I recently saw an ad on the Golf Channel. The ad said that most golf balls or not perfectly round and that you need to find the actual center of gravity in order to play golf properly. As I watched this commercial it occurred to me that maybe I am not actually terrible, I have just been playing with off center golf balls my entire life. Last weekend when I hit the ground before I hit the ball on Hole No. 2 on the Lakes course at Hidden Valley Country Club (“HVCC”) and the ball traveled approximately 60 yards before splashing into the lake. It wasn’t my fault or my lack of talent; I had a damn off centered golf ball. When I sliced a drive into the trees a few holes later, yep, an off centered golf ball.
It occurred to me that if I had properly centered golf balls I could potentially reduce my handicap from my current 16 to somewhere near 2 or 3. For only $29.99 plus shipping and handling I can order a device that will allow me to find the true center of the golf ball. This is a no brainer right? For thirty bucks I find the center of the ball and my game immediately gets better. I almost picked up the phone or got on Google to find the website to order this miracle device but then it struck me. Even if I find out my ball is off center and I find out where the true center of my ball is, what the heck do I do then? Do I swing different? Do I hit the ball on a different spot than normal? Do I throw the ball away? If all of my golf balls are off center, as the ad seems to indicate they are, and if I threw away all of my off centered balls, I would have no golf balls left. Maybe that is the strategy. You throw away all of your golf balls and then by definition you cannot hit a bad shot, you cannot duff one in the lake, you cannot lose one. There is no ball left on which to screw up.
So now, when I am standing over the ball ready to hit it, not only am I thinking about how to start my take away, how to start my back swing, how to start my down swing (from the ground up, by dropping my arms, by turning in a barrel, by squatting and moving laterally to the target, by pulling my left hip back as though it was being pulled by a giant rubber band in a Hoganesque manner, by hitting the ball like I am hammering a nail, by hitting the ball with my right side and so on and so forth) now I have to worry about a ball that is undoubtedly off center. How can I hit a 300 yard drive down the middle of the fairway with a subtle right to left draw if my ball is off centered? It is impossible. I am doomed to mediocrity forever.
Do remember when Alan Shepard hit a golf ball with a six iron on the Moon? If his ball was off centered, he might have hit Neptune instead of his target Uranus as the off centered ball travelled through the galaxy. Maybe I am not so different than Alan. I have plenty of friends that have told me that I couldn’t hit Uranus (or something that means that) with a golf ball.