Monday, May 27, 2013

What is it with Golf
2-13-13 WOSO Commentary

Although there are excuses for not meeting my 14 handicap golf goal during 2012, the fact is that golf has been the hardest sport I have played.

I was on the Harvard College varsity ice hockey team, one of the few sports in which Harvard can compete with the best in the nation.  If I could put a moving puck in the net while skating, avoiding being hit physically, and avoiding the attempts by the opposition to stop the puck’s flight to the net, then surely, I should be able to hit from a stationery position, a stationery ball, to a stationary target with only stationary natural beauty being sometimes in the way.

So why has it been so hard to go beyond being a good player with an 18 to 20 handicap to a slightly better one with a 14 handicap? 

There are more, but let me give you three reasons why golf is so difficult.

1.      The golf swing is highly technical and varies with the club. Mastering the swing with the different clubs takes study, practice and patience. Minor mistakes in many aspects of the set up, club selection and swing will magnify themselves incredibly, whether it is a 250 yard drive, a 10 yard chip, or a two foot putt.
2.      Golf designers put hazards all around in every hole to make you nervous regarding an errant shot, and to have you struggle deciding whether to take the longer, safer route, or the more daring, direct one to the flag in order to save a stroke.
3.      A really bad golf shot can ruin your score for the day. That lost ball that went out of bounds into the woods cost you two strokes that is on your scorecard for that day. Missing a shot in hockey or basketball will normally have little or no consequence. This irreversible consequence of a bad golf shot works on your mind in awful ways.

Stay tune to see if I reach my 14 handicap goal during 2013.


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