After watching “Trouble With The Curve” with Clint Eastwood, I was reminded of two important traits that can be transferred between sports. In this case it is baseball and golf. During the movie an aging baseball scout, who is visually impaired, is sent to assess a potential number one pick in the upcoming draft. As most armchair athletes know, this is a big deal and as such, mistakes cannot be made. As the movie unfolds, Eastwood finally offers some sage wisdom that is transferable to golf. Additionally, in the final scenes, a surprise character sums up an perfect approach to all sports. **Spoiler Alert: If you have not watched this movie and want too; I suggest you stop reading because there is some spoiler discussion below**
During a scene in this movie, Amy Adams asks Eastwood how he knew a baseball was not hit well. It was the defining moment of the movie as Eastwood, with his endless experience, stated that it was all about the sound. The ball makes a pure sound when hit well off the bat. Eastwood could not define it, but stated that Adams would know it when she heard it. Well, a golf ball hitting a golf club is the same thing. It is a specific sound that most golfers recognized instantly when they hear it. It is a wonderful sound and something that we try to emulate all the time. I think many experience golfers could close their eyes and say whether a ball was hit pure or not; it is a matter of opening our minds to the sound. I really is special when we hear it.
The second ah-ha moment happens in the clip above. As you watch this clip unfold, you see a young high school aged future player standing on the mound in a big league stadium. As he stands there focusing and gathering himself, Adams walks out to the mound and asks him if he was nervous. He responds, “no, Ma’am, its only a game!” What a perfect response. There are many situations when playing in tournaments or shooting great scores that need to remind myself that golf is only a game. I should revel in the moment, not fear the perceived pressure situation. Golf is only a game and should be played for fun…..most of the time. 😉
I talked about the sound a golf makes on contact in previous articles. It is still valid today and something I still use to determine if I made the pure contact I continually seek. You can read it here: That Special Sound On Contact. When hitting balls into my driving net, the sound of contact is a valuable tool I use to determine if I am swinging properly. When I am not, I try not to be fussed because golf is only a game!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
4 thoughts on “Golf Is Just A Game”
What a great topic today. “Golf is not a matter of life and death…it is more important than that.” I forget the author but I think it in a humorous way captures how sometimes a healthy passion for the game turns into an unhealthy obsession. Golf really is just a game, yet I frequently see people get so upset when they hit a bad shot. I have seen clubs broken, slammed on the ground, helicoptered, and more.
One of the things I love about golf is the challenge to play the best you can and for me it has become a lifelong journey, more of a quest.
I started golf when I was 19 and was hooked. I remember the quest to break 100, then 90, and so on. When I reached those objectives my life was changed…..not. Simply, the next stage of the journey began. I had improved my game and onward.
I have always had objectives in my career and in my golf game. I have achieved a lot of them, some have still alluded me, fortunately. After all, I believe that the pursuit is more important than the destination.
My golf quest is now entering its 49th season and my love of the game continues. I have a friend in the Golf Historical Society that is turning 90 soon and still has the passion for the game. I have watched him beat his age several times and decided that my ultimate objective is to beat age my age as many times as I can. It means that I will need to live long and strive for excellence every day. If I don’t achieve the objective, that will be fine as golf really is just a game.
Thanks for the great comment. Your approach to golf is exactly the right mixture between passion and reality. It is healthy to pursue goals in golf, but not to an extent that it becomes a detraction in our lives. I think that setting the goal of beating our age is a great one. I have a few years to go yet, but staying health to do it is all part of the journey.
It’s not just a game, it’s also a passion. For some of us. Tonight I got more proof that tells me to have no illusion about this being just a game. I looked down on the face of my nine iron and studied the wear pattern and now I’m just a bit irritated. I’m seeing in the wear pattern that I’m not hitting the center of the face. At least not in both dimensions. I’m good on the up/down side of the equation with the bottom grooves showing little wear. But toe to heel, I see that my most prevalent strike is about a quarter inch on the toe side from center.
The wear pattern is shaped like a cone. It starts about an eighth inch on the toe side of center and expands up and down out to the toe with the most prevalent strike center five grooves up and as I said, a quarter inch towards the toe from center. And I find that irritating to see. I find that it’s not something I can let go of. It’s another area I’ll have to look into solving. And I’d call that proof that golf has become more than just a game for me.
You are right in that golf is a passion; however, it does not create any situations where if I do not succeed something really drastic happens to my life. It is a matter of perspective that I and others sometimes forget. As far as your hit pattern, I would be a bit annoyed as well. At least you have a visual cue and can take steps to rectify this challenge. Starting a new path to improvement is in your future.