Life is not always as it seems…

Okay, that’s pretty trite…

No, it’s cliché

And the problem with anything cliché is that it is perceived as trite. And anything trite is perceived as having no relevance.

The contradiction here is that if it’s cliché, it is VERY relevant.

A bird in the hand IS worth two in the bush. A stitch in time DOES save nine. Life is NOT always as it seems.

Maybe that’s what Bob Dylan was noting when he said “when you finally reach the top you’ll find you’re on the bottom.” (But if you FIND you’re on the bottom, does that mean you’re on the top?)

I’m sixty-nine and I started playing golf when I was five.

For the first fifty years of my golf career I was influenced to believe that a “strong” grip, especially a “strong” left hand (I play right-handed) was horribly wrong.

For fifty years I was influenced to believe that a proper swing must come from the inside.

For fifty years these two misconceived tenets were fundamental to my swing.

For fifty years I struggled with a chronically sore left thumb and countless physical aggravations and injuries from the hideous contortions through which I put my body to make the swing moves I thought were correct but which my body rejected.

Last week I found out life is not always as it seems.

A couple radicals told me it was okay if I put my left hand on the club in an overly strong position. They told me it was okay if I didn’t lash at the ball from the inside.

Picasso said he spent his whole life learning to paint like a child. I theorize that only kids truly “get” life. The closer you are to your kids, the more this rubs off. That’s why we don’t want our kids to grow up.

Making the changes to my grip and swing, back to the way I naturally wanted to do it as a kid, made me FEEL like a kid. My body didn’t suffer. My thumb felt great. I went from a 92 that should have been a 100 the day before to an 80 that should have been a 74.

Golf went from being hard work to joyful fun.

The rage today is all these ridiculous adjustable weights and faces on drivers, along with interchangeable shafts. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is PURE MARKETING CRAP (sorry for the semi-expletive–my vocabulary is diminishing).

Ok, I’ll admit that if you buy a driver off the shelf without getting properly fit (sort of like grabbing a shirt off the rack without checking its size–but much worse) maybe you can screw around with the weights or the face angles or the shafts and get to where your new overpriced ego-extender doesn’t embarrass you on the first tee.

But the reality is that you have ONE swing, and you need ONE club–ONE that FITS. Golf clubs are not analogous to adjustable waistband trousers. You don’t need elastic to accommodate your holiday dinner debauchery.

Golf clubs ARE analogous to trousers in that they need to FIT YOU. There is no place holy in golf for a one size fits all golf club. But that’s exactly what all these adjustable weights, face angles, and shafts provide.

Life is not always as it seems. Marketing pollutes our perception. Ill-conceived mainstream theories defile our golf swings.

I put to you that in all likelihood much or even most of what you perceive to be right about your swing and your equipment is false.

Open your mind. Opening your mind (along with regular stretching) is how you can regain your remaining youth.

Golf like a child.