Friday, 16 March 2012


He was a nice guy off the course, but on it, he drove me insane. One day, I asked a psychologist friend of mine for advice on what I should do about Elvis.

'I play golf with this guy, he annoys the hell out me when we're playing!'

'Go on', says the doc.

'Well, we're neighbours. We don't have much in common but he's a good guy. We've been playing golf together for a while now and I'm not sure what to do. His on course behaviour really irritates me! I feel guilty, like maybe I should have more patience and be more accepting of others, you know?'

'Tell me about his irritating behaviour, what does he do that annoys you so much?', quizzed my new golf shrink.

'Well, there are a few things he does actually. His pre shot routine is 45 seconds to 1 minute long, which feels like an eternity. He also thinks he's much better than he really is, (which perhaps we're all guilty of from time to time) but it's not even that....', I continued.

'....during his pre shot routine, he over flexes his knees, which is technically incorrect, but not offensive. But then, club in hand, he performs an unsightly thrusting movement with his hips. It's almost like he's.....well.... 'making love to the air' would be a fair description. It's very off putting to have to watch it 50 or 60 times a round!'

At first it was amusing but eventually, my acquaintances Elvis impression combined with a multitude of other niggly on course antics began to grind. And hence I found myself faced with a dilemma.

The doc gave me two options:

'Cut him off, don't play golf with him anymore. Can you deal with that?'

'Be a good Samaritan, learn to accept his behaviour - don't let it get to you.'

In the end, it resolved itself naturally. Elvis moved to pastures new and I assume, joined a golf club closer to his new abode.

And who knows, maybe on a golf course somewhere near you, he's at it right now.

Making sweet love to oxygen.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

3 reasons. Part 2: Birds Eye View

Occasionally, I fondly recall playing at Felixstowe Links on a blustery day a few years back. As I strolled down the 15th fairway I saw a falcon hovering about 20 foot above the wispy marram, fixated on his prey. I watched as it watched, and swooped, snatching a field mouse and soaring off into the misty distance. The first thing that went through my head was; 'How the hell can that bird see a brown mouse in brown grass from twenty feet when I can't see a white ball from 4 - 6 feet?' It was an amazing sight. I can't remember what I scored that day, but I will never forget the falcon. 

I've yet to play an ugly golf course. Don't get me wrong, I've played some poor or average quality courses, but none that I'd class as downright ugly. Something natural always catches my eye and makes me feel good to be out there. Sometimes I think that in order to play good golf you need to connect with the landscape. Whether its looking for the wind in the trees, adjusting your set up for a side hill lie or reading a green for a 20 foot putt, you need to 'tune in' to your surroundings.

I'm not a Buddhist but I once read a book called 'Snowboarding the Himalayas'. In it, a monk tries to explain the principles of Buddhism to a young thrill seeker through the medium of snowboarding. The monk encourages the snowboarder to see the board and the snow underneath as an extension of himself. He claims that by creating this 'oneness' with the board, the snowboarder will perform better. He'll be more likely to get 'in the zone', so to speak.

Can you, the golfer create a feeling of connectedness with your environment and your clubs? The clubs become an extension of you, and you and the landscape work in unison, not against each other? Dare I say it; 'Be the ball!' : )

Possibly before, but certainly ever since the day I saw the falcon, I'm more inclined to enjoy the view for a few minutes at some point during a round. I don't find it distracting, it actually helps me to relax and get more connected to my game and the course.

It can take the edge off a bad day and maybe even make a good day better!

See you around,


And remember, if all else fails, be the ball.....