The Healing Powers of Masters Sunday

April 11, 2011 at 7:10 AM | Posted in Golf, Sports | 3 Comments
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Masters Sunday and warm weather have joined hands in the unforgiving Midwest and we all walked together to the driving range. It had been 9 months since I last hit a golf ball, my longest time away since I put down my tennis racquet in 1976 and began playing the game once again that I had begun as a child. Back in ’76 I started tentatively, as I was running marathons, but before long  fanaticism flowered, coming into full bloom in 1991 when I joined a golf club. In 2004 I left, a burnt out case. For the following seven years I played off and on, occasionally well but most often not.

When I tore my left rotator cuff I felt a relief that I had an excuse not to play and that led to this 9 month interregnum. I entertained thoughts of not playing at all this year. Then came Masters Sunday.

As I drove to the range I considered what strategy I would use this year. I am taken with the free swing of Rory McIlroy, the young Irishman. I considered what I’ve never liked about my game and it is the tightness, the weight of thoughts and tips slowing my arms, the fear of failure draining my energy. Could I emulate another golfer like my hero Watson or even young McIlroy?

I decided to swing like myself with nothing extra thrown in. I’ll throw out the few golf magazines I have left and leave my instruction books on the shelf. This was my first new thought and my second was to think of myself as a beginner and no longer preface my remarks by recalling my former play. But I won’t say I’m a beginner seeking either sympathy or approval. I’ll just hope someone asks me to play and my plan is to say YES.

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  1. Suggest that you don’t try to swing like McIlroy if you don’t want to do yourself a mischief, though his striking for 63 holes was a thing of beauty. (I used to believe that club golfers should try to swing like women pros but that may be out of date these days). Couples might be a better model. I’m still traumatised by McIlroy’s collapse, not that it was unexpected, but its suddenness and totality were shocking.

    • I was rooting for him as well. He will be a great player and is close now. I just love the way he hits the ball.

      The first time I broke 80 was after following the Ladies at the US Amateur — so I do agree with you.

      Had you ever hear of Charl?– I hadn’t and I still cannot visualize the South African who won at St Andrews last year.

      • No, never heard of him until now, and you could show me Immelman, last year’s guy and Charl in a line up and I couldn’t pick them out.


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