I’ve heard that life without a little bit of humor and a dash of fantasy can be boring! Sometimes we must dare to explore the outer fringes of reality in order to find enjoyment with things we do. With that in mind, please proceed with caution.
I actually made a resolution this year, which is something I don’t normally do. It wasn’t anything noble such as saving the whales or helping bring peace in the world. It was simply for me to find a way to experience some success playing a game I love—used to love is probably more appropriate in recent years.
You see, I’ve been playing golf for about fifty years, which amounts to over five thousand rounds chasing a little white ball around in the great outdoors. I started each round with the goal of scoring par (72) or lower. I think I have succeeded two times in my life, which gives a paltry success rate of 0.04%. Obviously, that’s not very good. In fact, it’s downright disgusting, frustrating, and borders on a level of insanity no one should endure.
Why would anyone want to continue doing something when the odds of failure are a whopping 99.96% that they will? Crazy, right? I certainly wouldn’t gamble in a Vegas casino with those odds. Heck, I probably wouldn’t try to walk across a street if the odds were 99.96% that I wouldn’t reach the other side safely.
Therefore, I reached a time in life when I had to do something to improve my less than 1% success rate with golf or quit playing. I decided it was time for me to get some help for my depressingly horrible golf game because I didn’t want to quit.
No, I didn’t seek advice from a psychiatrist, although that would probably be a good idea too. I simply presented my problem to a local golfing guru, Slice Woods. After spending ten minutes watching me hit a few shots, Slice told me all I needed to do was make one small adjustment—anyone can do it, he said. Really?
I was doubtful at first, but I did as Slice suggested. I even joined a local league and my results have been amazing! I now score 72 or lower every time I play. That’s almost a 100% success rate! Unbelievable, right? I wish I had made this small change fifty years ago. I’m so excited that I’m considering trying to qualify for the senior tour next year. What? Seriously?!?
So, what small change did Slice suggest I make? He said it was time for me to start using the one-hand-three-finger grip. At first, I thought he had lost his mind. I couldn’t image how that would help me. I had serious reservations about Slice’s abilities as an instructor until he showed me exactly how easy it was to do.
I admit, on my first dozen or so attempts, the ball still had a mind of its own and didn’t go exactly in the direction I was aiming. I was discouraged, but Slice encouraged me to keep trying. After several more attempts, the one-hand-three-finger grip actually started working perfectly—I even hit a pin.
Yay! I had discovered, with Slice’s help of course, a secret method for scoring well in golf—just about every time! It’s great being able to enjoy the fruits of my new grip!
The great part about this simple change is I only had to sacrifice a few things. I no longer walk around in the clean-fresh air on neatly trimmed grass, chase tiny-white balls around in the snake-infested woods, or look at scenery like this:
Because of my one-hand-three-finger grip, I now have the pleasure of walking around indoors on hardwood floors. The ball returns to me automatically and there are no beautiful landscapes to distract me from my game. In addition, I get to play on the same fairway the entire round. How cool is that?
This is now my new view for the entire match:
In order to help make my transition go a little smoother, I actually use a bowling ball that looks just like a golf ball, only it’s much larger—much, much larger and weighs 15 pounds!
My game is now awesome! Oh, what crazy things frustrated golfers will do to score a smooth 72! I even use a golf scorecard to record my bowling scores and that makes me feel a whole lot better about my golf game.
The best part comes when I’m sitting around the table after a match talking to the guys. I can’t help but chuckle to myself. They actually think their bowling scores of 260 or higher are good, but I know better. My score is usually 72 or lower, and they have no idea how happy it makes me. I proudly yell, “I shot a 72 today! Yay!”
I can’t wait to tell my golfing buddies about scoring 72 or lower just about every time I play. They are going to be so jealous! Unfortunately, there are two huge downsides—I can’t tell them what game or where I’ve been playing. Now, that’s a bummer of gigantic proportions! Oops! I think I just told them.
Oh, there’s another bonus because of my grip change. Unlike golf, bowling allows me to play every day of the year—rain, shine, sleet, snow, and even at night! Who needs all that good-fresh air and the beautiful sights of the great outdoors to enjoy life when you can do it in a bowling alley where the weather is always perfect? Right? Right? I can’t hear you!
If you think about it, there really are some similarities between golfing and bowling:
Both have pins that are your targets
Both are best played down the middle
Both require controlled hooks and slices
Both are played using spherical balls
Both have birdies: eagles in golf and turkeys in bowling
Both require good hand eye coordination
I could go on and on, but I’m sure you know I’m joking about all this. Please forgive me if my little golf-bowling juxtaposition offended any avid bowlers out there. That was certainly not my intent. Although I’m not worth a flying-zip-a-dee-doo-dah at golf or bowling, I simply prefer playing golf to bowling and no other sport allowed me to make the juxtaposition effectively.
Yes, I know bowling a 72 is a horrible score, but it’s certainly a great score for a duffer in golf. If you enjoy bowling over golf, that’s super! Bowling is also a great sport that requires lots of skill and concentration.
I have also found that people bowling in the lane next to me don’t appreciate me yelling, “FORE!” when my ball jumps the gutter into their lane, which happens often. I’m not sure if they’re getting mad at me for yelling fore or because I occasionally knock down a couple of their pins. Hey, I’m trying my best.
On a serious note, use your spare time doing things that make you happy, even if you have to use a juxtaposition to do so. Life is too short to do otherwise!
Enjoy your game no matter what it is, and remember, you can always juxtapose it when your game goes south.
Looking forward to seeing you at the bowling alley—I mean the golf course.
Tom Tatum – Author – 2018
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