A Few Words About The Game Of Golf
This is Murphy. He loved golf more than anyone I ever knew!
There is nothing sacred or mystical about the game of golf. It is just a dirty old game that drives once sane men to the brink of madness.
Trying to figure out the game is next to impossible. You might be able to figure out some things fundamental to the golf swing itself, but when it comes to the game, to playing and scoring and luck and breaks and fairness and all those semi-abstract or purely abstract entities, there is no sense in trying to make sense of any of it. One day the ball goes into the hole quite easily, and the next day you couldn’t putt the ball into a bushel basket.
I love the game, I love playing the game, I love the irony and the unfairness of it all. I have hit a zillion golf balls with major physical injuries, overcome a paralyzed left arm and left shoulder ( I golf from the right side), played the last three and a half months of the 2008 season on my left leg because I blew out my right knee and couldn’t put any pressure on it so I had to swing on and around my left leg. I hit the ball better and felt like my game was more under control as strange as that seems. Funny thing is that I could not putt anymore. I missed hundreds of putts to the same side of the hole except for those few days when I could not miss a putt even if I tried and everything I stroked went into the hole. Same great stroke on those other days, but just had weight in a different place at address because of the injury and didn’t take the time to figure it out.
There is not much free time to do anything as a club pro in this world and this economy. On the good days I was under par. I was hitting between 12 to 16 greens in regulation on a normal basis, but shot high scores when I was not putting well. Playing golf on one leg is an interesting experience. Almost as interesting as playing with a paralyzed left shoulder and left arm that I incurred in a bizarre factory accident that should have rendered me dead or at least dismembered, but left me paralyzed instead. I started playing golf as rehabilitation, and found I liked the whole idea, it suited my mentality and fed and nurtured my health and well-being. I started by taping my left hand to the grip of a club then after I put the left hand on the grip, I would swing the entire swing by using my right arm and right side, since my left arm was not working very well.
After while, the muscles on my left side began to respond and regenerate, and I was able to swing a little using both arms. It happened almost imperceptibly, I hardly noticed, but one day I was using both hands and both arms, despite what I was told by a dozen neurosurgeons and neurologists.
Then I broke my left wrist in five places while I was changing a hole placement on the golf course. The cutter caught a rock and I bent back my wrist and snapped it. I still haven’t fully recovered from that one almost twenty years ago. I learned to swing the golf club a hundred different ways and I also learned that the same fundamentals are common to all those ways of swinging. Most of the strength and flexibility exercises I developed and try to show on this web site were born from my injuries. I push myself to the brink then try to recover and strengthen the injury. I love the metaphysics of it all, the uncertainty principle, like the bounce Tiger Woods got the other day when his ball hit a cart path and bounced over a boundary fence ending up out of bounds.
In years past the ball would have hit a cart path gone out of bounds, then hit a rock and bounced back into the fairway from where he would make a birdie or eagle. This time Tim Clark sent him home early. Time and tides change, the ebbs and flows of reality lead us down many different pathways, especially where golf is concerned. The more you think you know about the game, the less you actually understand. There is no rhyme or reason as to why things happen, except maybe that luck and good breaks run in cycles too.
It does not matter how good your are, sometimes you need a little comfort from the unknown and by the unknown, sometimes you just need a good break, a good thing to happen to you. I remember hitting the most perfect lob shot I ever hit in my life that was so soft it stuck in the very top branch of a pine tree, a fraction of an inch more and I was stiff to the hole. I could not accept it.
After I related the story, I asked a friend how long my bad luck would continue. Without even breaking a sweat, he answered with a sweet smile on his face, “It could go on for years, or even lifetimes.” Oh well so be it. I am still here and still playing despite all the odds and because of an iron will and the strength and constitution of an elephant. Life goes on, and so will I, at least until I cannot go on any longer. But I will still be playing golf !