On Monday, I learned the art of the long, slow backswing and it has made all the difference.
A confirmed duffer, I have struggled with most aspects of golf (though, as noted in previous posts, I am a fan of the beverage cart. In fact, I believe all sports should include this feature. How great would it be to be huffing down a city street on a training run and have some pleasant person pull up next to you in a well-stocked cart to offer you refreshment? Yes, please!).
But, I digress.
Golf and I have eyed each other warily since I first wrapped my fists, dainty right pinky finger ha! over bent left pointer finger, around a club.
“You’re a delicate flower,” my husband regularly intones, as I wack-a-mole myself all over the putting green.
The madder I get, the faster I swing, often with my eyes pinched shut.
“I hate this sport!” I gripe at least once a year, not coincidentally, the same amount of time I generally find myself on a course.
So, I’m not sure anyone was looking forward to my return to the Tellurian Celebrity Golf Outing Monday. But, my brother Mike and his wife Robin kindly invited us, and my husband Vince said we’d go, so there I was, sipping hot tea and eyeing my mismatched clubs gloomily.
“Slow down your backswing,” Vince said.
Whatevs. I gave it a whirl.
Instead of rushing to the tee quickly and hitting before anyone could see, I addressed the ball.
“Hello, kind friend,” I said. “How ’bout we try a little civil discourse today? I’ll open my mind, and maybe close my club face a little, and you respond with a little empathy and oomph.”
I kept my head down, and offered a long, slow backswing. Not bad.
I’m no Annika Sorenstam, not by a long shot or even a gimme. But, I noticed a few other things when I slowed down my backswing and kept my eyes open.
I noticed how relaxed people can be when they steal a day from the office to spend time on a golf course “fore” a good cause.
I observed the sweet smell of fresh grass on a well-tended green, and the way a soft breeze combs through it.
I enjoyed the company of our foresome, and the generous humility of the assembled celebrity guests.
I watched a little deer snack on green leaves (and that little deer watched me). We were so close we could have high-fived each other, hoof to hand.
I plan to take my long, slow backswing out into the summer this year and see how far I can drive.