I played 9 holes of golf on tuesday.
The course we played was close to my home town about 30 minutes away. Bunsay Downs Golf Course. It was a beautiful english spring morning. Riotous green fields. The smell of cut grass. A twitch of hayfever tickling my throat.
I love the Badgers Course – it’s an award winning 9 hole, Par 3 course. Set in rolling hills, in the middle of a woodland glade. I’ve seen bunnies and deer. Squirrels and quails wandering the course. With natural water features and pert, poised bunkers staring down from above, on a couple of the uphill holes. Part of the challenge is to maintain stamina, as you walk up and down but my last stint working in the tropics had left me with increased energy and fitness, which I wanted to maintain.
The psychological factor of the holes, is also a good one to build confidence and overcome fear – as looking upwards to a hole rising above you in the hill side, with 3 bunkers guarding its nearest entry point to the green, can leave a novice feeling a little unsure about their ability. A course such of this challenges the thinking and limitations placed on a person. Hills in all ways are always my bugbear.
Only the day before, I had been for a golf lesson at Garons Park in Southend on Sea and played abysmally. Ben, my golf pro, reminding me where to hold the 7 iron to get the best out of my shot on the short green. I’d absorbed that learning easily. If only everything else in golf was similar.
As I’ve been in and out of the country over the last year – the one thing which I’ve struggled to maintain, is the consistency in my play. As a novice and a Golfer who is not enjoying the frustrating elements of the game, I have had two goals since beginning to play. One is to hit a long straight shot off the tee. The other to come home with the same ball, I’ve played with, for the whole game.
The first time I played on the Badgers Course, it was too early in my golfing career and I dissolved into tears, not holding the ability to deal with such a challenging environment, so early on. The stress became too much. One of the many signs I’ve been able to absorb, understand and utilise when working therapeutically with clients.
If individuals don’t recognise they’re out of their depth early on, then it can have some pretty damaging effects on them emotionally and in turn physically and mentally as they move forward.
Pressing my first tee in the ground. I looked at the gentleman waiting to tee off after and pulled the peak of my cap down a little lower, so I couldn’t see him as I set up. Disciplining my stance – I reminded myself of my routine, to ready myself for the shot. It flew off the tee. Not quite as straight as I would have liked down the fairway but enough and close to the green. My recovery shot was successful, due to the learning I had received the day before from Ben but my closing when on the green was not so good.
Yet each time I set up the tee. My swing connected with the ball successfully and shot straight down the fairway. Aside from once incident, when I thought I was going to have to give up on my little orange ball, who has become my golfing companion recently. I returned home on the same golf ball I started out on.
Totting up my score card – externally this wasn’t a successful or high scoring round but on a personal level I was recognising that finally the lessons, practice and play, as I readjusted the discipline and control in my stroke on teeing off, was beginning to pay off. My mind was finally able to recognise success even in failure.
It felt happy.
I felt happy.
I can’t wait to build on this consistency and hopefully, I’m sure as every golfer hopes, my play will develop. My cut shots will grow longer, my putts more on target and I will become more accomplished.
When have you recognised success in failure?