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There is little room in the game of golf for hasty anger, temper tantrums or bitterness of any kind. Frustration? Sure, we all get a bit off kilter while playing golf from time to time. But the game of golf is not life or death. For most of us, the game is not the way we pay our bills and feed our families. The game is something to be enjoyed on many levels, deeply different within each one of us.
This brings me to the beginning of the golf season in the cold climate in which I reside. There is still snow on the ground and a slapping, bitter chill hangs in the air. I've setup a nice little area in my garage to practice my swing. A golf mat, a golf net (tattered with holes blown through it; the holes stitched with nylon rope) and a small space heater do just fine. This is where I've been spending my spare time - adding, adding, adding and subtracting.
The changes I have been working on in my swing have been going well. I'm hitting the ball more solid and I feel as if I have more power to unleash onto the ball. By all means, my swing is not perfect and I do at times struggle and get frustrated. This leads to my encounter with the Golf Gods. Yesterday, after a succession of swings that had less than desirable results, my frustration crossed over into anger. I setup my stance again, ready to fire away at another ball while the anger still flowed. I lashed away and hit the ball with a glancing, thin blow. The ball hit the back of the net and bounced off the concrete floor towards me. In a moment of rage, I chopped down at the bouncing ball with my club. The shaft of the club hit the ball solid in midair. Before my brain could process the action, the ball shot back to the ground and bounded back at me. The ball smacked me square in the right eye!
It took me a few minutes to shake off the pain. I'm happy to say that no real damage was done. No ruptured eyeball, no black eye, just a bit of swelling and enough tenderness to remind me of my foolishness. I think I've learned my lesson from the Golf Gods that day. There simply is no room for anger in golf. Hit it the best you can and enjoy!