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Polluting the beach with her golf during an early-morning masterpiece

Kristen By Kristen "Golf Chick" Williams,
Ocean golf course at Kiawah Island
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A golfer alone with her thoughts and the challenge of the course. Does it get any better? (Tim McDonald/TravelGolf)

The air is crisp. The wind is still. The golf clubs are shiny.

I break the silence with a clean thwack and watch as my ball flies with purpose across a bright blue sky that seems to serve only as a canvas for my stroke.

The ball bounces and rolls through the dew, smudging the immaculate fairway before it settles in the middle. I trace its line with my steps as if following a shooting star. My feet press my signature into the grass.

The sun initiates its assignment, peeking over the horizon to slowly, subtly lighten the blue. A tree branch catches some stray beams, diffuses their strength.

I choose my next brush and again interrupt the quiet air to apply another stroke. For a moment the line is lost as the thin application takes an imaginative path.

From an unplanned perspective I mask out the grainy shoreline that guards my focal point about 40 yards away. I hear encouragement in the waking song of a bird. This is my specialty. This is my bread and butter. I scrape a chunk of butter and hear the songbird laugh.

Five feet closer than I was, the hue increases in intensity. My focus gets so sharp that it blurs, and I nearly take the skull right off the ball with my passionate flair. The line I produce has such speed that it threatens to leave the floating canvas, but it comes to rest near a dried red border.

My golf ball looks comfortable, resting its sore head in a soft depression as it tries to hide among the long reeds and clumps of soil. A roadrunner stares into my soul from the edge of the tulles. From this angle, I am offered another pristine beach that demands to be left unsullied.

Shunning artistic convention, I defiantly pollute the beach with my next stroke. I look back toward the tulles and see the arrogant roadrunner walking slowly away.

These sands are so beautiful they really shouldn't be so close to the green. As I step into my new medium, I notice its morning texture and decide on my stroke technique. Two strokes later, I smooth the sand's surface, trying to re-create the groundskeeper's magnum opus, and ascend to the silky green palette, now splattered with my own gritty handiwork.

I admire the curves and slopes from all angles before going back to the deckled edge where my ball is perched. I imagine a 25-foot arch painted from my ball to the hole; I intend to glaze it with my next stroke. As I carefully apply it I am immediately aware that a lighter touch would have made a more appealing picture. I watch as its path exposes previously unseen slopes.

Appreciating the nuances I missed, I study the area again to prepare for a smooth, 10-foot brush stroke. My amateur eye is revealed as I again fail to connect the dots and my line ends inches from the hole.

I swiftly complete the connection.

As I walk toward the next frame in this outdoor museum, I tally my marks on the last and announce quietly to the ether my double-digit result:


I must be imagining the mockingbird repeating it back to me again and again: 10, 10, 10.

To avoid a messy composition I try to suppress all the swing thoughts bubbling up as a result of that 10. Forget the golden sections. Forget the rule of thirds. Forget atmospheric perspective. Keep the focal point.

Another day of happily embracing the gestalt theory is underway.

A woman relatively new to golf and known for her wit and dedication to her rapidly improving game, Kristen "Golf Chick" Williams has won fans for her blog and WorldGolf.com golf course reviews. She pens her golf articles from her home in Southern California.

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.

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