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Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

Whew. What a Labor Day holiday weekend this has been. For the Lovely Sharon and me the festivities started Thursday. My alma mater, the University of Utah, played its season opening football game against the number 15 ranked Pitt Panthers on Thursday night. We hosted a party at our house to watch the game with friends. Initially I thought there might be 8 or 9 friends joining us but it ended up as a football party for more than 30. The party goers included many of our golf pals as well as my mother and Son Alex. We had all kinds of food, too much food. Pizza, chicken, cheese dips, chicks, breads vegetables, bean dip and all kinds of other stuff. We had wines, beer, soda pop and bottles of water to wash it all down. We toasted our friendship and in general we celebrated life, friendship and college football together. Although the party was held on the guise of watching the football game, it was like all parties where there was talk of golf, wine, politics and families. One group of ladies had an enthusiastic discussion of nail polish for their toes. We had several TV’s on in four different rooms in the house and folks migrated from set to set, talking and eating and watching the game. I think most of our guests enjoyed the evening although one fellow informed me that he came to watch the game, not to socialize. He left at halftime. The game went into overtime, the University of Utah was victorious and everyone went home excited.

I took Friday off from work and had a golf lesson with our head pro. The pro is a tall handsome, friendly fellow who is a terrific golfer and a good teacher. He can hit the ball a mile. Like everyone taking a lesson, I arrived early and hit about 500 balls trying to loosen up and grove my swing. When you think about it, why would I want too groove a swing that is so pathetic and ineffective that I have threatened (myself) to quit the dam game of golf on about a100 occasions. My swing is so bad people make fun of me every time I play. They call me Charles Barkley. They wonder how I can even hit the ball. They tell me that they have to turn away when I am hitting the ball they cannot bear to watch. It is like coming across a car accident victim who has been mutilated in a horrific crash. It looks so bad that you just cannot look. If you do look, the image will be permanently imbedded in your brain and when you will lie in bed at night you will have flashback memories of my golf swing. You might ultimately be able to fall asleep, but at some point during your slumber you will wake up from REM sleep, sweating and screaming. In your dreams, my swing has become your swing. Not a pleasant thought.

After I loosened up and grooved my swing, the pro showed up on the practice range and watched me hit a few more balls. We had a full hour lesson in which I hit another 50 balls or more. He worked with me, he tried to make changes, and he made suggestions. His emotions and demeanor vacillated throughout the lesson. At various times, he was laughing, crying or had the look of the people in the old horror movie the “Dawn of the Dead”. When he left, I had the following new swing thoughts:

More weight on my heels
Make my shoulders more square to the target line
Take the club straight back the first few inches
Take the club higher in the backswing and not wrapped around my body
Let my wrists break a little in the backswing
Keep my forearms closer together in the backswing
Stay behind the ball at impact
Let my wrists break more after impact
Get a glass a wine and sit in the clubhouse watching through the window while others play

I hit another 50 balls or so after the lesson and then played nine holes. By the time I got back home, my hands were bloody and sore. I played with my buddies on Saturday in a ferocious wind and I played worse than ever. I played Sunday with the Lovely Sharon, Sue and Dave. I played some holes ok but many holes were disasters. I am trying to remember these new swing thoughts; all of these swing thoughts, but the new swing thoughts are competing for room in my brain with the 1,400 other swing thoughts that already reside in there. I think there is some kind of war in my frontal lobe between the 1,400 “we were here first” swings thoughts and the new swing thoughts. I honestly cannot tell you who is going to win that battle.

Enough of that. Our Labor Day weekend fun continued last evening as we attended a party at the home of dear friends Robyn and Paul. They have a new home they designed from scratch to take advantage of the of view of Mt Olympus on the east side of their house and the west side view of the Salt Lake Valley. The home is fantastic and the party was great fun with catered Mexican food. Many people who attended the football game party at our house were also at this Sunday evening party at Robyn and Paul’s.

As I write this blog it is Labor Day and the Lovely Sharon just left to baby sit grandbaby Kendall, our beautiful one year and one week old grandbaby. I have a 10:50 tee time with my buddy Gordon and a client. The client is a young woman who is a professional golfer. My head pro (the fellow who gave me the lesson described above, will probably also play in our foursome as he is acquainted with my client. Talk about pressure, my new client who is an LPGA qualified pro and my head pro who just gave me a lesson. This feels like biology major joining two surgeons in open heart surgery and when the procedure starts, they hand me the scalpel and say “you start”.

I feel a migraine coming on. Hey is that a twinge in my back? Maybe I am injured. Maybe I should just ride in the cart and give Gordon some swing thoughts.

Oh forget about, it. It’s just golf right, enjoy it. Oh well, if I can get through the day, I am going to watch Boise State play football at 6:00 tonight. When I watch football, there is no pressure.

New swing thought, easy, smooth, no pressure.

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