The following is probably more for me than it is for you. Read at your own risk.
It’s February 9th, 2016. The high temperature here in Salt Lake City for the last month and a half hasn’t even reached freezing. The HIGH temperature. Normally this time of year I would be going absolutely nuts, having not golfed, or even seen green grass for three-plus months. This year though? Not the case. I haven’t once dreamed about hitting a drive, draining a long putt, or cracking a solid 4-iron.
This year is different. Interesting. I haven’t missed golf, at all.
Why is this year different? Honestly I couldn’t wait for winter to come this past fall. I came close to quitting the game forever, several times. I was having some very tough mental battles on the golf course in 2015, despite winning a couple of tournaments with my dad and being one of the last two players left in my club championship (lost by four shots and boy is that another oddball story which pisses me off beyond the realms of imagination).
2015 was a year of some bizarre happenings. Two out of the first three rounds I shot were 71’s on a par-72 course, early in the spring. I couldn’t help but thinking of how this could be the best season I’d ever have with a start like that. Over the course of 2015 I hit my driver as good as I’ve ever hit it and about as long as ever. At the same time my ball striking was very off. I’d switched to irons which were apparently not the right ones for me. They were suited for handicap level 6-15 or so. Being a 1-2 handicap I think those irons did their best to bring me up to the 6-15 handicap level. I think that tiny bit of game improvement design and thicker soles messed up my iron game and killed part of my confidence. My short game, despite a lot of practice this year, was not good. Missing a green was going to mean a bogey or worse 70% of the time. And the usual strength of my game that made up for a lot of my other weaknesses, was not as good either. My putting, unfortunately, dropped off. I went from a deadly-great putter to average in 2015. I don’t know why.
2015 was also a year of frustration for me from a golf business perspective. One “good relationship” I had went sour. That hurt. Over the past few years blogs have dropped in popularity and Google rankings. The SEO and big money spent by the big media entities is having an effect. Plus the web is flooded with shit golf blogs. That hurts the site’s ability to bring in money to pay it’s own expenses.
Golf stopped making sense.
To add to all of the above, my exposure online to so many golf social networks has seemingly had a negative effect. I’ve gotten so tired of the same old repetitive garbage out there, from hot tour wives and girlfriends to the one billionth WRX’d watermark of some tour player’s custom wedge I’m supposed to have an orgasm over. What’s in the bag? Not my interest. Who is Rickie Fowler dating this week? Who cares? This is golf media now?
I found myself gravitating toward other “hobbies.” I started getting heavy into the drone world. I’ve now built many drones from scratch and captured incredible photographs and video of golf courses and many other amazing subjects. I even started a drone site, found at AmbientFlight.com. That’s been a fun world. No short game issues either but crashing one is a hell of a lot more expensive than losing a $2.00 nassau.
I’ve also taken a deep dive back into PHP coding, building apps, and programming website applications. It’s been a great, rewarding, and mentally challenging endeavor.
This winter has been a nice reset. I got the break I wanted. Needed. That said, I don’t think the game’s frustrations, expenses, or irritations have gone anywhere. Jerks still don’t fix their ball marks. Rounds will still take too long. My short game won’t be any better. How I process these frustrations will be a crucial factor in my staying or leaving the game.
The BEST part of golf and running this golf blog has been the great people I’ve met and befriended. That’s the one thing that has kept me in the game during a time where I wanted so badly to bail. I value my friends and business associates in the golf world and I look forward to deepening those relationships and establishing new friendships…. IF I say in the game.
For 2016 the goal is only one thing: rediscover golf. Forget the short game stats. Forget who Rickie Fowler is dating. Forget putts per green-in-regulation. Forget whether my handicap has gone up or down. Forget my best score. Forget my worst score.
Only one thing to remember: REDISCOVER GOLF.