One tiny window of sunshine opened up yesterday – sandwiched by days and days of rain. Of course I wanted to golf.
My husband recently had surgery on his hand and needed me to take him to his first occupational therapy appointment so I planned it just right. When the skies cleared, I’d go to my home course and get nine in just in time to take him to his appointment.
Well, apparently everyone else noticed the same window of sunshine. When I got to the course and talked to Harry, the starter, I learned that things would be moving slow and there were all kinds of people out there ahead of me. One single Asian guy was teeing off and I’d be next. I teed off knowing I would likely not play a full nine holes. I thought maybe that would make me feel free.
I hit two good tee shots on the first two holes. I pitched, chipped and putted well. But my fairway shots, you know when the ball lies in a bog because it’s been raining for days, oh, they were ugly. I guess I don’t know how to handle the bog shot yet. Let’s just say I missed all my fairway shots. On the third hole I drove it into cedar bushes to the right – out of bounds. Once I got to the fourth hole I was caught up to a couple that was playing too slow for how busy it was. They asked me if I wanted to play through and I said I’d just skip that hole and go ahead of them.
I bogeyed five, a par three. My tee shot came up short. I pitched on and two-putted. Not bad. Nothing to complain about really.
Then I ran into the Asian guy who had just teed off on six. With a heavy accent, he politely asked me if I wanted to join him. I knew I didn’t really want to because I was still having so many problems with my swing and I didn’t need the added pressure but I had to say yes. I told him I probably would just play this one hole then head back because I had an appointment. He said that’s fine.
From then on, I couldn’t hit a shot to save my soul. Skull off the tee, skull down the fairway, another skull down the fairway short of the green. Skull onto the green – lucky that it didn’t roll over the green. Oh this was beyond humiliating. This man must have thought I was the absolute worst golfer. I thought about telling him this was my first day of golf – like ever.
I always feel like I have to represent women out there, you know, show that women not only love the game as much as men do, but that they can manage a course and play. Well, I wasn’t doing that. I just looked bad out there. There was no way I was playing the rest of the round with this guy. Perfect reason to bale.
I baled after playing the sixth hole with the nice, respectful Asian man. I went home and since my husband is home because of his surgery, I cried and told him I am a terrible person who has no talent and can’t do anything. This is what golf does to me.
BEST DOWNSWING WEIGHT SHIFT
Fast forward to the next day, which as I write this, is today.
I wouldn’t even be worried about golf at all until my lesson on Thursday but the club has it’s last meeting of the season tomorrow and I have to turn in my score so I knew I had to get some kind of confidence going into tomorrow.
I perused youtube for instructional videos that might have something to offer me in my low confidence state. I ran across one called “Best Downswing Weightshift” and my antennas raised up. Somehow I just knew this video would have something to offer me. I watched it and a light bulb went on. Weight shift, yes, weight shift. This has been affecting my tempo and my rhythm in a big way. Sometimes I am so off balance I swing through with my weight on the back foot.
I can’t post the video because of copyright but here is the link and I highly, highly recommend this video to anyone suffering from bad ball striking due to any kind of balance problems. The instructor, Shawn Clement, has many golf vids out there and even claims to be the most popular teacher on youtube. Whether he is or isn’t makes no difference to me. He helped me!
I went to the range today and just worked on his ‘toss, fall, fall’ rhythm, like a waltz. It helped me so much. I found my swing again. I found my tempo again. I found my rhythm again. Not that every shot was perfect or even good, but many shots were pretty damn all right enough and I felt like me again.
To go through a slump in golf is very character building. I’ve never really experienced this before in a sport.
Pete Black, PGA professional, here I come on Thursday afternoon.