tors def­i­nitely grate on me, and peo­ple who park in dis­abled spots and mo­rons driv­ing on the free­way read­ing text mes­sages are the worst.

But on a golf course, apart from slow play­ers and any­thing more than two prac­tice swings, it’s the out loud self-coach­ing golfer. “Man, I gotta stay down a frac­tion longer while I let that right side catch up with my hands.” I don’t ac­tu­ally know what that means. Or, “longer arms. Just got to re­mem­ber, longer arms.” What is that?

Well, what it is in re­al­ity, is a cue for ev­ery­one else in the group to think about the length of their arms when it’s their turn to hit. Same as let­ting your right side catch up with your hands, or was that the other way around?

For some of us, think­ing noth­ing is bet­ter than over think­ing.

As a rule, I try not to lis­ten. It’s not be­cause I’m rude, but be­cause I’m men­tally and spir­i­tu­ally weak. Such is my love of the game, I’m not of the char­ac­ter to ig­nore tips that might help me. In fact, this is what’s brought me to the ques­tion of whether to try to keep im­prov­ing, or just liv­ing with what I’ve got. I’m not un­happy: at least, I wasn’t. My new mate with the over­hauled swing was even off the card af­ter four­teen holes. He didn’t say much about his gap year, only that he was a bet­ter per­son for it. Ob­vi­ously, I had to ask why. Then, he had to shake his head and look like he wanted to tell me be­fore say­ing, “it doesn’t mat­ter.” What a bas­tard. Now I had to know. “It’s fine,” I said. “If you were that good and gave it away, it must have been some­thing heavy, right? Was it the yips? Chilli Dips? Were you shank­ing or shart­ing or what? I mean, a whole year for a re-build?”

He gave me a zen kind of look, that said, “Sorry, Oh God, I’m re­ally re­ally sorry.” “What?” I prac­ti­cally begged. This bloke, who had not looked like miss­ing a fair­way for just over three hours said, “Well, the thing is. My prob­lem is your prob­lem, too.” “Re­ally?” “Yep. You’ve been do­ing it all day. Not ev­ery swing, but your bad ones, def­i­nitely.”

“RE­ALLY?” What evil was this? I was like a kid on grandpa’s knee hear­ing the best story ever. “You hump the goat,” he stated. “I hump the goat?” “You’re a goat humper!” I looked at the other blokes and ap­par­ently there was no side joke as­so­ci­ated with this. “You get caught up the top on your in­side and then, to get the club to the right spot through im­pact, you have to do this weird, goat hump­ing mo­tion with your pelvis and it’ll kill you even­tu­ally. For me, it was re­build or die.”

He then went to the tee and pulled two drives in a row out of bounds, ru­in­ing his flaw­less ex­hi­bi­tion of golf. “Once a goat humper,” he smiled sadly. “But I’m try­ing not to be.”

I am lots of things, be­lieve me. If I can’t dodge his lat­est swing thought, good enough will not be good enough. I’ll be a re-builder, as well.

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