Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Unrealistic Expectations

As we take the first tenuous, and in many aspects, unwise steps towards returning to life as we once knew it, there is I fear a wholly unrealistic expectation gripping millions: namely that their golf games have miraculously improved since last they touched their clubs.

With this sport now open for business in modified form in every juridiction across this nation, golfers everywhere are no doubt harboring thoughts of birdies, one putts and the eradication of that slice which has attached to their swing like white on rice for years.

After residing in an alternate universe where every breath was fraught with potential peril, it is indeed glorious to be occupied with nothing more critical than moving the ball in the rough, with gimmes, mulligans, with cheating and lying about one's score and aptitude.

Certainly stark reminders that our nightmare is far from over will follow us around the course as we search in vain for ball washers, rakes in the trap and even putt at, not into, holes. For most, we will be compelled to walk for hours as we perform our task here, something nearly as daunting as the game itself. And we will keep our distance from those with whom we are paired, standing at no closer range than the length of the gimme we would like to be able to take.

And yes, to our great consternation, our swing will contain the same flaws, we still take the club too far inside, we still sway instead of turn, we still have our hands too high, too low, too much of this and clearly not enough of that our permanent companion.

But maybe, at least for a little while, our disillusion will remain hidden. Cursing at the gods will not accompany every missed three footer, every search in vain for the ball in the woods. Maybe we will discover the great joy in just being here, in being able to once more do something we have taken for granted in the past.

Covid 19 has robbed us of so much and will continue to follow us wherever we go for the indefinite future. But at least for a few hours we would ask that it leave us alone, that our minds be permitted to focus on learning once again that there is apparently no number greater than six, on remembering those few shots we can later brag about to people who have absolutely no interest in our describing in excruciating detail our second stroke on the fourth hole.

Yes, I would dearly love another 20 yards out of my drive. But at least for a little bit, I don't believe I will care quite so much about fulfilling wholly unrealistic expectations.

It is just wonderful to have the idea of golf take a seat at the table again.


ASK said...

You’ve been on a golf course playing in the past? I didn’t know that!!! When did you play before? And I bet you’ve been to a Yankees game too.

Anonymous said...

It was a great read and now I am ready for my first round this weekend.


Anonymous said...

Speak for yourself - my lofty golf expectations are realistic


Anonymous said...

So very true. But I got stuck on the part which says "our swing will contain the same flaws". I have no idea what "flaws" means.


Anonymous said...

Yet another in a long line of setbacks before I conquer the sport. PB