Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Cures What Ails You

Beautiful spring weather means many things for me. But most exciting - the call of the driving range. Yesterday was my first trip of the season to the range.

Prior to that first trip, I usually brush up on my fundamentals with Ben Hogan's excellent Five Lessons. Mr. Hogan had as close to a perfect stroke as you can get, so it's only appropriate that I rely on his wisdom. But alas, I could not find my copy. I'm more than a little concerned - I know as soon as I go out and buy a new copy, the old one will appear.

I opted to just take my 4 and 6 irons with me. I prefer to take my first trip of the season by myself because I am so very out-of-shape and I whiff several swings. Still, it felt great to be out there. A trip to the range can be as cathartic for me as a yoga class - for 30-45 minutes, I am soley focused on making that ball fly.

Here is my primary problem - the ball doesn't fly for me as much as it should. I am very capable of keeping it straight, and rarely hook or slice. As Elvis Costello would say, my aim is true. But the ball doesn't fly on a consistent basis.

So, I went home and broke out my Golf for Dummies book. But all McCord could tell me was "to hit down" on the ball. Ummm, duh, I'm trying! Clearly I need more mechanical help than that. Being new to the game, I really want to fix whatever swing problems I'm having before I'm too set in my ways.

Anyway, clearly I am no Babe Zaharias, but golf offers one of those rare adult opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, take out some frustration, gain some new frustration, and let the world and all its attendant problems fall away. And hopefully, catch some air.

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