The Recovering Farmer

Monday, June 4, 2012

When You Hit A Good Shot

Finally our infamous spring winds have died down. There were some days that it felt like every shot on the golf course was against a gale force wind. Became quite a challenge. That seems to have changed. Had a couple of really good golf days. And they are becoming more frequent. All is good. The basement project is finished. Many more items on the “to do” list. Nothing to urgent. I can start taking advantage of the golf course.

As I have lamented about before, I had some struggles with my golf game. Swings that used to come naturally seemed to have left. I blamed it on the wind. I blamed it on sore muscles. I blamed it on not playing enough. I had lost my intensity. Last week I was playing a round (two words) with a friend when I did hit a good shot. I made the comment to him that there was nothing to the game of golf. He quickly responded by saying someone once told him that just because you hit a good shot you should not start thinking you are good. Talk about a quick trip back to reality.

I was golfing with the kids yesterday. One was struggling with his game. Actually turned out that both of them were struggling. He ended up getting a birdie on a hole. His attitude changed in a heartbeat. I told him the same quote I had heard earlier in the week. Brought him back to reality too. Then he looked at me and said that, at the very least, I should let him bask in the joys of a good score till he screwed up the next shot.

You know me. I started drawing comparisons to life. I seem to need to find a life lesson in everything I do or see. How often do we experience struggles in life. Hit a bad shot. Have a bad score. Happens often. But we recover. We know we are better. And so we carry on trying to do better. And often we do. But, there are times when it seems that this round of golf called life is just one bad shot after another. We see all the hazards. We see the potential for disaster. We don’t swing freely. We tighten up. We hold back. We lose our confidence. And just like golf, when that happens, we have even more trouble.

Many of the people I deal with are facing just that. They have become spooked. They have lost confidence. They know that there is trouble around every corner. It seems that nothing will ever go right again. I can relate. I have been there. It becomes a struggle. It is debilitating. Even when something good happens we always know it is like the calm before the storm.

There is a second part to this. We must also change our way of thinking about ourselves. Sometimes it is okay to think we are good. It is okay to pat ourselves on the back. Otherwise we run the risk of becoming neurotic. We lose our self-esteem. We feel even worse about our failures.

But I also know that there is hope and there is relief. Just like my golf game, I know that with continued effort, with a pile of resilience, we carry on. I know that tomorrow I may hit a few bad shots but I also know that I will hit some good ones. And when I keep my head down, when I swing with confidence, when I visualize something positive, I will play better. So go ahead. Pat yourself on the back. Swing with confidence. It will work out. This morning I only had one double bogie. Things are improving. Oh no. There I go thinking I am good. Disaster lurks. But I am going to have fun. Make it a good one.

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