Sunday, July 21, 2013

Flog is Golf spelled backwards

I believe it was Mark Twain who said that, "Golf is a good walk spoiled." and I think Salada tea bags had the quote, "Golf is flog spelled backwards." What do they know.

Now that I have given you the heads up about the subject of this post, I need to say that I did a search through my blog and I found 2 posts that were just about golf and only 7 referencing golf at all. What spurred on this search and deciding to write a post about golf? Phil Mickelson winning The Open (as it is called across the Big Pond which here we call The British Open), his caddie Bones choked up with emotion and picking up a book, Extraordinary Golf The Art of the Possible which I read 11 years ago. I don't remember the last time that I watched a whole round of the televised final day of a Major tournament, perhaps when I was pregnant with Grace 24 years ago?

It was enjoyable!  I allowed myself to just get caught up in the changing leader board that was until Phil Mickelson took the lead, didn't look back, and birdied 4 of his last 6 holes. There was drama. Men against the course not just trying to beat each other but having to deal with the condition and the ever changing wind off of the North Sea. Golf is a game of mastering yourself, controlling your emotions, in links golf going after your target and having to play strategically because there is not a whole lot of forgiveness on a links course and some of those bunkers you might want to just die in. One of the commentators said as Phil was walking up the fairway of the 18th hole,  "this is when you need to pay attention to your breathing and be mindful of your walk."

When the pressures of life come upon us, HELLO!  "This is when you need to pay attention to your breathing and be mindful of your walk." And for those of us who are on the pilgrim highway doing our best to walk in a manner worthy of the LORD, is this not great advise for us too? Recently, I had a high blood pressure reading during a regular physical. (yesterday I was 124/68) So, I needed to have it checked 4 weeks in a row. Dan said, when you are in the waiting room just take 10 deep breathes. (Anyone remember the "cleansing breath" from childbirth classes?)  If we can remember to just pay attention to our breathing, then I think that this will help us to exercise self control when we find ourselves in the situation where the adrenaline is running high, when the pressures of life are getting to us. Even if one suffers from "white coat" anxiety.

Some say, how boring to watch golf on TV. Frankly, I would rather play golf than watch it, but there is something special about the 4 major championships, there is hunger and the competition is at its highest level.  I really was not interested in Tiger winning but I was thinking that today's round must have been awkward with his old caddie, Steve Williams on Adam Scott's bag. At the start of today, I wanted Adam Scott to win, since it was an opportunity to redeem himself from last year (where he lost to Ernie Els after leading by 4 shots on the final day.) And it would have been a great win for Lee Westwood who is described as a young 40 year old and has been in contention 8 times for a major without a win. Ian Poulter, cleverly dressed Englishman showed grit and guts and it was easy to say "Go!" as he eagled the 9th hole and birdied 10, 11, and 12. Phil Mickelson is a man with a lot of class and character. It was great to watch him take command. To witness the love of his wife and 3 children just off of the 18th green they had a family hug and how within that great moment of vulnerability ignored the cameras capturing that moment and remaining in the moment.

And now my history with this game that we created by my ancestors in the Kingdom of Scotland. It was not on my radar growing up. Dan introduced me to this game when we were newly dating. He bought me my first set of clubs, they were steel shafts. While tackling this new sport for me, I was able to strike the ball, do something right handed and during my first season chip it in from off the green probably 6 times. (1986) It has probably been a total of 6 since then. Needless to say, I was bit by the bug.
Now, it just so happens that neither Dan nor I have been out for a round this year.  My hope is that it will be sooner rather than later. It is something that Dan and I enjoy doing together. At some point I think it would be fun to play in a ladies league, the only problem I see with that is that I tend to be a bit competitive and if I were to join something  that I would want to compete, like have a shot at scoring well and winning!  (It has been years since I did something like that. It was a humbling experience, since I am a bit of a hacker and I have never considered myself a "golfer" that would require some consistency on my part, a handicap and a membership somewhere.)

There are things about the game I really love: being outdoors usually in a combination of a natural setting and man's creativity in the architecture of the course, and the maintenance of the greens keepers. Being active, to use my body and play a target game. And one of the best parts that I love about being out on a course is that golf requires quiet and a loud person like me, needs time to be quiet. There is golf etiquette that Dan was diligent to teach me. Not everyone out playing minds or perhaps even knows the etiquette. Discernment is required in those instances, do you teach them a lesson which could be verbal or non-verbal? Do you exercise patience and let it go? Sometimes the Marshall comes by and just takes care of it for you.

It is just a game but one that I enjoy.  Perhaps I will at least hit the driving range this week.

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