Sunday, July 13, 2008
The Rise of the Handicap vs. The Deterioration of My Golf Game
With the tournament season just a few weeks away at my golf club I find myself walking the dangerous tightrope between my handicap index rising steadily (good) and the cause of said rise, namely the apparent dissolution of my golf game (bad). I often feel that my play and relative ability to score on the golf course are forever fluctuating and that I could feel substantially better about the state of my game if I just chose the "right" days on which to play. For instance, some days I get to the golf course and nothing feels right. My muscles seem tense, my clubs feel awkward in my hands, the tee markers and hole locations seem to be in their most uncooperative positions, the wind continues to swirl almost constantly into my face, etc. It is on these days that I really struggle and wonder if maybe I should have just stayed home, saving myself the mental anguish of having to digest yet another disappointing display on the golf course. Less than a week later, however, having done next-to no practicing and having learned next-to nothing new about the game, I'll show up at the course and warm-up like Jesus Christ on the range, bury every putt I casually stroke at on the practice green, then I'll stroll onto the course and shoot a couple-under my handicap, easily a couple-more-under had those two or three putts not lipped-out, etc. So where is this all going? Well I try and take solace in the fact that when my game appears to be falling apart, a) it probably isn't as bad as it seems, and b) as one Mr. Larry Nelson was once quoted, no matter what the current state of your game it will change soon enough--you better be ready for it to go either way. Perhaps, then, the ballooning of my handicap is actually tell me that the state of my game is about to change for the better and in fact I'm in prime position to capture some glory, if not even a trophy, in the upcoming tournaments at my club. If only I could request these tournaments be played on the "right" days (i.e. the days I'm destined to play well) then I shouldn't have any problem, should I?