A Hole Too Far

My round on Halloween was my last round for a while. I’ve been playing a lot for seven years or so, usually playing more than once a week. Miraculously, I haven’t been injured or sick for more than a few days and the weather has only kept me off the course a full week once that I can remember. I’ve played a few rounds in some nasty wind and cold, but I’ve played.

I’ve been playing relatively poorly for the last few months, and I realized I’m burned out. This is a new experience for me. I’ve been tired of doing a lot of things, but never playing golf. But when I realized that I needed to take a break, I immediately felt better.

Playing poorly helped, of course. I probably would have trouble stopping if I was seeing my handicap go down. But it’s going the other way. I reviewed my records and saw that I had kept my handicap in single digits for the last 18 months, and for all but 5 months of the last three years. That’s great for me. (In fact, anyone who had played with me in my previous incarnations wouldn’t believe it.) However, I expect my November index will be real close to 10. It was 6.6 at the start of September. Taking a break was a frequently mentioned cure for slumps in Jimmy Roberts’ book, so I’ll put that to the test.

The weather will also help a little. October is a great month for golf here, although my play didn’t show it. But cold fronts start coming through and it gets windier in November, and conditions are more unpredictable. There’ll be a lot of days where I’ll think “It’d be great out on the course,” but there’ll be some where I’ll think “I’m glad I’m not out there today.”

I’ve got plans for what I’ll do with my golf time. I’m looking forward to doing them, and I’m sure part of my burn out was the pull of those other activities. I’m going to keep up the blog, keep watching golf, keep wondering how to get better. I’m just not going to pick up a club.

But I’ll miss the guys. I had fun even when I was playing poorly, and my break won’t be too long because I’ll want to jerk them around and be razzed in return. I’m sure I’ll stop by the course before or after the regular games and hang out a bit. When I feel like I’ll just die if I don’t get out there and hit a few balls, I’ll do it. Who knows, I may get that irresistible urge two weeks from now.

And if I don’t play any better than I’m playing now, I’ll have an excuse. That’s a deal, don’t you think?

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