Scrappy vs. Skilled - I like playing golf. I would like to love to play golf. At this point I don't love it because at this point by the 13th hole in a round of 18 I am glaring at the rest of my foursome as if they had something to do with my past three triple bogies. By the 18th hole I am not sad that the round is over, I am ecstatic. No more inner turmoil as I see yet another tee shot slice as far to the right as Tom Tancredo on immigration. No more wandering through someone else fairway looking for my ball like Pelosi and Reed looking for a way to blame today's weather on the President.
But I do make some pretty amazing shots from time to time. And that is what keeps me coming back. After my tee shot goes where ever it pleases, I am forced to attempt a shot that is not within my skill set, but necessary so I can at least see the green I am aiming at for my next shot. And every now and then, that shot actually goes where I hoped it would and it gets a rise out of anyone who had been ducking for cover as I moved into my back swing. And sometimes that shot is so great that it might be the one that gets brought up in the club house after the round is over. "You'd never believe the shot that Andy had on number 7 to save (fill in some multiple of bogie here)..." And that keeps me attempting those shots, even though I only make 1 out of 5.
It is in my nature to love the chance to come through when there shouldn't be anyway to make it happen. I love getting scrappy and pulling something off that no one saw coming, or even if they did, they didn't think I'd actually make it really happen as well as I did. That gets me excited. BUT, that also has in many ways kept me from taking the time and effort to be disciplined enough to do it the right way from the start. If my tee shot was a straight shot down the fairway and I had the chance to be on the green in regulation and make a decent score, why would I not do that? Why would I choose to be that guy chasing his ball all day?
It is the little things in my swing that I am working on with Kevin Pope, a golf pro at Hank Hanney. During our first lesson he didn't try and overhaul my swing, he just helped me make small adjustments to the way I held the club, the position of my arms at impact, and the height of my back swing. I have a decent swing, it just needs to be refined. It is perfecting the small things in my swing that are going to give me the results that I want. And if all I have to do is tweak and hone the skills that I already have in order to make my skills really valuable and my round of golf more enjoyable, it is worth the time and the frustration in the short term to prevent the time and the frustration of poor performance in the long haul.
"It is easier to adjust ourselves to the hardships of poor performance than it is to adjust ourselves to the hardships of making ourselves better." - Albert E. N. Gray in The Common Denominator of Success
"The pain of discipline to day or the pain of regret tomorrow. You choose." - Patrick Williams