September 14, 2009

Blind leading blind

There are none so blind as they that will not see.

Golf is a constant, shifting battle. Imagination versus ability. Ability versus execution. Execution versus repetition. Essentially, the conflict is within oneself.

I recently played with a friend, attempting to give some instruction along the way. Understand and simplify. A smooth swing plane that finds the ball at the bottom will produce consistency, if not power. The least productive technique is to hope and thrash. Even when a miracle occurs and whitie sails away perfectly, you've learned nothing. Ignorance breeds frustration, especially when it's all going wrong.

Of course, there's a multitude of variables in every shot, and no way of synthesizing good theory and technique without lots of practice. And golf is trying enough without the added irritation of unsolicited amateur advice. But a little conceptual coaxing can help break the chains of vexation when getting into the swing of things.

Skip ahead a week. Here I am, complacently hoping and thrashing. Left to my own devices, I will ignore all my own advice. Buried somewhere in my psyche is a nonplussed swing-coach-me, arms crossed, saying,

"You're making this a lot tougher than it has to be, bro."

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