From all the stories I’ve written I am sure you know by now that Kay “Love to Buy New Clubs” Smith is my hero(ine). She always appears on the course where she’s needed. Remember how she helped Jeanne “Zoom Zoom” Zwemer let off steam and relax inside that bubble? She showed “Emily Everyone” how to count to ten rather than slamming her 7 iron into the ground, and how can we forget the Red /Blue boxes method for focus? But Ladies I ask you, who helps Kay Love??
She called me recently and asked me to meet her in the Fairway room for lunch. I had no idea why, but when I got there she said. “Order lunch fast Hilary, I have a strange story to tell you.” I love stories, as you know, so I ordered my chicken fajita rollup in record time and then she began………..
Ladies here is the first part of her story.
HOW KAY LOVE SAW THE LIGHT(or met her golf guru)PART I
……Well Hilary (with just one L) I was in Myrtle Beach last week on the most wonderful golf course I’ve seen, but I was having my worst game ever. I was getting more and more disappointed in myself and was ready to quit when this scraggly old guy came walking across the 9th fairway and said, “Hey lady, wanna partner for the back nine, I’m up for a game?” “Sorry Mister,” I replied, “my game is in the tank right now and all I’m looking for is a stiff drink in the bar.” “Good idea.” he said, “Mind if I join you?” This guy was like a flea on a dog, hard to shake, so that’s how I found myself at a sticky, beer covered table in South Carolina bar downing my first glass of Pinot Noir. My customary Arnold Palmer wouldn’t do it for me after the round I’d just had. Little did I know then that I’d found mygolf guru.
As we clinked our glasses together in a perfunctory “Cheers” he introduced himself and said “Good to meet you Missus, my name’s Eddy. What’s the problem today that made you wanna quit. It must be serious business?” “Serious business?” I replied “It is. I was so excited to play this course and hoping for great things, but every hole was a disaster. It was similar to times when I’m in tournament play at home. I know I can beat my opponent but then I choke and lose the hole. I hope for so much and then it’s all a huge disappointment.”
“That’s very simple to understand,” said Eddy, “It’s ‘cause of drugs.”
“Drugs? Did you say drugs?” I was astounded that he could think such a thing so I told him. “I don’t have any drugs in my body, you’d better apologize Eddy.”
“Can’t do that lady because I can tell you’re hooked on the body’s strongest drug…..adrenaline. Adrenaline is the most dangerous substance in golf. It’s good for marathoners who have to dig down to make that final burst of strength to the finish line, or in the last quarter of a football game to chase down a running back that’s sprinting to the end zone, but for golfers it’s the kiss of death. In golf you have to do the exact opposite and keep adrenaline at bay. To have the greatest round of your life like you wanted today, or to win a hole in a match, you have to put success and winning out of your mind. Don’t think “If hit this well I win, if I mess up I lose”. Only think of how you hit the shot. You know for sure you’re getting your mind right if after you’ve hit a shot,” he paused, “……..it takes a few seconds to realize how well you hit it.”
“I hear you Eddy, and I know that’s what I do, but isn’t that what the golf Pros do in tournaments. Don’t they rise to the occasion, playing beyond their abilities when the big one is on the line? Don’t you hit it better knowing what’s at stake?
“Sports experts everywhere tell you to bear down, go for the prize, and get tough but that’s how that pesky drug adrenaline takes over your mind and body.” Eddy leaned over the table and whispered. “I’m gonna tell you a secret. What the Pros are really doing when a match in on the line, or they have to make a putt to win, is concentrating even harder to kick that fact right out of their mind. Hoping this shot makes it to the green is a lot different than hoping you don’t screw up.”
“Sounds pretty believable Eddy but how do I kick this drug habit you say I have?” I asked. “No Missus you’re not a druggie,” he chuckled, “but you gotta get your emotions under control. The only plan that works is having the same feeling inside you every time you hit a shot.” As he banged his fist loudly on the table he said, “You always have to feel that this is the shot that counts!” No ups or downs, just level play. You practice your swing all the time on the range right? I nodded. “Well practice having that feeling inside you then too. Every shot is the shot, no more, no less”
“Hilary that was really serious stuff he laid on me, and I knew he was right. I got it. It doesn’t do any good to stand over the ball thinking of how the weight of your team is on your shoulders, or this is the shot to post your lowest score ever. Pumped up with adrenaline should not be my drug of choice. Not to get too mystical on you Hilary but it’s somewhat Zen –like.
“To win, you have to put winning out of your mind, to have your best round ever play each shot with the same “level”ness of intensity.”
I was blown away by what she told me, and wanted to hear more…………to be continued