Golf Lessons

In case I didn’t mention it, I broke a few bones in the last year. First there was a collar bone, then an elbow and a hand. Those messed up my entire summer. If I’d mentioned it, you’d also know the one activity I’m most passionate about is golf. I began the comeback from my injuries in mid-July, knowing I’d just have to live with the results of my endeavors as my recovery progressed.

The other thing you’d know, if you knew me, is that I’m competitive, but not with the friends with whom I play. No, I compete against the evil twins, the course Architect and the Greenskeeper. Those are the villians who have conspired to build then sculpt a golf course with the intent of sucking the life-blood out of my game. Melodrama, anyone?

I rate myself as having a pretty good mental game. I know what I’m capable of and I think a couple of shots ahead on each hole, but my biggest problem has always been my inability to consistently hit a ball that’s standing still. I know; it’s weird.

Despite being of an age where some would expect me to accept a declining skill set, I’ve decided to engage a golf professional who will see the goals I’ve set as valuable and who will view the process as a continuum extending to next spring and beyond rather than a lesson here, a lesson there with no continuity. That professional is Melissa.

Melissa played college golf, then got married and had a family. At some point she realized her dream of playing at the highest level still burned within. So, later in life than most in her profession, she decided to go for her dream. She hasn’t reached the top yet, but she has her Tour card. That’s where it begins. That also shows she has a personal understanding of my less-lofty dream.

With an entire winter, and opportunities to hit balls indoors when the weather doesn’t cooperate, we’re starting from scratch – the setup. I’m motivated enough to follow through. When Spring arrives I expect to be hitting good shots consistently.

I recently read a New York Times article about a research psychologist from Harvard University who has done landmark studies showing that if a chronologically older person is totally immersed in a scenario strongly resembling an earlier time in that person’s life, she will react as the person she was then, exhibiting mental and physical characteristics from a time when she was younger. The research has been replicated with similar results. For me, total immersion anywhere other than my life today is impossible, but there’s nothing saying I can’t mentally project a younger me when I have a golf club in my hands.

If I can do that, along with my new swing, I’ll slay those evil twins!