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Archive for April, 2011

When the shanks come, they are as shocking as what I imagine a home invasion must be like. Suddenly the ball is flying off at right angles. Profanities roll off the tongue like a drunken sailor. You take a few practice swings, disbelieving what just happened. It happens again. You put the club down, hoping the affliction will pass like a thunderstorm in the night. Kaboom! A thunderbolt above, then a flash of shank, the very word sounding like a knight in heavy armor lanced through the neck,¬†falling from his trusty steed. Shank, the very word rattling the confidence of a well tuned swing, putting thoughts in place of doom, dread, and draconian measures to extract the beast, the cur, Mephistopheles himself. Golfers don’t even want to utter the word, like cancer, for fear they will catch it.

That’s it: It’s over–the goals, the hopes, the handicap. The crucifix of shank. Every subsequent shot is stained with (more…)

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I’m not much of a dancer, but when I get out on the dance floor with my wife, I depend less on technique and mostly on my rhythm to get by. My parents on the other hand were champion ballroom dancers, employing both technique and rhythm to win titles (they were fine musicians too–my mother, a great pianist and singer, and my father, a percussionist who could even find rhythm in a washboard). In golf, technique is essential, but good rhythm seals the deal. And keeping good rhythm as the round progresses is one of the hardest elements of the game to maintain. The reason it’s tough is that rhythm is affected by so many subtle things. There are the external elements like wind, heat, cold, rain, mud, and the big bomber gorilla you’re playing with. And there are the internal factors like concentration, focus, presentness, pain, and the rent check you forgot to send off. Of course good technique is vital, but without good rhythm, good technique alone won’t cut it. And with good rhythm, bad technique won’t either. For technique, see a PGA pro or buy a good app for your smart phone. For rhythm, pick the club you’re most comfortable with, (more…)

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