John Daly, Ricky Williams, and myself: More similarities than I ever realized
We all know that golf is an addicting game, and we have all wasted numerous hours, usually to no avail, trying to improve. We watch the Golf Channel;we look at our club position in the mirror; and we read Golf Digest. Some of us even read golf blogs, hoping beyond hope that the one tip we need is out there just waiting to find us.
And then we go back to the course, play horribly, and on the drive home start thinking all over again about how we can improve. In this respect, we are similar to alcoholics, drug addicts, and people with gambling problems. Our addiction is always with us, and it is nearly impossible to forget no matter how hard we try. Think about the last person you heard declare that he was going to quit golf. Did he?
While alcohol and drug addictions are quite difficult to beat, I don’t know if they’re any harder to beat than an addiction to golf. I realized this recently on a visit to Atlanta when I hit a low point. I was in GolfSmith with my hands on a set of used Hogan blades that I just had to have. They were only $85, and although they were beaten to hell they still looked magnificent. I envisioned tasty little shots that only true shot-makers can hit, and obviously most shot-makers use blades. I was walking toward the register to buy them, but then I stopped myself. Four months earlier I had traded this exact set- not one like it, this very set of clubs- to Golfsmith for $75 in store credit because I learned the hard way that when a blade is good it can be the best thing in the world, but when it is off it will bring a man to tears. What type of person other than a true addict would buy something for the second time that only brought with it turmoil and pain on its first opportunity?
Last week I swung by the golf store on the way home from work just to browse (or so I told myself), and walked out with a dozen Bridgestone’s for which I have no need. In fact, I’m not even sure if I remember being in the store. It’s as if I was going along with my day, pulled into the golf store, and blacked out. The next thing I knew I was out thirty-seven bucks walking to my car in the parking lot. I once went into a store to buy some tees and walked out with a new Scotty Cameron. I don’t have any support groups or interventions to help me with this type of behavior; unfortunately, the USGA does not stand for United States Golfers Anonymous. In fact, several agencies are in a conspiracy against me: the PGA demands “Play Golf America“; the company I work for offers me $15 rounds of golf at some of the best courses in South Carolina; Anhesur-Busch has a formula that makes Budweiser taste better on the golf course than it does anywhere else in the world; and the golf gods toy with my emotions on a daily basis through great shots and beautiful spring weather.
Think about how many people have beaten alcoholism or addictions to gambling and drugs. These people function in society everyday; they drive by liquor stores, convenient stores, and crack houses and still manage to stay clean. I can’t even walk through Target without veering over to the sports section to see if there are any deals on golf balls. But this is what golf does to us. It takes people who are generally rational and able to function as productive members of society and turns us into dysfunctional psychopaths.
I simply need to face the fact that I’ll have to fight this addiction forever. I suppose the silver lining that separates a yearning for golf from a need for drugs is that at least my habit is not always bad for me, as it has the potential to bring occasional jubilation to my life.
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Don't fight it.
Work at it and turn professional like I did 23 years ago. Be around the game and people who can''t play, yet listen to and watch the arrogance being displayed in your shop...
You'll learn to hate the game.
I turned pro because I loved it and wanted to promote the game. Thought you had time to play with the menber and have fun. Still sickly still in it... Just got my Life Member status in the PGA....
How do you play Pro? Don't you ever play anymore Pro?
I hate what the game has become...the tee shirts, arrogant brat kids with no minds or personalities making millions, the "you the man crap"... I watch Scottsdale every year and cringe.
Want to fish? Caught the biggest bass of my life last week, a 9 pounder...
The addiction can be beaten...turn club professional.
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