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In a World full of Electronic Distractions, Don’t Forget Lifetime Pursuit of Golf

We all get in the same rut: Get up, cereal, shower, work, home, eat, television/Internet, brush teeth, go to sleep.

Some of us walk, work out at the gym, visit friends, text and video chat. Texting-group

Only one of the above is done outdoors.

I recently played nine holes of golf at a local par three and fours in Galloway Township, N.J.

I was a single golfer and I joined the first tee with a mother, father and a 30-something son, presumably. In the parking lot, they talked about how the threat of Hurricane Irene could upset the start of the US Tennis Open in Flushing, N.Y.

Faa, faa, faa.

I could tell they didn’t want me to join them, but they were quite civil to me. Especially the mom. (Yeah, moms are like that).

They agreed I could play ahead of them.

On a par three, I hit my tee shot just off the green, chipped up, two putted and moved along quickly.

Now, I had my cell phone on in case of emergency, but golf was the sole focus.

Sure enough, the 30 year old was on the cell, speaker phone no less, talking business.

When it got time for him to hit, as I walked toward my 200 yard drive in the fairway, I heard the familiar duff sound and the ball hitting the ground. “Damn,” said the 30 year old.

Yep. The cell phone was more important than the game. And looking cool for his parents.

“Our Jimmy,” I could imagine the mom saying.

It had happened. Technology was more important than the golf game.

Anyway, I continued to pass groups.

Now, I don’t know about you, but if I am playing through, I want to play through fast and make it worth them let me play through. Golfers waiting

Silence the f’ing cell phone and hit the ball.

Then it happened.

The perfect motivation of playing through, my training and the right proving point for me.

Two older than me guys let me play through.

On the par 4 fifth hole, 290 yards, dogleg left, I hit my drive straight, 200 plus yards on the right side of the fairway, just short of the 150 yard marker.

I waffled between the five and six iron and thought that I don’t usually hit over and needed the extra club to get on the slightly elevated green.

I stuck the five iron to within 10 feet of the hole as a father and son waited on the green to have me join them or play through.

I putted first, lined up the putt, got my stroke straight and sunk the 10 footer.

I didn’t even realize at first that I had just made birdie.

Damn.

I joined the group and settled down, but boy, the birdie felt good.

Now the lesson.

Some background.

I started playing at 14 and have not played sustained enough to break 90 on a consistent basis.

My low score coming 20-25 years ago was a 94.

Once I get going, however, consistently being 46/48, 94, is not out of the range of possibility.

A score of 116 is possible, too.

This past spring, I got a new set of clubs, the Maxfly Revolution.

“Can I get new clubs?” I asked my wife.

“We have been married 17 years and together 19 years and I don’t remember you ever getting new clubs.”

Sweet! $300 and I had my new clubs.

I hit the ball better with the new clubs, but did not score any better.

Then I got a tip on a golf course from a stranger (fellow golfer), that has made me a better scorer, more consistent driver off the tee and yes, capable of making birdies.

“Picture you are swing inside of a barrel,” He said. “Don’t go outside the barrel, or you ball will not go straight anymore.” Golf swing inside a barrel

I worked on it at a driving range, before a round of golf while hitting balls and once I warmed up, my drives were more consistent.

If the wind is behind me and the shot is downhill, when I hit it straight, I gain 50 yards: 25 more and 25 for being straight.

My drives in this situation could go as far as 250, normally being 200-230 yards.

Another tip in practice is to hold your putter loosely and let the putter go straight back and straight forward. You will get your true backswing/follow through and start sinking putts.

For me, I also visualize a line from my ball to the hole. Golf_putt

Happy swinging, and GET OUT THERE IN NATURE.

Ok?

Making birdies, making birdies ...

 

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