I am a great believer that perfection is never achievable. Never in this life. Your job is never perfect. Your home is never perfect. Your kids are never perfect. And God forbid, your spouse is never perfect. You’d be stupid though to say that in front of her.
And in golf, forget about being perfect. The thing is, we are not pros. Neither are we those with a million hours to spend practicing around the greens and driving range . If you are anything like me, juggling between being a driver for my kids, a babysitter, running a business, spending time in my church doing stuff, participating in our home associations, going to my kids’ friends parties and generally being completely overwhelmed with activities in life without involving the game of golf – you will know the only time you are practicing golf is when you are playing it.
Trying to cram in one game a week isn’t easy. Firstly, its the work. Secondly, the family. Weekends are out obviously. Even weekdays, golf tends to eat more into my work hours than family time.
So the expectations of what we get out of golf is a lot less. And when the expectations are less, it makes the game a lot more enjoyable.
Playing golf – one of the easiest way to enjoy it is to play fast. I recently played with someone who took an eternity with his swing. An Eternity. I am a reasonably quick player, or so I think. My ‘pre-shot’ routine if there is such thing is to put the ball to the ground – 2 seconds. I step back, look up and find a spot like a tree, a crane, a bunker, a hill, a building – anything for a reference to aim at, near or far. It’s usually anything off to the right of my line of sight – because my natural shape is a draw. I would mutter to myself “Tree” or “Crane” or “bush” or “billboard” or whatever. That probably takes about 5 seconds. I take my stance, the ball slightly to my left heel, take one practice swing – 5 – 6 seconds. Step back and address the ball again – 5 seconds. I take a practice back swing to set my plane and shift my weight to my right slightly and address the ball again – 5 seconds. Then I rip it. My shot is between 20 – 25 seconds from teeing up to letting it fly. Which isn’t extremely fast but I have seen people go through the 40 second barrier and even one guy who takes a full minute. I am like, damn it, hit the bloody ball! Have you played with someone who just stands there at address on the ball as if he was frozen? Literally, a full 10 seconds go by and he is just there looking at the ball, addressing it. I am like, are you waiting for the ball to say hello?
I get very impatient very quickly; because I am a rhythm player. One of the difference between Kota Permai’s 93 and Palm’s 85 was rhythm. In Kota Permai we played behind very slow players and we were constantly disrupted. In Palm we made sure we teed off in front of a big group that registered and we played with hardly any breakage or waiting. Tee off, walk to the ball and take around 10 – 15 seconds to hit the ball, then go on. I play best when I don’t think so much. In the previous game, I had at least 4 -5 birdie opportunities – birdie putts with 10 feet or less. I missed all except one…that’s more due to the putter than anything else.
So, really, if you want to enjoy this game and have other people enjoy – play a quick pace. With our standard of hacking, it makes no difference if you address the ball for 10 seconds or just hit the ball!