April 15, 2014

We gaze on that cross this week. Enter into that love, be immersed in it, be overcome by God’s mercy — this is the life Christians are called to. So that we might be beacons of his merciful love, transformed by it. So that this is who we are — configured to Him.

And give thanks, too, for our common spiritual director, Pope Francis, and this walk to Christ — to live lives of real Christianity, in all its radically redemptive ways — he is urging.

…so writes Kathryn Jean Lopez as part of a great post on her blog. For me, Holy Week is such a cavalcade of memories and emotions from my youth to my flirtation with seeking ordination to the priesthood, to coming out the other side bruised and battered, yet still alive. Holy Week reminds me of Palm Sundays singing in the choir with family and friends, serving on the Altar Guild, and spending hours in an otherwise-deserted church during the annual “Night Watch with Jesus” at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, the solemnity and breathless anticipation towards Easter Sunday during Holy Saturday services, attending the Great Vigil of Easter at the Church of the Advent in Boston (no one does it better!), and, most recently avoiding the Easter crowds by spending a quiet hour or two with my Monastic Breviary in my prayer grove.

As I get older I find myself withdrawing from the large crowds at St. Mary Magdalene parish during Christmas and Easter. I don’t want to make it sound like I’ve seen it all, but the large crowds and boistrous celebrations don’t move me much anymore. And besides, with everything I’ve gone through and been a part of between Massachusetts, Kentucky, and Arizona, I feel I have. Seeking God’s presence amidst the bougainvillea while enjoying coffee and the Breviary are enough for me these days, and I feel I get as much – if not more – out of it as I would attending Mass with the throngs.

What Holy Week does for me is to bring my relationship with God and the Church full circle – the memories of childhood and adulthood all rolled into a big emotional ball that makes it hard to focus on little else except the movement of God in time – my time, my family’s time, and all the memories that go along with it. And in doing so I find the Church and my current relationship with it to be less important than what it once was. Just like everything else, it’s a phase, and perhaps next year I’ll be spending Lent doing the Stations of the Cross every Friday during Lent and immersing myself in the Church’s commemoration of Holy Week with the best of them.

I remember a Good Friday several years back playing gold with a couple of my Goodboys buddies at Trull Brook and wondering if it were appropriate on such a solemn day. But there came a point just prior to our round starting where I found myself virtally alone on the bench by the first tee and being struck at how glorious the surroundings were – the quiet beauty of God’s Creation, the whisper of God’s presence in the breeze that rustled the dead oak leaves that had yet to be pushed to the ground by the new foliage just beginning to appear. At that moment, I felt I was surrounded by a holiness no sanctaury could ever match – immersed in Creation, surrounded by death and life emerging from the dead of winter. On that Good Friday, it all felt so right.

Holy Week serves as a poignant reminder of what our lives are at any point in time: death and life are always around us, behind us, and waiting just around the corner. Accept it for what it is and embrace the now and everything life both good and bad has to offer. It’s God’s plan for all of us. Just this week, one of my co-workers’ brothers passed away after a long battle with cancer only days after one of her fellow team members became a grandmother for the first time. Beginnings and endings, endings and beginnings.

At the close of Mark’s Gospel the angel instructs the frightened women to tell Jesus’ disciples to meet the risen Lord in Galilee, where everything began (Mark 16.7). The endless cycle of humanity and God’s creation which we are and have been since our conception a part of. Alpha and Omega. Death and Life. Holy Week illustrates both in ways never before seen or since in human history.

My prayer is that all who make Goodboys Nation weblog a regular stop find some time for yourself this Holy Week away from the assembled multitudues to find some quite time to drink in what this most holy week of the Church Year is all about.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 00:58 | Comments (0)
April 14, 2014

Masters Sunday is always special and, whether it’s a dramatic finish for the ages with a dozen players in the mix coming down the stretch or a Bubba Watson runaway victory, it never disappoints. After all, Augusta National is, and will always be, the show. The course is beautiful and made for HD TV viewing on a big screen TV unlike any other professional golf venue. Yesterday, however, was a particular treat for golf fans of all ages, with the Masters broadcast bookended by a wonderfully entertaining and incredibly moving special on Nick Faldo as the lead-in on CBS, and the Master golf followed by the first hour of a three-part Golf Channel presentation on the life of Arnold Palmer.

I found the Faldo special to be especially interesting, as it really peeled away the layers behind a very human and likeable person quite different from the stoic and almost robotic player that Faldo was during the prime of his career. CBS did a great job in introducing the Masters audience to a player who, along with Seve Ballesteros, inspired the growth of European golf as it is known today. From the Palmer special on Golf Channel I learned a number of things I hadn’t previously known about the man behind the carefully-crafted and well-protected Palmer image. Like him or not, there’s little doubt about the fondness folks who know him the best and have been around him the longest have for this iconic figure, and there’s no doubting the impact Palmer’s personality, likeability, and charitable work has had on the game of golf over the past five decades. While neither, I doubt, has been a saint – after all, who is? – and while neither Faldo nor Palmer have been strangers to controvery over the years, the specials shown around both ends of the Masters telecast made for some great golf viewing.

Were it not the Masters and Augusta National, the final round might have been considered a snoozer. While not possessing the same kind of edge-of-your-seat action of previous years, you couldn’t help but notice the future of professional golf unfolding in the wonderful games of Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt. Spieth has a great swing and a very mature way of presenting himself for a 20-year old. Blixt has more of a swashbuckling air about him, can really get it around the course from any and all directions, and has a short game to die for. I really enjoyed watching these two up-and-comers play, and it doesn’t require a whole lot of imagination to envision these two battling each other a few years down the road as the Woodses and Mickelsons start to make their way off center stage.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 01:55 | Comments (0)
April 12, 2014

A few odds and ends for the last weekend before pool season opens:

What a cool story. I can’t even begin to imagine the magnitude of something like this.

Call me a dinosaur, but if I were to be in Vegas between now and August I’d check out Olivia Newton-John’s show at the Flamingo.

I mean, is this a fitting departure or what? Why Kathleen Sebelius isn’t in a federal lock-up for gross incompetence and lying to Congress is beyond me.

…and the same holds true for Lois Lerner and Elijah Cummings.

The latest tally on the back yard cat front: Cat 1, Humans 4.

Is there a better golf tournament in the world to watch in the comfort of your big-screen HD TV living room than the Masters? I don’t think so, although the British Open venues come close.

Speaking of which, golf can be a ruthless game.

…but this story is pretty cool.

Any time the Red Sox beat the Yankees and C.C. Sabathia, it’s a good way to enter any weekend.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:21 | Comments (0)
April 11, 2014

I’m often accused by my friends as being a dinosaur when it comes to music, but I’ve long sinced cared what people think about my musical tastes. Whether it be The Sandals, or surf (classic or retro), or exotica, or Gregorian chant, doo wop, or my “tropical breezes” mix that covers virtually anything from mellow Jimmy Buffet to island steel drum, reggae, and guajira, my tastes are what they are and I’m not planning on changing any time soon.

Ever since watching Andy Garcia’s ode to pre-Castro Cuba, The Lost City, I find myself enthralled with the music of ’50s Cuba – there’s something about it that touches me on a different level. Maybe it’s because it’s music that will never be heard again. Maybe it’s because it’s music from the very same period I was born and grew up in, although in an entirely different culture.

Still, there was always something magical and mystical about Cuba that I have never been able to put my finger on. I remember distinctly being enthralled hearing The Sandpipers’ “Guantanamera” when I was ten or eleven, so maybe that had something to do with it. I remember on one of our earlier cruises seeing Cuba so near (enough to warrant the attention of a Cuban patrol boat) and yet so remote, its mountains shrouded in the distant haze.

Anyways, all I’m trying to say is that for this coming summer I plan on being totally into the sounds of the Buena Vista Social Club and Cachao. It may not be exciting or new wave, but it’s what music is supposed to be, but (at least to these ears) has long since being – something to bring color and joy to one’s ears. Happy, sentimental, and, more than anything else, easy on the ears.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:16 | Comments (0)
April 10, 2014

Make it Cat 1, Humans 2.

A beautiful morning in the Valley of the Sun. Goin’ up to 92, but at that time it was in the low ’70s. I had just given Cosmo and Marlie their breakfast, and had opened up the French doors to the patio to bring in some of the fresh morning air. In the midst of pouring my usual morning cup of Dunkin’ Donuts java (half regular, half decaf, thank you) I heard the sound of the Contech CRO101 Scarecrow anti-varmint destroyer sputtering into life, it’s jerky water spray splattering the Tiki bar and our south-facing living room window.

I put down my cup and dashed towards the screen door in time to see a flash of gray racing past the door. I think the cat stopped briefly over the normal spot where it normally did its duty when I heard the Scarecrow send a second stream of water in the general direction of the cat. I raced to the sink, grabbed a large glass of water, and ran outside, forgetting that, at least in the Scarecrow’s eyes (actually, sensor) I was as much of a predator as that cat was – perhaps even more so. Briefly blinded by a shot of streaming water, I was able to see the cat make a huge leap onto the wall and look back briefly at me before it hopped down to my neighbor’s side of the wall.

What else could I do? I flung the water over the wall and yelled “Bastard beast!”. That’s all I could think of.

Cat 1, Humans 2.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:10 | Comments (0)
April 9, 2014

So my battle with the neighborhood cat is right now tied at 1-1. On Sunday I installed the Contech CRO101 Scarecrow cat repellent device in my backyard. Here’s what it took:

First I assembled the Scarecrow, then got the hose connected to it only to discover that my outdoor faucet leaks badly. But no matter, that would have to do for now – after all, I had a cat to soak. Now I figured the cat always came in from one of our our neighbors to the west or southwest, so I planted the Scarecrow on the southwest corner of the sand box and pointed it out in that direction. I then set the spray range and the motion senstivity knob to “small animal” and tested it out. I walked to over to the back wall, then demonstrated to Tracey and her sister in pitter-patter steps how the cat would come in. Sure enough, I got soaked. I then tried coming in from the south, west, and the southeast and found the same satisfying results.

I was confident that Mr. or Miss Kitt-E-Cat was going to get a dousing when it ventured into the Tiki bar area to do its business.

On Monday, the first day, it appeared to have worked – there were a couple of paw prints, but it sure looked like when the cat tried to do its business in its usual spot it must have gotten sprayed since there was no sign of a new sand pile covering its poop. I was hopeful, but I knew that, no matter what, I was going to have to get that back faucet fixed.

On Tuesday, not so good – the cat was able to do its business as usual. I had turned the sensitivity knob down a notch to stop it from turning on so much – no need to waste water – so I don’t know if that was a factor or not. But I did notice that it looked like the cat came in from the southeast side where the Scarecrow couldn’t detect it. From the paw prints it looked like it came in from the southeast, did its business, and exited the way it came.

So, we have a smarty cat here, eh?

That’s OK, because I’m damned determined and not willing to admit defeat just yet. So today I called the plumber to come out and install a replacement faucet, and I’ve moved the Scarecrow across the yard so its pointing north, towards the Tiki bar, and covering a wide swath to the left, front, and right. Now, if the cat tries to enter from any other direction – like, from the east via the patio directly in front of our French doors, it’s hasta la vista, cat. It’s gonna get drenched. As well it should.

But will it work? I can’t wait to see what happens.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:36 | Comments (2)
April 8, 2014

So the other day I’m cruising down the US 60 heading east after having done all my appointed chores for a Sunday. On that day I had already:

1. Hit the hardware store for 9V batteries and teflon tape needed to get my Contech CRO101 Scarecrow motion-activated cat-repellent device operational
2. Set up said Contech CRO101 motion-activated cat-repellent device only to discover a leak in my hose hardware
3. Visited Lowe’s to replace my hose and pick up a large adjustable wrench and a new pair of pliers
4. Hit the supermarket to pick up some garlic and Marsala wine for that night’s chicken dish
5. Drove over to Phoenix to feed my sister-in-law’s rabbits

…and I still had left the following tasks on my to-do list:

1. Fill up the car so Tracey would have a full tank to start the work week
2. Replace the hose out back and hook up to the Contech CRO101 Scarecrow motion-activated cat repellent device
3. Test the Contech CRO101 Scarecrow motion-activated cat-repellent device
4. Rake and sift the sand box area to remove all cat poops and sand from the area the cat had been using as its personal litter box
5. Skim the pool
6. Take a shower
7. Make dinner
8. Clean the rabbit areas

The day before I had spent the majority of the day working with our home computer guy to begin restoring our computer from a system crash caused by a virus, and in doing so had wrenched my neck so I couldn’t turn my head to my right. My tennis elbow was really sparking after playing golf on Friday, and my hands were still achy after hitting balls both Wednesday and Friday, so my first plan of action on getting home was to gulp a couple of Tylenols.

(Little did I know it, but I would be awakened the following morning at 4:45 AM by a client in Liverpool, England seeking assistance with a problem with some software they were trying to install.)

I really didn’t feel like listening to music, so I was just driving with the windows down and feeling the warm air flowing through the car. When all of a sudden, it occurred to me that in six months I’ll turn 59 and begin my sixth decade of existence on this floating ball of rock, heading towards sixty with a bullet.

Sixty. The big 6-0.

I’m sorry, but to me sixty is old. When you’re in your fifties, everything is cool – supposedly, by that time you’ve worked out all of the crap in your life and are able to almost begin it anew. Less expectations. More control over your life. More doing what you want to do instead of living up to what everyone else is expecting you to do and live. Like the saying goes, “life begins at 50″.

Well then, what about 60? If life begins at 50, what is it doing at 60? I remembered my old friend from New Orleans, Rock (may he rest in peace) calling me one day and telling me that once you get past 55, a good er, bathroom session (this is a family blog) is better than good sex. Especially since now that I don’t have a prostate I know what he means.

And I started to think about how noisy my life is, how much everything seems to be a big deal. Between never-ending crises and expectations at work and stuff at home it seems like I’m always going at 100 miles an hour from waking up to going to bed, checking off items on my daily to-do list as I go. And I find myself not liking any of it very much. It’s not the work – I like my work – and it’s not the stuff I do around the house – that doesn’t bother me, either. I guess it’s just that between the debt we’re carrying and the stuff that has to be done because if I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done anyways, I’m starting to feel pretty run down. I’m only able to find a little peace when I take my afternoon walks, or have a bucket of balls to hit in front of me at the driving range or being out on a golf course trying to play bogey golf and not succeeding, or enjoying a late-night nitecap on the patio after Tracey has gone to bed.

And it was at that point I decided it’s time to start thinking about simplifying things. To not try and be everything to everyone. To try and cut back on my obligations where I can truly set some time aside to not do anything, even if it runs against my Type A personality. I don’t know if it’s possible, but it’s something I know I need to start at least thinking about. It’s time to start trying to achieve some balance in my life and recognize the fact that there will come a time when I’m going to have to slow down at least a little bit, whether I like it or not.

Look, I’m well aware I’m hardly unique when it comes to contemplating the whole aging thing, but still one can’t live one’s life in denial.

I’m not sure how and when that’s going to happen, but it’s sure something I know I need to start thinking about, because next year I’ll be turning 60 and I realize I just can’t continue to run at this speed anymore.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:50 | Comments (2)
April 7, 2014

It’s Masters week and here in the Richard household the question isn’t who’s going to win (my pick is “The Mechanic”, Miguel Angel Jimenez), but whether we’ll be listening to the soothing tones of Jim Nantz and that lovely Masters theme while drinking Bloody Marys (extra spicy for me!) or mimosas:

I’ve got to believe that PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is well aware of the recent spate of withdrawals by high-profile players Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson after putting up a big number in the first round of recent tournaments. The fact is, people pay good money to support the Tour’s events and its charities, and there’s no room for pussies who can’t handle the thought of hanging around another 24 hours just to miss a cut. Knowing the Commish as I do, I’m guessing the message is being handled out of the public eye but very forcefully.

I guess I don’t understand the outcry over Golf Digest having Paulina Gretzky (Dustin’s significant other) on the cover. Sure, if it were up to me I would have had either Azahara Munoz, Pornanong Phatlum in one of her on-course go-go dancer get-ups, or, better yet, personal fave Paula Creamer, whose swing is as sweet and adorable as she is. But Golf Digest exists to sell magazines, and if they think they can sell more of them with Gretzky on the cover, more power to them. Knowing the FemiNazis out there, they’d probably prefer Sandra Fluke holding a putter in one hand and the remains of an aborted baby in another. I’ll take Gretzky.

Anyone who believes the spin from Tiger Woods’ camp that they expect him to be back playing by mid-summer will find this post and this post sobering indeed. Sure, in regards to the latter, much of the content is NSFW, but the person seems to know what he’s talking about. The guess here is that Tiger misses the U.S. and British Opens and is hoping to give it his best shot at the PGA in August. All in all, this appears to be a lost year for Woods, and one has to wonder just how much major champion golf he has left in his body.

I think every passionate golfer has his/her own Augusta National in mind when they turn into their favorite course with a round of golf ahead of them. For me it’s the right turn onto the oak-lined lane into Portsmouth Country Club. It’s my favorite golf course in the world, and some nights when it’s hard to sleep I think about hot summer days spent out on its links or, on a few occasions, just pulling my rental car over to the side to hit a few dozen 8- and 9-irons in the field in preparation for that year’s Goodboys Invitational. It’s a special place for me – as much of a golf “religious experience” as there is. God willing, can’t wait to tee it up there again this coming July.

Filed in: Golf & Sports by The Great White Shank at 00:24 | Comments (0)
April 6, 2014

Did you see this story? When an ardent leftist like Andrew Sullivan expresses his concern you know that the progressive left has started to over-play its hand. I mean, a CEO of a company donates some money to an anti-gay marriage effort and he’s bullied out of the company as a result? I didn’t realize there was a litmus test for gay marriage as part of Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution? The Supreme Court has ruled many times that money is free speech politically. I mean, where does this kind of thing end? If I don’t support legalization of gay marriage (which, in fact, I do – I just don’t support same-sex couples entering into the sacrament of Holy Matrimony), does that mean Dreamhost drops my blog for me not being sufficiently tolerant? Of course, that would be their right, but….

And why stop at gay marriage? Why not extend the whole concept of intolerance to support for Obamacare, or the lawless and incompetent Obama administration? Or the continually globetrotting-on-the-taxpayer-dime First Lady? Or immigration reform? Or unabortion?men? Or, like Paul Ryan recently took all kinds of fire for, current-day black culture and its impact on African Americans? Or immigration reform. Or abortion?

Of course, a private company can hire or fire whom they see fit (although in Eich’s case I’d be considering a lawsuit if my firing was a result of anything but fully-documented poor job performance), but I think there’s a bigger issue here, and it is something Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey wrote about in a column a few weeks ago. As he put it succinctly:

Tolerance does not mean acceptance or participation. It means allowing people to make their own choices about what they choose to do, and to respect the ability of their fellow citizens to do the same as long as it does no injury to them.

As I’ve said before in this space, for all of its over-hyped bluster and blather about tolerance, acceptance, and diversity, the progressive Left in this country is anything but. Democrats in Washington from Barack Obama on down, the NAACP and shakedown artists like Al Sharption and Jesse Jackson, the labor unions (particularly in the public sector), the majority of our colleges and universities, and major media outlets like the Washington Post, New York Times, L.A. Times, and those who bring you the so-called “news” on the broadcast networks and cable channels like CNN and MSNBC are, in fact, amongst the most intolerant.

There’s nothing wrong with being passionate about the issues you care the most about and doing what you can legally to change people’s minds. But the progressive Left knows no bounds – whether you’re Harry Reid attacking the Koch brothers almost daily, or Planned Parenthood or Sandra Fluke shrieking about conservatives wanting to harm women and take away their contraceptive rights, this idea of sexists, racists, and homophobes lurking around every corner simply because someone happens to disgree with their precious concepts of tolerance, acceptance, and diversity, if left unchecked will only lead to greater bullying on their part and very dangerous place for this country to be.

But that’s what facism is all about. And the progressive Left wears it like a cheap suit.

You know what I say? I say you punch back twice as hard. Because that’s the only thing bullies understand.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:04 | Comment (1)
April 5, 2014

“You’re not very good with your short irons, are you?”, my playing partner Roy says to me.

We’ve just finished the twelfth hole at Kokopelli Golf Club, and for the fourth straight hole I’m walking back to the cart feeling pretty satisfied with my bogey five. In this case, I had bombed a drive that had caught the downside of a mound just off the left side of the fairway, leaving me 135 yards to the pin. Following the agreement between me and my swing coach Alex Black during last week’s lesson, I had resisted the urge to just walk over to my ball and whack it; instead, I took several steps behind the ball, identified an aiming point in front of the ball, took a practice swing to visualize the shot I wanted to make, and then proceeded to hang it out left of target between some moguls off the green. A decent enough chip to get me just off the green and two putts later, I had tapped in for my bogey five.

One of the most interesting aspects of playing golf here in Arizona is teaming up with strangers. I don’t really have any close friends here, and the acquaintances I do have, neighbors and co-workers and such, don’t play. So my golf is played with every kind of golfer you can imagine. I’ve been fortunate in that there’s only been a small handful of times where golf has been played with unfriendly people; most times, there’s always good conversation, a few laughs, and enjoyable comraderie to make it an enjoyable experience.

My playing partner at Kokopelli was an elderly fellow wintering from Illinois named Roy. Roy was a good egg, and we hit it off from the start. As on most occasions when strangers meet, we started off with the usual “where you from” and “what do you do” and that kind of thing. We talked about our golf games and what we were working on, and it wasn’t long before we were cracking jokes with the other twosome and making light of whatever challenges were were facing during our respective rounds. Roy couldn’t hit the ball long, but he always kept it in play – an aspect of the game he obviously took a great deal of pride in. He definitely noticed the three lost balls off the tee (two on one hole) I hit on the front nine, and when he tallied up my score and announced I had shot 52 (he a 49), he made sure I knew that I had left a lower number out there.

“Those lost balls (four) and that four-putt on eight killed you”, he said with a frown. “You’re a twenty-seven handicap and you leave a 44 out there? I’d have trouble sleeping at night”

“Oh, I sleep fine”, I assured him. What else was I supposed to say? He was right – I had left a heaping helpful of strokes out there, for sure.

So when we’re walking off twelve I guess Roy got tired of seeing me toss away strokes as if they meant nothing. Unlike me, he obviously took the whole concept of getting that little white ball from the tee into that little round hole on the green in as few strokes a possible very seriously.

“You’re not very good with your short irons, are you?”

I didn’t know what to say – after all, I’ve spent so much time working on my tee game and my short game (only 28 putts today) that there hasn’t been a whole lot of time to spend on my short irons (7, 8, 9, pitching wedge). Besides, these clubs are always the toughest to practice with on the driving range because it just doesn’t equate to what you see playing a real round of golf.

“On the last three holes you’ve had three opportunities to get on the green in regulation (that is, on those par 4s, putting for birdie), and in all three cases you couldn’t hit the green. What clubs did you hit?”

“Er, 8-iron, 9-iron, 7-iron.”

“And in each case you did what, miss the green and after chipping, two-putt for bogey.”

“Well, my goal is to play bogey golf, you know.”, I say in my humble defense.

I can tell Roy isn’t satisfied. “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to play bogey golf – heck, that’s what I’m out here trying to play. But for God sakes, man, when the Lord gives you an opportunity to make a par you have to take it! You can never be satisfied with bogey. I’ve watched you all day. Those penalties. That four-putt for a nine after putting your drive just off the fairway. And those short irons – why, you’re throwing away strokes as if they don’t mean a thing!”

A pause. “OK, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to criticize.”

“No, that’s OK, I say. I know what you’re saying. Nothing I haven’t told myself a gazillion times.”

But I’ll admit my confidence was shaken. On thirteen I triple-bogey seven the par-4 after tattooing a drive that left me just over 100 yards from the green. On fourteen, I triple-bogey a par-3, hitting two balls off the tee OB right – the first a pulverized moon shot into the adjacent junkyard, the second a topped screamer into an acacia bush. It isn’t until fifteen that I finally get my head back in the game, double-bogeying a par-5 after a dead yank off the tee. I think Roy has given up on me when I once again miss the green on sixteen after a decent drive (a chunked 9-iron), leading to a careless double-bogey. I bogey the par-3 seventeenth before parring the par-5 closing hole (#1 handicap hole on the course) with flawless play from tee to green for a 50 and a 102.

As we head for the cart return, Roy is his “Father Knows Best” best. “I know you say you’re a 27-handicap, and after watching you today I believe it. But you can play so much better. You’ve got the ability, I can see it – you just have to trust yourself and your swing. Don’t be afraid to play aggressive when you have that opportunity. It’s all well and good to strive to play bogey golf – and for you that would be great. But don’t ever be satisfied with bogeys for the sake of bogeys. When the opportunity is there for par, go for it! You might even find yourself making a birdie or two.”

Sitting over a cold Sam Adams afterwards I can’t help but think how far away I am from where I would like to be. It’s all well and good to have the goal of shooting 88-95 on a regular basis, but I can’t even break 100 regularly right now. I’ve worked so damned hard on so many facets of the game – my driver, hybrids, fairway woods, sand shots, chipping, putting – yet each aspect of the game comes and goes like some UPS driver doing his daily rounds. I wonder if I’ll ever really be able to put all the pieces together. I wonder if it’s all worth it. At any rate, Roy was right – my short irons really aren’t very good.

I guess it’s just another piece of the puzzle I’m going to have to find a way to solve.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 00:10 | Comments (3)


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