Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Slice of Reality

As I flailed away, disgusted, disheartened and fearing the worst was still to come, I wondered where it had all gone so terribly wrong. It had been merely a few weeks ago that my success had been publicized throughout the world. Well, sort of.

Golf was definitely a 4 letter word for me yesterday. My almost flawless opening round of the year, which I discussed in a letter that the New York Times published, seemed mockingly remote. I was being punished for my arrogance in even suggesting, for the briefest of moments, that this was but a simple task.

Even the Polara ball, the one that represents itself as magically curing all that ails the golf swing, would have recoiled in horror at some of the feeble attempts I made. Places that had never even been peripherally of note, now were spots where the golf ball landed. With the first effort of the day, I turned to my playing partner and was forced to ask if he ever saw the flight of the ball, as it had disappeared from my view instantaneously. It did not get better throughout the succeeding hours.

It does seem to me that this is an annual rite of passage. I know that past writings chronicle similar tales of woe. And thus I found myself in familiar territory yesterday, applauding the weather, and the pace of the round, unable to find anything else remotely redeeming about the circumstances.

As I wandered helplessly from woods to water, my math skills deserted me. Whereas I am renowned, or more correctly reviled, for counting not only my strokes each hole, but those of all the rest in my group, I suddenly was unable to put down on paper what had just happened to me. My mind refused to allow my hand to testify to the level I had fallen. At the end of the day 89 was not my score but merely the approximation of what my golfing dignity would permit.

And yet, like any addict, I found myself recalling the fleeting moments where something had somehow gone momentarily right. That second drive on 10, the one that came after the first 50 yarder, was a low hook that traveled further than any I could recall coming off my club in years. The drive on 11 followed a similar path. Then it was gone. But it had happened. And so, in all seriousness, at the end of the round, I tried to make gentle conversation as to whether there was a possibility of taking a lunch break and then doing this all over again. After all, those 2 swings had to come from somewhere, and if they were within my capacity, well then there must be more hidden just below the surface. It is sad but not surprising what crumbs we grab on to for sustenance. For in our golfing minds, tomorrow and all its glory, is but a swing away.


Anonymous said...

Well done, Robert. :)

Mike D

David B said...

wait,,,are you talking about my game? Were you watching MY swing?

Robert said...

If I was watching your swing, I unfortunately must have absorbed only the bad and none of the good.

How many days until the ski season?