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

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Did You Get Better Today?

It's hard to stay focused and excited about playing golf when you live in a place where snow covers the ground for approximately 1/3rd of the year but I manage to get by just fine, thank you. I've read a lot of books about Ben Hogan and one of the things that stuck with me was the way he felt about practicing, that if you didn't get better every day through practice then you were essentially getting worse (by comparison) because you could damn well bet somebody else did. So every day I ask myself if I've gotten better? Did I go swimming, lift weights, go jogging, hit balls or practice putting? If the answer is no, then I do everything I can to accomplish doing at least one of them. Then I can sleep better at night. And before you know it, its late March and I'm ready to go day-one when the snow melts.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Dream About Tiger Woods

Two nights ago I had a dream about Tiger Woods. First, some background though...I've always been a fan of his (how could you not be if you're a fan of golf?), but I've never really "rooted" for him. I enjoy the excitement he brings to a tournament and watching him win on a regular basis. And the more he wins the more fun it is when an underdog does actually knock him off. Say, Y.E. Yang at this year's PGA Championship. How much fun was that? Like most other golfers, I'm in awe of what he can do with a club in his hands and naturally just assumed that aside from his mastering of the game he did little else. I imagined (I guess) that he'd probably had sex twice in his life (he has two kids) and didn't have much time for anything else, what with all the working out he does, and all the time he spends practicing at the game. Essentially, I figured he was just a golfing eunuch, one who was constantly and forever changing how the game of golf was played and to be perceived. Well, we all know now that that was not the case at all. So be it--he's human like the rest of us.
My dream then...In it, Tiger and I were sitting together having a pleasant conversation in a setting that was undefined but not out-of-the-ordinary. We certainly weren't "friends" when the conversation started, but we began to carry on somewhat comfortably considering how dissimilar we both are, save the fact that we both like to play golf. I could tell by the tone of his voice that he was remorseful and exhausted but also somewhat relieved when I finally worked up the courage to ask him the million dollar question--why did you throw it all away (when arguably he had everything) on some cheap, floozy broads and one-night stands? His answer? He said he was so tired of being who he was, the most recognizable and most socially imprisoned person on the planet, that he finally realized the only way to make all the fame and notoriety go away, was to do the most unthinkable (yet legal) thing possible, ultimately leading to him being universally despised. He wanted to make people hate him so people would just leave him alone.
I was amazed.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My (Less Than) Triumphant Return to Blogging

Has it really been more than three months since my last post? Wow, I've got some catching up to do. September, October and November proved very fruitful as far as number of rounds played was concerned, with our season here in the chilly climes of Minnesota lasting all the way until the 1st day of December! I played on November 30th by myself at a local muni and managed 24 holes in just under three hours. I made my last birdie of the year, missed a few other short birdie putts after making fine shots to reach the greens, lost the head of my 4-iron while attempting to tee off with it on a short par-4 (bad idea), and generally had a wonderful time. It was a great note to end the year on.
As far as the odyssey that is my swing is concerned, well as Johnny Cash once said "I've been everywhere." Bobby Clampett's "The Impact Zone" book has had as profound an effect on my golf swing as any text I've ever read. The hands-ahead-of-the-ball-at-impact idea actually feels like it will become a reality of my game soon. My wife bought me an artificial hitting mat that I've been able to use regularly in my garage to work on my swing even though the temperature is in the single-digits outside. My grip feels good, my backswing is slow and smooth, my transition is solid and allowing me to accelerate through the ball at impact. And I'm leading the swing through the hitting area by pulling down from the top with my left arm (still straight), allowing me to feel some actual clubhead speed and release during and through impact. It's a wonderful feeling, to tell you the truth.
Now if I can just keep this thing going all winter, at least until late March when we head down to KC to get the 2010 campaign started off with a bang! Swimming, jogging, weightlifting, ball-striking.....swimming, jogging, weightlifting, ball-striking.....