Wednesday, December 22, 2010

When You Can't Play--Read

What do golfers do in winter? Well, if you can’t head south and you can’t
tee up maybe it’s time to bundle up and read some great writing about
golf and golfers.  In Januray I'll be tecahing The Literature of Golf--This three week class will be a fun and relaxing intro to some of the best writing by journalists, poets and ¬fiction writers who also
loved this game. We’ll keep our passion for golf alive through winter’s cold by talking about golf. Each week we’ll read, talk, laugh and yes, tell personal stories about the game. Here’s a chance to keep it green in
winter and to enjoy learning even more about your favorite game. Students should bring a notebook, reading glasses and a sense of humor!

Mondays, 1/24/2011 - 2/7/2011, 6:00 - 8:00 P.M. At The Arts Center, River Street Troy, NY
To register, call 273-0552 x 231
265 River Street
Troy, NY

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shoe Shopping in Winter

It’s too chilly to play but never too cold to shop for shoes. Golf shoes. I just bought my first pair. I’ve been wearing sneakers and soft running shoes. Partly because I wanted to be sure I REALLY loved the sport but really more because while I knew I could buy lots of shorts and skorts and many tees and tops I could not buy a lot of golf shoes. So what to buy? Traditional saddles? Wingtips with kiltie flaps? Something more stylin’ with Velcro?

Finally I went back to look at one of the first pair I seriously considered: Foot Joy LoPro in a taupe color. My reasoning: taupe goes with most clothing combos and it’s kind of like wearing a flesh colored pump or heel—you get the illusion of longer legs.

Yes, I know—I’m supposed to care about longer drives not longer legs. But hey, this is me playing golf my way—and dressing my way too.

So yesterday I took the big step to cover my feet. And bonus: they were one sale. I’ll be ready to step out in real golf shoes as soon as the snow is over.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Ball and the Ball

Yesterday a better golfer gave me some tips. This one helped me. He said “Hit the little ball off the big ball”. He meant hit the little golf ball off the big—earth--ball. Think of a little ball sitting on a great big ball and hit the little one. I’m not sure why but it really helped me to see something differently, so I pass that on to you.

Today I went to the driving range and hit some balls. I said to myself, “Hit the little ball off the big ball” and seeing those two globes helped me to lift the little ball into the air.

Go figure.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Never Up Never In

The phrase “never up never in” arises in golf when the ball is on the green and the golfer does not putt hard enough to get the ball close to the hole. You have to hit the ball with enough weight or oomph to get it close enough to get it in, thus if you are never up, you’ll never be in. You have to be willing to hit hard enough to get the ball to the cup.

If we take this metaphor off the golf course “NUNI” can mean that you have to be willing to fully engage in life, to play full out and to take risks.

So why date again after a divorce? Or risk unrequited love in midlife? Why let your body take the lead and allow your libido to soar? You could overshoot the goal—just as you might in golf—but if you are “never up never in” you’ll also miss the chance to reach your goals in love and in life. If you want to find great love in mid-or -later life then you have to be willing to take a risk; you have to be willing to take your very best shot.

Never up, never in. Golf, life and love. Don’t hold back. Don’t save it for another day. Swing.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Swing Thing at Home

Something I am borrowing from the Boyfriend—who is a very good golfer—He does his phantom swing thing when we are watching TV or making dinner. He picks up the imaginary golf club, positions himself, and take a full swing. His hands are in place on the ghost club, and his body and head respond. He does this once or twice a day. Takes what? Three seconds? What he is doing is reminding his body that it plays golf. In those phantom swings he is gving his hands and arms and abs a physical boost. It's like visualization-Plus.

I’m trying it too. And I’m keeping a 7 iron in the living room so I can feel the club in my hands once a day. I line up the club head on a spot on the oriental carpet and swing—swoosh—along the straight line in the rug’s pattern. It’s my indoor version of the “scrape the stick” exercise that my golf teacher showed me.

Now soon there will be a ball involved in this swing thing. And we’ll see what happens then.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring Swing

Oh the fear sets in. The weather is nice. Thoughts of driving range and hoping, hoping that what I learned last year will come back.

I brought a club in the house to do some mental practice. I’ve noticed that The Boyfriend does practices swings all the time..watching TV, when we go for a walk, waiting for the coffee to brew. I get it—he’s reminding his body that this is the motion he wants to call on. Kind of like the way I make up imaginary outfits even when I have no event…I keep that part of me fresh and working at all times.

Now to add fantasy golf to my golf game.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Olympic Issues

Women in the Olympics have relationship issues too. Here’s one story:

Marta was an ice-skater who fell in love with Bob, a speed skater. But he came too quickly and their relationship ended fast. Next she dated Bill who was a snow boarder but he always came home drunk, refused to dress up, and took risks driving. Next she started seeing Jason who was the ski mogul champ but the relationship was bumpy from the very start. Nothing with him was easy, nothing was ever smooth.

Then Marta met Tubor who was the luge champion. She really liked him but she couldn’t tell if he liked her too. He preferred to be alone and he always seemed to be speeding away from her. She finally started hanging out with Jerry and John, the bobsled team. But they were always together and if she dated either one the other one was always pushing her or egging her on.

One night she went to an Olympic party alone and she watched the crowd. She saw Derk, who was also a skater, twirling around with other girls. She has always assumed he was gay because of the sparkles and the sequins. But here he was in jeans. He was playing and laughing. Even the snowboarders couldn’t upset him. Then she saw a man enter the party with a gun. Everyone looked nervous till they realized it was Jeff from the biathlon who sometimes liked to stop and take a shot—even if he was just shopping or walking down the street.

Marta began to wonder if she should date a summer Olympian—maybe a long distance runner would be the kind of man who could go the distance in a relationship. Or maybe a hurdler who would have the strength to get over the obstacles that show up in any relationship. Maybe a swimmer? No, she thought, the one she’d dated years before was all wet.

What she realized was the she needed to find a mate who had all these abilities: who was strong and flexible and fast and strategic. She wanted a man who knew that relationships are practice and who would push through disappointments and who could do what he needed to do no matter how he felt. A gold medal man; that was her goal.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chopin's Heart

Today, February 13th is the birthday of the Polish composer Frederic Chopin. When he died in 1849 his body was buried in Paris. But his heart, at his special request, was placed in the wall of The Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw.

Where would you like your heart to be when you die?

Where is it now?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tiger, Tiger Learning Right?

Tiger is in rehab. Sexual addition rehab. But Vanity Fair and the gossip rags make it sound like this is more PR. Is it an image rehab rather than addiction recovery? Is he doing to save his career? His image? His marriage?

Why do we care?

I think we—golf public and golf fans—need Tiger to recover more than he does. WE need him to do the thing that lets us recover our fan-dom. We golfers need him to seem sincere, do the time, make the big mea culpa—not for him or Elin or even for Nike but for us. So we can watch him again. How else are we going to be OK when the Masters starts? It will be too hard for US if he tries to come back without walking thru the social/cultural narrative of recovery/apology/return.

So it doesn’t matter if he saves his marriage or his addiction.

We need Tiger to save himself for us.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Does Size Matter?

It’s cold and windy and January. There is no golf in upstate New York now. Friends—with more resources or retired parents are making trips to Florida and South Carolina and Georgia, and they are playing winter golf. But I am here, cranking up the heat, wearing sox to bed and reading the annual equipment issue of Golf Magazine.

Petite clubs? I’m 5’2” and my clubs are women’s clubs but now I read that I may be in the height range for petite clubs. Is this really necessary? Will I play better or look silly? Petite clubs in a pink bag may look too much like I borrowed my niece’s princess kit. Add a tiara and floaty skirt over my skort?

Years ago I figured out that I do better in petite sized clothes—and by the way—where are petite sized women’s golf wear? I’d like to buy a skort that doesn’t come to the knee. But teeny little clubs? I know size isn’t supposed to matter but they could hardly satisfy a new woman golfer.
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