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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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on golf

I went golfing with my dad and his wife today for the first time in about five years. I'm not a practiced golfer at all, and have never seemed to have a natural golf swing nor a strong inclination to play the game.

Today, however, while we played the delightful Briarwood Par 3 on Herring Cove Road (not ten minutes from my own house), I found myself feeling this sort of zen golfing integration. My dad had given me three very wise bits of advice at the outset (in addition to clarifying and checking my grip), and by paying attention to those three things and staying as wholly mindful of my body and its movements as possible (that it to say, just mindful of it, not trying to exert any willful control over it), I had a pretty good game -- not very much distance in my shots, but several of them had nice loft, most of them were fairly straight, and I lost no balls on the 9 holes we played.

His three bits of advice were simple: 1) Use a sensible, comfortable grip and keep your club aligned with your entire forearm at all times (i.e. do not twist or bend your wrists at any point in your swing; keep them straight and firm throughout, twisting only your upper body at the hips and torso and your arms at the shoulder); 2) Use both arms with equal strength throughout the length of your swing (i.e. use even but not overly firm pressure in each hand); and 3) Strike the ball with a slightly downwards blow, such that if your club grazes or divots the ground, it does so AFTER you've struck the ball.

I attribute any coordination or skill I may have displayed today to be purely the fault of the fitness training I've been doing since August 1st (in addition to my dad's excellent tips). I'm aware of more of my body in a more effective way, and I can exert a more total control over its movements than I was previously able to. Reason #39 for undertaking a fitness training program: It might improve your golf game.

I suspect that the next time I'll play golf will be with my dad again, at some point a year or more into the future. We'll see if I'm any better (or worse!) at that point.