Coming Back to the Game

“Golf never forgets you and is always waiting for your return.” Tommy Barnes, quoted in The Range Bucket List, by James Dodson

I’ve walked away from golf several times. Once as part of adolescence rebellion. My parents played golf. I played tennis. And again as I raged against the constraints of middle age. It is difficult to tick off exactly what draws me back to the game, but it’s all there when I come back. And there have been times when the lay off just happens; the stuff of that is life outside the game crops up.

This summer I didn’t play in the Ladies Monday League as I’d hoped, or with the EWGA as I did last summer. In all, I played a total of 36 holes, hit half bucket of balls at the driving range and was soundly beaten on the miniature golf course. So now it’s September – a time of cooler weather, shorter days, and I’m…

Pressing the Reset Button

reset

How-To

Step One – Give Yourself a Break

Okay, so you didn’t play as much golf last month as you would have liked, but there was that parr on 15, and the ten foot downhill putt that went in the hole on 9 last week. And mini golf with the kids? Hey, that’s your contribution to growing the game.

Swing Time

Relax and take your favorite club (currently my 7 iron is my best friend) and a handful of practice balls and hit a few. No big deal, just hit ’em. Practice your routine – grip, aim, set up, swing, follow through. Hit through your clubs in sequence – drive, fairway wood, short iron, wedge. Repeat. Go to the driving range and hit a bucket of range balls. Yeah – see! You know how to do this – you do it all the time!

Watch and Learn

Relax, sit back, and follow the pros on Sunday. Did you see Stacy Lewis as she played the Portland Classic for Houston, her beleaguered hometown? How about Phil Mickelson playing in the pouring rain at TPC Boston? Talk about dedicated to the game…Later this season, Ai Miyazato will play her final round on the LPGA tour. Watching her walk towards the final hole of the Evian Master (Sept 14 to 17) – an event that she won twice – is a moment that I don’t want to miss.

Read and Remember

Relax, sit down with a good book – just look at the pictures in Annika Sorenstam’s Golf Annika’s Way and remember all the little things that go into a good golf shot.

Golf Annika

Thumb through Think Like a Caddie Play Like a Pro, and remember some of the details that improve the likelihood of the good golf shot happening – details like keeping your club faces and grips clean and dry, and making a yardage book for home course.

Golf think like

Bend and Stretch

Relax, there are apps for that. Tony Finau’s 2 Minute Hotel Stretch Routine is a brilliant pre-round quick fix for flexibility. For a deeper dive, the Down Dog app is like having an ever-ready yoga studio on your smart phone. It’s free, its’s fun and it’s real deal yoga that you can dial up or down, easy to hard.

Clear Your Head – Make Room for Your Swing Thought

Relax, there are apps for that too. Plug in and let go with the Simply Being app by Meditation Oasis.

Zen-Golf-square

Whistle a Happy Tune

Relax, celebrate September with Earth, Wind and Fire, just hit the ball!

September

 

After Long Silence

Q: What makes God laugh?

A: People making plans

I had planned to play golf in the Monday evening league at the home course over this summer. I moved long-standing appointments around. I filled out the form and paid the dues. And then…and then my father-in-law’s health began to decline, and then we stepped up our search for a vacation home (rough life, huh?), and then we bought the second house and then, my father-in-law died. Full stop.

So, right now, just walking the course, hitting the ball and watching the clouds roll across the crisp blue sky on an afternoon late in summer is a gift of grace. It was a good round yesterday. I came back with the same ball that I started with; the fellows I played with were amicable and there was a good sized doe hanging out by the 6th green – my tee shot landed not far from where she grazed. My plan is to play another 9 holes this afternoon. We’ll see how it goes.