On Tuesday of this week, I had my fourth lesson in the last four weeks. Numbers 1, 2 & 4 were with Andy Fisher, our club’s head pro, and No. 3 was with assistant Jake Frodyma. If truth has to be told, Jake was kind enough to make room for me at the last minute when Mr. Fisher was unavailable. I think he did so because I said something like, “My life – and swing -- are in chaos!”
As Andy walked up to the range for lesson No. 4, he asked, “Why am I here?” I tried to calmly relate my latest woes – no distance with any club; occasional rocket shots to the right (toe hits, not shanks); inconsistency with my chips shots, and putts that often missed to the right.
He then made the mistake of asking me what I was thinking before those various shots. After going through my lengthy list of often-used swing thoughts, he just shook his head and said, “Let’s see you swing.”
Fingers are crossed, but I really do think (and pray) that I am on the path to recovery -- a longer backswing on my full shots, a more descending blow on my chips and eyes over or just inside the ball on my putts.
Those were the physical fixes, but Andy knows desperation when he sees it, so he had two other suggestions.
The first one was GABA (also known as Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid). It is an amino acid. According to WebMD, “GABA may boost mood or have a calming, relaxing effect on the nervous system.” As Andy said, “You wouldn’t be the first golfer in the world to take a little something to quiet the nerves.” He dispensed that advice with a smile, but he may have been serious.
His second suggestion was: “Remember, you are out here to have fun. Think fun!”
In order to get into The Fun Zone for this Labor Day weekend, I started looking for golf quotes that put a smile on my face. It is my hope that they will stay with me throughout the holiday weekend, which should result in lower scores.
“The muttered hint, ‘Remember, you have a stroke here,’ freezes my joints like a blast from Siberia.” – American author John Updike
“The higher a golfer's handicap, the more likely he is to try to tell you what you're doing wrong.” – Anonymous
“Confidence, of course, is an admirable asset to a golfer, but it should be an unspoken confidence. It is perilous to put it into speech. The gods of golf lie in wait to chasten the presumptuous.” – English humorist P. G. Wodehouse
“Golfers who carry ball retrievers are gatherers, not hunters. … Their dreams are no longer of conquest, but only of salvage.” – Author David Owen, who has a golf blog, My Usual Game.
“Some people say I play erratic golf. What they mean is I frequently play lousy.” – Tom Shaw
“The best way to tell whether any golf gadget will help your game is to try to picture Fred Couples using it.” – Humorist Henry Beard
It’s Labor Day weekend, which means I will have several opportunities to try out EVERYTHING I have learned in Lessons 1, 2, 3 & 4.
Allan (Handicap going up to 13 on Sept. 1)