One of my favorite golf books of all time is Golf In The Kingdom by Michael Murphy. It is one of those books that is kind of deep, but it hits to the heart of what this game really is to so many of us. It even stimulated the creation of an organization driven by one of the main characters in the book, The Shivas Irons Society.
It has been quite some time since I read it last, and maybe it is time to revisit this classic. One passage that has always stood out in my mind is where Shivas, the wise sage in the book, explains that "it takes perfect balance to play your best golf." He goes on to explain that this only slightly refers to your physical balance during your swing, but more importantly, to the balance in your life. And nothing can be more true.
I have learned over the years that my temperament and demeanor on the golf course is directly related to how things are going in my life. If I find myself short-tempered, impatient, and distracted on the course, it really isn't the bad shots or bad swings that cause that. They are just the indicators that something else is out of balance — work, relationship, or other issues.
But lately, I have also learned that it reflects my energy level. My ability to focus on the game, not get distracted and give it all I have requires a measure of energy that, right now, I just do not have to spare. Building SCOR Golf has been a labor of love, and we have made great impact on so many golfers and the industry... well, let me just say it is almost a dream come true.
And over the past few months, we have been working on what could be one of the biggest stories in the golf industry. You will see this news covered in nearly every golf outlet next week — I am sorry I cannot tell you more today.
So, in the middle of all this, I find myself at the renowned Pinehurst Resort this weekend, on a long-ago-planned trip with my cousin and two friends, trying to enjoy this fabulous golf mecca. We played famed #2 yesterday, where the U.S. Open will be held in just six weeks. But I found myself distracted and short with my own golf failings. Isn't that stupid? I'm here playing a U.S. Open course and cannot get focused. What's that about?
It is about "perfect balance" and my near-fanatical devotion to this business has taken its toll. But today is a new day, and we are on another of the fabled Pinehurst courses. So I will try to channel Shivas's advice and attain that goal of perfect balance.
So, thanks for enduring my ramblings today, but I hope my story will help you with insight into your own golf. If you have issues on the course with your temperament, focus or demeanor, take stock of the other aspects of your life. It is said that golf is a great barometer of how you are doing, and Shivas had it pegged.
It takes perfect balance. And we all should work hard to achieve that.
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"And over the past few months, we have been working on what could be one of the biggest stories in the golf industry. You will see this news covered in nearly every golf outlet next week — I am sorry I cannot tell you more today."
^ That is cruel. You're mentioning you can't mention something? Shame on you.
That is the ultimate tease. Happy for your progress in getting the word out! As far as the article it is so true when ever I am having an off week in my life it does effect my golf game!
I can only say that on several extremely stressful times at work I have rushed out to play in order to relax, only to suffer a total blowup round. Not sure what the answer is, not playing is bad, playing is worse.
I don't feel like the rest of the problems I have seep into my golf. When I play golf, at least for the large majority of the time, I only think about: the shot, the course, my round... golf stuff. The same when I play basketball in the winter. I use both as an escape or exercise & lose myself out there.
Or maybe it's the opposite & I just don't realize it, lol.
joe jones says:
Every time I am faced with one of those days it dawns on me that I should just not be on the golf course that day. It's like the Good Lord in his wisdom is telling me to find something constructive to do that day. Thankfully it doesn't happen often but when it does it is hard to break out of the funk I am in.
"We are all one golfer..." -a quote from Golf in the Kingdom. The simple meaning is that we all play the same courses and share in the etiquette, fixing each other's ball marks, etc. But in a broader sense, your hard work and duly suffering scores may improve the games of many others - a golf martyr perhaps. This is an idea which Shivas himself would understand and perhaps be wary of to some terrible degree.
I play my worst when I try to impress people. If I find myself playing golf where I can't get away from situations "off the course," I may not play worse for it, but the feeling is so different - like the golf doesn't matter. When the kids were babies, it was hard to find the meaning in golf. On the other hand, when you need to vent and get away, and you can, you can play your best and make it matter. Rage channeled into form! As Shivas might ask, "does golf need you?"
Good call Terry - at times, when in a bad mood, I'll go to the range and just blast away with the driver. Not to work on the swing, but just to release the stress.
I find I'm the opposite. Bad golf puts me in a bad mood. Golf is me time, time away from the kids, the wife, work, and whatever else is going on. Score doesn't matter much, but whether or not I made good decisions and how well I struck the ball. Try and re-read Golf in the Kingdom every year. Now I have to go dig out my copy.
Oh and BTW, I've been waiting to replace my MP-60's for awhile now, maybe there will be some new Hogan's in my future?
Congratulations Terry and we're looking forward to your new venture! No better steward of BH's legacy.
Whatever you do, make sure a 7 iron goes 150yds!
While you're at it, bring back the 150 bush that's anywhere from 125-160yds
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