March 17, 2018

Days until the 2018 Goodboys Invitational: 125
Handicap: 26.0

Was sitting out on the back patio tonight under the happy pineapple lights thinking about my approach to this year’s golf season.

My handicap sits at 26.0.
My target handicap is 20.0.

(That’s six strokes for those of you who don’t have a STEM degree from college and have your degree in the humanities or something akin to wanting to take guns away from law-abiding citizens.)

Under the lights and watching clouds moving in from the northwest, I thought back to the last few posts I checked out associated with my Golf Quest category and am shocked to see just how much in disarray my golf swing was following last year’s Goodboys Invitational. In my mind I saw that after adopting Paula Creamer’s golf swing I had nailed things down, culminating in that best-ever Superstition Springs round. But now I wasn’t so sure.

I poured myself another Pinot Grigio and realized I couldn’t even remember what I was trying to do out there. I did shoot a 111 at Stallion Mountain in Vegas my last time out, but that was the very day (December 3) that everything started to go south at work. I had been woken up that day at 4 AM with a heads up that trouble was on the way, and during the round with fellow Goodboy “Doggy Duval” I was called again. I didn’t play well that day, but the vibes were turning negative, that’s for sure.

It’s now 3 1/2 months later and I’ve only taken a few swings at the PGA TOUR Superstore down the street and hit a medium bucket of balls at the range down the street. I feel rusty, not just with my swing, but with my life in general. This past week the true scope of everything that has been going south at “The Client Who Shall Remain Nameless” for the past 3 1/2 months finally started to be revealed to everyone involved. I’d been trying to tell my management for the past two months that what we had delivered there was unsustainable, but no one seemed interested in listening. Last week they did, and now I know I’m going to be dealing with this crap sandwich for at least the next few months.

[Ed. note: I’m just realizing that my original intended post about golf has started to veer into work, but that’s not surprising. Right now – and there is no getting around it – work is the driving force in my life. And it’s not just me, it’s impacting my boss and his boss. And now, with the start of Daylight Savings Time, my workday is starting somewhere between 5 and 6 AM, and with a new client coming on board in Singapore my workdays are extending out to 6:30 PM in the evening. That’s not a good thing, and it’s something I’m going to have to put the kibosh on ASAP. I’m getting too old for this.]

A golf psychologist would have a field day with me right now. He’d say that the last round of I’d played I would equate with the start of the fiasco down in Pensacola that started innocently enough while I was getting ready to play golf back on December 3 and then went on steroids with the text I received from a VP while driving back from Vegas insisting I get my butt down to Pensacola the next day. And that because of everything that happened since that time, I equate my golf game with the nightmare that happened starting that day, so therefore in my subconscious I’m leery of picking up a golf club again because I’m afraid the same thing might happen all over again.

That could be, who knows? The sad truth is that right now the very idea of picking up a golf club and working my way through a bucket brings with it a sense of insouciance and paranoia – kind of like the tracks from the Beatles’ Revolver album all rolled into one. I’d like to think I could just pick up a club as if nothing happened since that last putt I drained at Stallion Mountain (for a miraculous par, if I do say so myself!), but denial is not just a river in Africa, y’know what I’m saying?

Perhaps it would be best if the whole business involving the “Client Who Shall Remain Nameless” was over and done with, but the fact is this is going to go on for the next few months at a minimum. Folks are pissed, threats of lawsuits are lying just below the surface, and just about every moment of my working day is filled with discussions at all levels as to how we extricate ourselves from this. And the short answer is, we can’t.

There have been a couple of times now where I went to reach for one of my clubs to just take a few swings in my front yard and I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s not fear, it’s just… well, I don’t know what it is. The whole idea of working on my game right now just sounds like so much of that – work. Last year I had no problem immersing myself in rebuilding my swing from scratch, and I really enjoyed it. This year? I just feel burned out at every level. This week I’m planning on getting back to the gym in the hope that that will help in a number of ways. Perhaps it will make me want to pick up a club again. Perhaps it will help remove the state of fracture and disconnect I feel with everything right now.

I just want to feel whole again. I just want to feel The Great White Shank again. But whoever I was seems to have gone somewhere else, to the point where I can’t find myself anymore. I folded under the pressure like a cheap bridge table – something that never happened before. Now everything seems different and I see myself as though through a camera obscura. Somehow I’m going to have to get through this and get back to working on those six strokes I want to take off my handicap.

…so reading this post I guess I’m not quite as ready to “kick it all off” as I thought I was. As George Harrison once sang, you can only run so far:

You fly out as your smile wears thin
I sigh knowing the mess you’re in
And you know that you can’t get away
And you know that you can’t hide it from yourself

Lonely days, blue guitar
There’s no escape, can only run so far

I know something I ought to say
Stuck here, trying to find a way
And you know that you can’t get away
And you know that you can’t hide it from yourself

I’ve got four months until Goodboys 2018 weekend to get my golf $hit together. I hope I can.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:58 | Comments (2)
  1. Forget about your scores and handicap. Just go out, get out of your head and have some fun. Appreciate the good shots and forget about the bad ones. Enjoy!!! … Goobe

    Comment by Goose — March 19, 2018 @ 9:38 am

  2. Thanks for the advice, Goose. But I need something to inspire me to get out on the range and then play some golf, which is where the six strokes come in. I can’t just go out and throw money away solely to whack balls for fun. With all of the hours I’m working – 70 hours last week – I’ve got priorities at home that need attending to. Without that goal I’d never pick up my clubs ever again. Something I have to admit that has crossed my mind more than once. This is just a bad year that’s going to have to work itself out.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — March 20, 2018 @ 11:40 pm

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