Rescripting the Score

I’m a wigwam. I’m a teepee. I’m a wigwam. I’m a teepee.

The problem is you are two tents.– courtesy of an ancient adage (or silly joke)

That was my problem. Two tents. Too tense. Or better yet, too intense. One speed. A million miles a minute. Inherently, there was nothing wrong with that. But for whatever reason, I couldn’t enjoy everything I was “accomplishing”. Too tense. Too driven? So when I couldn’t even enjoy my biggest wins, there was indeed a problem. Hi. My name is Benj, and I have a problem.

I needed to chill out. I wanted to be more laid back. Needed to be more laid back. I needed to be able to enjoy myself and my surroundings more. More west coast than east coast. More Tupac than Biggie. I didn’t want drugs. I didn’t want a tranquilizer dart. I needed to do the work. I wanted to do the work.

I had to do something. So off I went.

Fundamentally, can we rewire ourselves? That was my curious question. Is it even possible? And I have to tell you, the answer is emphatically MAYBE! That’s why I now understand that the journey trumps the destination.

By pure coincidence, it was a twelve minute drive from our cabin that we rented two weekends ago to Sweetens Cove Golf Club. If you haven’t heard of it, check Forbes, The New York Times, or most recently, Sports Illustrated. Located in tiny South Pittsburg, TN just off I-24, it possesses all of the magic of 2019 and beyond. It IS the future of golf.

Be forewarned, it would be VERY different from your normal golf experience. Just be ready.

For first timers, the experience starts with a complimentary shot of Tennessee whiskey. (Though I don’t particularly care for whiskey, I gleefully imbibed.) Also prior to the round, I bought a Waffle House style visor from The Shed, their tiny, rustic, nondescript version of a clubhouse. (I don’t wear visors.) I don’t know what had gotten into me. It was madness, and the actual golf hadn’t even begun.

Buzzing from the brown sauce, I hit my opening tee shot right down the middle, and we were off. On Saturday, I played 13 holes with my brother in law, Jonathan, and a stranger from Charlottesville, VA also named John. On Monday (oh yes, I returned Monday), I played 18 holes with some combination of the following: a young couple from Birmingham, their dog, my 4 year old son, a bro from Atlanta, and a bro from Nashville. And at the risk of undue superlative, they were two of the more enjoyable days of golf in my young golf life.

The course is only 9 holes, but with 2 flags on each massive green and 4 tee boxes on each hole, the combinations are endless. Play 9. Play 18. Play 13, like I did.

There are barrels on the course that house liquid surprises. Maybe a water. Maybe a beer. I found a Mountain Dew.

There was an eightsome in front of us. There was an eightsome behind us. And yet, the pace of play was lightning fast.

The fourth green is roughly 20,000 square feet. Beware of the roller coaster ride.

No traditional clubhouse. No bathrooms until recently. No beverage cart. No fuss. No stuffiness. No BS.

Country music blaring, of course.

In the Sports Illustrated article, the course architect and designer Rob Collins said, “ …lots of architects…placed a lot of self-imposed rules on themselves…all this BS that doesn’t mean anything. It’s just made-up rules that people are putting on themselves.”

That obviously resonated with me as I am almost three years into this journey of burden removal that is so freeing. You know, those made-up rules that I placed on myself. Two tents. Too tense. Too intense.

On the Monday, I shot an 82 (with 9,000 rollicking putts) that felt like a 65. This usually would be the definitive note on whether this was a good day or not. But it wasn’t. It wasn’t even in the first paragraph of the conversation. Which was different for me.

It’s almost like the rewiring is working.

Have a great week.-Benj

Follow along on Instagram @anythingbutkhakis and @abkgolf.

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