Sam the Eagle acted as the moral guardian of The Muppet Show. He routinely expressed outrage and offense at bad jokes and behavior he thought beneath the dignity of the show’s high (at least to him) standards. The other characters on the show seemed to have a lot more fun than Sam. That’s him in the back, glaring at the camera.
I often find myself fighting against turning into Sam on the golf course. It’s easy for me to get disgusted with my game, despite the evidence that my standards aren’t, or at least shouldn’t be, that high. I hit a few crappy (OK, not too far below average) shots, and Sam starts to mutter in my ear and crawl inside my head. After a while I’m fuming and harrumphing down the fairway.
Unfortunately, eagle flu is contagious. Let a few other members of my group have a bad day at the same time as me and we’re all soaring with Sam. The Chipping Lizard starts to chunk it around the green, Gallon loses his putting touch, and the Cowboys start to hack and bang. By the time we’re through we’ve all had rounds to forget.
But how much difference is there really between those good and bad rounds? If I crank out a mid 70’s round, I feel pretty good. Very good, in fact. If I shoot low 80’s I start to feel like it was pretty bad. Mid 80’s stinks.
Compare that to the pros. Look at the scores in a regular weekly tour event. Look at the whole field, not just the guys at the top that week. You see a lot of mid 70’s, some upper 70’s, a few 80’s. This from guys that can crank rounds in the 60’s with no problem. I know the guys that shot those scores probably feel crappy and have eagle flu, but they’re the best in the world. They play all the time, it’s their life. I have no business feeling bad about my scores if that happens to them.
I’m going to play this game, for better or worse, as long as I can drag my feet down the fairway and make contact with the ball. I’d have a lot more fun if I listened to a new Muppet. I’m going with Fozzie Bear from now on. That noisemaker looks like it could be real handy on the green.