August 23, 2011

How's your view?

I was speaking with my Mom on the phone recently and she mentioned that she had just gotten her flu shot. I can understand why that makes sense, and as we’ve all been told: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. OK so, in a perfect world we would never catch a cold or pink eye and we’d never hit a slice. Well, until the Truman Show starts filming in my town, that perfect world doesn’t exist. You can bet that a good recovery strategy can save you from turning something bad, into something much, much worse.

I have been told (ad nauseum) that golf is a game of misses (hey! I am really good at that part!). The point is that although we all wish we did, we do not drive every green, avoid every bunker, and always stay out of the rough. So… what do we do when (not if) that happens? We strategize.

Just like in anything else, we can focus on a problem, speculate as to why it happened, beat ourselves up for whatever we did (or didn’t do), or get over it and think about the best solution. This is a HUGE issue for most golfers. What happens the minute a club head connects with a ball with the face wiiiiide open? Well you hear a booming “f” bomb of course, as that person watches his/her ball take a hard right into the rough/trees/water/other fairway/bunker/over a fence/onto the freeway. Sigh. Disheartening, indeed. However, all is not lost. It’s one shot... just one. So, depending upon how things turned out, there may be a penalty involved or there may be a hike into the wilderness involved but THIS is the moment that really matters. Phil Mickelson and (I mention this very begrudgingly) Tiger Woods are masters of getting out of precarious situations. Phil is in a position that any of us would look at and say… “ummm, I don’t have a shot.” Good old Phil flips his club over and hits righty... backwards! I do love that guy! Anyway, the point is, look at things with the mindset that a solution does exist, rather than being defeated after the T shot.

I’ve hit a few slices in my life which made me feel that a situation was hopeless. However when I looked at it with a different perspective and with the attitude that a solution did exist, I found one. The good news is that once we get through a trying situation, one in which we find ourselves having to break boundaries and move outside of our comfort zone you know what? We grow… as human beings and as golfers. Imagine that every time you landed in a bunker you immediately used the “hand wedge” and never even tried to hit the ball out. Where is the fun in that? Because once you grab your “S” guy and march yourself into that bunker with confidence and perhaps a sense of humor, you may just surprise yourself and make a “nice out”.

The game of golf would be no fun if every single shot we took was perfect. If we made every par, every birdie, every putt and holed out every chip, we would be bored. At that point we would decide that there is no point to the game, and move on to some other challenge. Let’s remember that we like the challenge and it feels fantastic to hit a great shot (or to get the job, make the sale, buy the house, or get the part) because of how big the challenge was in the first place.

Just because you think you have no shot, doesn’t mean you don’t. Smile… try something crazy... and watch as you make the craziest save of your life.

“Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots - but you have to play the ball where it lies. “

- Bobby Jones

Play it where it lies… and laugh your ass off!