foozle vt foo-zled; foo-zling (1892): to manage or play awkwardly; a bungling golf stroke

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I Played Golf

I know, shocking. I played golf. Insofar as it was my first round in almost four months though, it does seem newsworthy. I hopped the ferry from North Captiva and made it back to Pineland just in time for my buddy Chris to pick me up and drive back an hour in the opposite direction to the Renaissance Golf Club in Ft. Myers. Chris spent four hours total in the car so that I could play with him and the Saad Man--above and beyond the "friend call of duty" if you ask me. Thanks again, Chris. I opened with a solid up-and-in for par, then pumped (ha--more like "ballooned") three straight tee shots on the par 5 second hole into the water. Dreams of a solid scoring round were quickly dashed, so I just picked myself up and decided to enjoy the day. Playing carefree, I managed to hit a few decent tee shots, had one half-shank 8-iron, and made some solid chips and putts to keep the car between the ditches, so to speak. Maybe an adjusted 86 or 87, I'm thinking. Lots of fun, either way. It was a beautiful golf course and a beautiful day--I can't ask for much more then that. I hope to use this round as a springboard to an exciting and laid-back season of golf. I'll likely have more time and less money to play this summer, so maybe I'll just enjoy it more? Here's to hoping so.

Monday, February 21, 2011

T-Minus Eight Days 'Til Golf

One week from tomorrow I'll be playing golf for the first time in almost four months, and I feel, well, kind of excited about it? I'm not sure. Yes, of course, I'm excited that I'll finally be able to chase the little white ball around again. But I'm not as excited as maybe I had expected to be at this juncture of the game. Winter has been so cold and oppressive (twelve more inches of snow yesterday and today!) that one would think I would be literally chomping at the bit to get out there on the course. But my tempered enthusiasm makes me think that maybe I really have turned a corner and am not going to be obsessed with the game come this summer, or worse yet, completely distraught and downtrodden when I'm not able to play my usual number of rounds due to any number of potentially unfortunate circumstances. Did I finally just grow up?! Oh heaven's, please no. But seriously, I feel a great change coming on and I'm excited about it and a little scared. I've always (well, at least for the last ten-plus years) had my obsession with golf to fall back on when nothing else seemed right anymore. What now? A brave, new world, methinks. A brave, new world...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Golfer In Retreat

This phrase has been resonating in my head these last few days....a golfer in retreat. I'm so on again/off again anymore with my future as it pertains to the game I love--its maddening, really. But I'm starting to feel like its time to pull back. I wonder if I could rekindle my overall enjoyment of the game by going back to my roots, my humble beginnings in the game? Could I quit my golf club, and for all intents and purposes, quit playing the game with any regularity, and just enjoy the occasional trip to the range and/or the even less occasional 9 holes at dusk at the local muni? I think I could, but I can't be 100% sure. On the one hand, it might be a relief to no longer feel the need to constantly obsess over my path towards improvement and instead just enjoy the game for what it really is--a game. However, I may have spoiled myself a bit too much over these last five-plus years by playing in the relative serenity of a private course with decent enough conditions and anything but congestion on the first tee. More ruminating on this subject is definitely in order, but that might just be what I need to get away from doing in the first place.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

2011 And Beyond

So here we are, two weeks deep in 2011 and golf continues to seem like its months and months away. The Tour starting up in Hawai'i has jump-started the interest meter at my house, but I'm still feeling like a long, lost friend of the game right now. Not the active and ardent participant that I'm used to feeling like. I got some sweet new Footjoy Icon golf shoes for my birthday/Christmas and I've been debating whether I should start breaking them in around the house? That might get my juices flowing a bit. But I'm sure I'd get scolded if I walked on the new carpet with them on, so I keep trying to not get too excited about them. They are beauties though, aren't they? I might be playing a round or two in Florida the first week of March, so I've kind of had that in the back of my mind as to when I should be ready to fire up the ole' game again. But then again, maybe that won't ever materialize and I'll be left waiting for early April to debut this year's game. I'm working out 5 days a week, light weight-training and running, so that my body will (hopefully) be loose and limber and ready to go come springtime. Let's just hope I haven't lost all my touch on and around the greens--that's where I make my money, after all. Don't we all?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The December Doldrums

It had been eight days since I last visited the Garage Golf Swing Laboratory when I made an appearance there yesterday afternoon...and I had nothing. I seem to have lost my thirst for the ecstasy that is solid contact and my pursuit of a good position at impact seems to have hit a major roadblock. It's cold in the garage and the two feet of snow on the ground outside make the Spring season seem like its many months and months away. I need to be re-invigorated and I know I will be in time, but it's not looking promising right now. I will try to hit some more balls again this afternoon while the kids are trimming the tree over at Gram and Pa's house, but I'm not going to hold my breath regarding any sort of positive results. Seeing the ball flight is such an important mental and emotional part of the process which connects the golfer to the game that I'm just not sure how much more I can get out of beating balls into a net five feet in front of me? I guess I just need to remind myself that the muscle memory that I'm storing up is a positive no matter which way I slice it, and that "not getting better" is analogous to "getting worse" in the Ben Hogan school of thought. And that's a School from which I hope to graduate someday, so I must soldier on.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Or Is It Really The End?

Somehow, after a "come to Jesus" kind of talk, we've decided that I can continue to play golf. I just need to not enjoy it so much? Or keep it in better perspective, or something like that...whatever the case, I'm back on the journey to the center of the clubface. Yippee! We've had snow-cover here in Minnesota for the last four weeks, so there's really no chance of me getting out and playing 'til at least late next March. My wife is teasing me with our trip to Florida in late February including some golf for Yours Truly, but we're going for her 40th birthday so, for some reason, I don't think bringing the sticks will actually be that good of an idea. I haven't really felt like playing much in the last month or so anyways, partly out of frustration with the current state of my game, and partly out of pure scheduling exhaustion. Having two little kids who are growing bigger every day and getting more and more into their own interests and activities makes pursuing one of your own passions seem that much less important, especially when you're not enjoying it as much as you have in the past. So I guess you could say this snow-cover/wintertime temperature drop has come at just the right time. I've made three brief visits to the Garage Golf Swing Laboratory so far and they've each been fruitful in their own way. As a result of them, these things I know for sure: 1) If my grip settles into my fingers and not my palms, and my left wrist stays "high" and slightly ahead of the ball at set-up, I'm going to make a good pass at the ball. 2) If my takeaway is slow and starts with my shoulders, and during which my mind is focused on NOT swaying off the ball and instead just shifting my weight to my right foot, good things will happen later. And 3) If I make an aggressive move toward the ball in the forward-swing, concentrating on keeping my right thumb connected with my left thumb-pad and getting both hands to the "aim point" in front of the ball, impact will be effortless in feel and powerful in its result. That's all I can really ask for right now.

Monday, November 22, 2010

This Is The End

Fitting my best round would be my last. My wife thinks golf is too expensive and time consuming. She's right because it is. But what will living with me be like when I can't play golf anymore? God only knows...I should probably start going to church right now.