Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Golfing Diaries: The Last Round

It all goes away
It's been a very solid year on the links for me, with increasing moments of competence, more length and better form, improvement in putting and chipping and more, more, more. I've been threatening 100 more often than not, and having longer stretches where I put together multiple pars and bogies, and even the very occasional birdie. I've been losing fewer golf balls, and more or less getting to the point where my inner 90s golfer, the guy who might even have a real handicap one day, was coming out. It's been nice. But it's all got to end, because I don't like to play when it's cold, and it's getting cold here with a quickness. Some of the evening lows this weekend were near freezing, and I'm not going out when it's below 60, really. Golf is hard enough when you hit it clean and don't feel like you've just broken your arms.

Which makes rounds like my last one just so maddening, really. It was beautiful out, but the group in front of us was incredibly slow and back and forth, which shouldn't get into my head, but always does. With that grouping going slow, I was incredibly self-conscious of making the team behind us wait, which meant I was simultaneously waiting and hurried. By the time I got to decent shots, with a miracle of a recovery to hit through a tree line to save the hole, it was too late to make a decent score.

The defining moment? A par 3 where I was chipping from the rough for bogie, and rolled in a 50-footer after basically giving up. Because that's golf. When you give up, that's when it usually goes good.

It's also impossible advice to take, really. My rounds of golf are finite, because I am aging and busy and broke and it's getting colder, and so on, and so on. I'm on the back nine in a lot of ways, really, and just hoping to put it all together before the sun goes down, the year runs out, and so on.

And that's the nature of golf as well; all of the mind trash that keeps you from just striking the ball properly and not making things so damned complicated. Remember to not move the head, keep the back leg steady, give a full swing without getting out of control, and on and on and on. On some level, it's a relief to have the weather turn cold and take things out of my hands. And in others, no.

See you next spring. Probably.

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