Bear with me this week friends. If you are a golf fan, then we are going to talk a little about my fascination with golf. If you are not a golf fan, don’t stop reading because this post is definitely NOT about golf.
Having said that, I want to tell you about my infatuation with golf. It’s about a 15 year journey, and I’m going to start with the present. I was down in Southern Mississippi last week, and I got in 2 rounds of golf at one of my new favorites, Shell Landing Golf Club. It’s gorgeous, perfectly manicured, and adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. Round 1, I shot 87, which easily could have been an 80. Round 2, I shot 99, which easily could have been a 110. It’s maddening.
I have a big goal to become a scratch golfer in 2019. In layman’s terms, that is the consistent ability to shoot at or around par. Before everyone starts laughing, let’s travel back a few years. My dad loves golf, and he tried to get me involved as a teenager. Not interested. Too boring. Early to mid 20s, I caught the bug bad. I joined 2 local rural clubs and played nearly every day, sometimes twice a day. Often, the darkness is what made me quit, only to have the first tee time at sunrise the following morning.
During that time, I got my handicap down to around 3, not shooting out of the 70s for months at a time. Stellar for a complete amateur, and proof that it can be done. I took 1 lesson if I recall, and then just plugged away incessantly. But I had one major problem. I couldn’t be present and stay present. If I screwed up a hole, I couldn’t let it be. I would stew on it, which as you know, just made it worse. Contrastingly, if I had a really good round going, my mind would jump 5 holes ahead to how this could be the best round ever. And, of course, that just ruined it. My best score ever is 76, which I shot multiple times. And I firmly believe that I never beat that because I couldn’t be in the moment. Always behind or ahead.
Okay, non-golfers. Here we go. There are a lot of experts and non-experts out there making noise about the importance of being present. I’m a non-expert, but over the past few years, I have focused in on this concept, that for whatever reason is hard as hell. Minus blow-up holes on the golf course which might have caused me to throw a club or 3 at one stage, I managed the past piece pretty well. Can’t really do anything about something that happened 10 years or even 10 minutes ago. It was the future piece that I had a hard time with. Looking 5 holes ahead. Looking 2 weeks ahead. My 5 year plan. Anything but the present (.com). Well, I’ve worked really hard to sort that out, and I encourage you to do the same. Minus big picture personal goals, I rarely look more than a few hours ahead, really focused on enjoying who and what is in front of me. It’s been life changing. Really has.
My 87 in round one was pretty focused, considering I’ve played no more than 10 times in 2018. The flaws were simply physical. No problem. My 99? Well let’s just say, I had 99 problems and that day, being present definitely was 1. Work in process.
Have a great week. -Benj
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