• Mon. May 27th, 2024

A CASUAL GOLFER’S NARRATIVE

ByGorky Singh

Mar 2, 2024 #Golf

Before I plunge along with you into realms of golf I would acquaint you with some golf genesis. The game originated when shepherds in Scotland carried sticks akin in shape to golf clubs to shove sheep excreta in sand dunes, about 400 years back. Darwin has described evolution of species, golfer’s also obey evolution theory and have evolved similarly. Today each player carries a maximum of 14 clubs of varying degrees of loft to prudently hit the ball to desired distance. The clubs are swung in a manner that allows a golfer to contact the ball which is almost of 1 square inches of presentable area, with club face which is nearly 4 square inches in shape. That’s the challenge of matching contact areas and orientation of club face , squarely towards hole when you are swinging clubs to hit the ball. Such is the ‘ dive down’ on the ball with clubs, it’s sounds surreal preposition , now that’s what golf is in essence. The 45 gms of ball is projected in air for achieving a shot.

Based on interest, objective and level of expertise golfers can be distinguished as casual golfer , serious golfer’s and professional ones. Casual golfer lead the percentile of players and are the ones who fray into golf for socialising, fun and thrill of golf and maybe to exude health benefits that come alongside of playing golf. Let us assign a handicap to all types of golfer’s. Handicap is numbers of shots over and above the golf course shot stipulated count at each golf course, which is usually 72. Good casual golfers have handicap of 16-18 usually on golf course, but they exhibit a swag of professional golfer elsewhere, many times. Casual golfer’s play golf for maybe 3 hours in a day, but golf plays in their mind entire day, captivatingly.

                   The dreaded chip shot

 

Professional golfer’s strike the ball to make bucks, they are the best golfers. They generally score scratch or below. Serious golfers are aspiring for competitive golf to progress possibly into professional categories , they are ahead of casual golfers in madness. Single handicap or 10-12 handicap defines their golf abilities. Define yourself accordingly.

For me golfing out happens every day almost, I play everyday. What rocks me is my swing everyday, it’s damn unpredictable, something or other tweaks in every now and then. I been playing golf casually from last 7 years, and it’s seriously casual. It remains a mystery for me that how I can be casual and yet be serious about golf.

 

I had played cricket upto good competitive standards, lawn tennis also likewise and have fair abilities in basketball, badminton and volleyball . But hidden in golf is a nightmare, maybe this is the only outdoor sports where we play a static ball, and I don’t like static things in life, Ah ! that’s the reason I am casual golfer not turned into a professional one.

Caressing the ball, may it go straight

Let me assure you its a trap, playing golf as you go along is a trap,certainly. You start loving the feel of being enmeshed in the quagmire of your swing analysis. I know most casual golfer’s are in a debt of fundamentals of golf , still are hypnotised by this game, as golf soaks on you mentally as well as physically.

You keep surfing online videos for figuring what ails your swing. You are probably happy taking advises on mending your stance or swing dynamics, that assures you for the moment a “Eureka” feel. And miraculously when you hit a “birdie”, you are on cloud nine, it just an amazing feel, indescribable.

                   There it goes

What is bewildering as I said earlier, is that the ball is static and you have to pounce on it like a “Tiger” , if not like tiger with woods. I make a statement and I assume it is not a overstatement “ if you can prune the clutter of thoughts erupting randomly in you mind as you brace yourself for swing to punish the ball aptly , you are actually meditating and being only with “your self”, as you play the shot. It is nothing short of spiritualism, isn’t it ?

At times when you swing through but the ball still sits under your nose , laughing, and you realise that you have hit the ground behind it or maybe ahead, it involuntarily brings a Shame in you. It’s a stage of learning golf and every casual golfer sees this moment of “ Shame”. And tell you if there is a lady in Four Ball when you miss the shot , you feel like speaking to ‘ Einstein ‘and ask for his help, obviously to run the Time Machine and go back in time and take a re – short. Alas, you don’t have Einstein to extend the help. Here arrives the double whammy, you were impressing or guiding the lady on her swing sometime back and now you hit the ground instead of ball and she has hit a dashing shot right on the green ,… if not Einstein, you need Shaitan’s help, … Shaitan is your caddie!.

Caddies know how to give excuses when you you are shabby at golf, they cover for you well.

As always in life , Murphy came alive here itself, when you after your bad shot, wished that the lady instead of good shot, errors somehow, but Murphy ‘s law defines otherwise ,…. she hit a perfect shot.

Only words you can utter is “ Good Shot Ma’am”, humbly. Anyways, Golf is brutal, so is Murphy.

It is rightly said in golf circles that golf brings out the real personality of person. He who can cheat, manipulate the golf while playing, will invariably be a contemptuous personality in other walks of life also. If you’re having trouble vetting the fact, do a confirmation, ask his wife!.Don’t try it.

So there are two ways of improving your relationship with golf at least for casual golfer’s , first option is to go on range and practice, or second option is to hit the bar after a round of golf and have a beer. In later case you discuss with other casual golfers and truth seems to dawn upon you, that though you played a triple bogey, unluckily you had holed after 4 putts , else it was a birdie for you!. Hilarious, but it happens every time you take refuge in bar after a golf round. In bar you can mentally lower your scores…. , have you ever tried it ?.

Golf is fast turning popular , as you can pick up golf at 60 years also, golf doesn’t discriminate between sexes too, women have equal rights to get embarrassed. But the delight of one good shot is heavenly, it takes off all mental burdens, be it personal or professional.

For casual golfer’s, a rider comes as I run through my experiences as a casual golfer,which include the senseless discussions I had in bar , oh yes I had been there number of times, … play within your limitations.

Play against yourself, but don’t limit your ability, and don’t overdose yourself with golf. Enjoy the infraction of dropping ball in water hazards right at 20 yards of a shot.

Atlast, I throw a caveat , as most of us shall remain a casual golfer, and as we understand that playing golf is a reflection of your inner eccentricities, so be a good human being to be a good golfer, scores don’t matter. That’s it.

Gorky singh is a casual golfer and amature photographer.Views expressed are his personal.

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