Sometimes I wonder if I need Whac-A-Mole lessons or an exorcist.
My golf game is an unending sequence of one problem popping up after another. I hit a few drives to the right, realize I’m not finishing my swing, and “Whack”, I correct that. Then I start missing putts because I’m peeking, so “Whack!”, I close my eyes on a few putts and start rolling them in again. Then I blade a few irons, notice I’m overswinging, and “Whack!”, I quit jumping at the ball and hit them flush again. A problem rears its head and I whack it, only to have another jump up and thumb it’s nose at me. Shank, “Whack”, Blade, “Whack”, Fat, “Whack”, Slice, “Whack”, 19th hole, “Whew!”
But even on those rare days when I’ve conquered the mole, I can become demon possessed at any moment. I’m standing on the tee of a par 3, holding a 6 iron. I notice the wind is stronger than I’d figured. The hole is uphill, too. I watch all my playing partners come up short. I know I need my 5 iron. “I’ll just hit my 6 harder,” I say to myself, so I go ahead and overswing, with predictably bad results. I know this is stupid, I’ve done it too many times to count and it’s never worked, but I do it again and again and again. The only reasonable explanation is demon possession.
I hit a nice drive into the fairway of dogleg par 5, but there’s an overhanging branch that keeps me from hitting the shot I’d like. The smart shot is to punch a long iron down the fairway and get on in 3 with a short iron. I couldn’t reach the green even with a great 3 wood and no overhanging branch. What do I do? I pull out my driver and try to nail a low bullet as far as I can. I never practice this shot, I know it’s crazy, I’m telling myself this the whole time I’m doing it, but I go ahead and dribble the driver up behind a tree. Then I try a low, cutting, punched mid-iron (in my dreams). You know, it’s one of those things that starts out low, misses the tree trunk by a few inches, rises after it gets past the canopy, cuts, flies over the bunker guarding the green, and comes to rest nestling against the pin. We’ve all got that shot in our bag, don’t we? After ricocheting that thing off the tree I hack and bang down the fairway and save double bogey with a ten footer. Demon possession. Can’t be anything else.
If I could just whack the moles a little sooner and get Max Von Sydow as a golf partner, I might stand a chance. On the other hand, trying to exorcise Linda Blair killed Von Sydow. Maybe I’ll just keep hitting trees.