Seek pleasure from golf

Asked what is the biggest hindrance in the way of a club golfer achieving nirvana or at least a consistent level of skill in the game, Llewellyn came up with this brief but well thought out answer. “Ego,” he replied.

Prabhdev Singh        Print Edition: January 27, 2008

Prabhdev Singh
Prabhdev Singh
Anybody who has played the game has experienced that magical moment when it all comes together and the golf ball behaves itself—it goes exactly where you want it to. This happens quite a few times when a golfer of considerable skill is doing the rounds and not so often when an average club golfer is prodding along. Anyway, this particular moment has been compared to many things, more so to that basic instinct which culminates in the ultimate pleasure. Hence, the addictive nature of the game. The golf bug and its bite story is hogwash. Now, there is no reason why Tiger Woods and the like should hold copyright over these multiple spells of joy— we can all experience them in our own way.

There is a catch. The guidance of a specialist is a must, and in golf this guru is the teaching professional. Kel Llewellyn is one of these learned men and he was in the country recently helping out a bunch of middle-aged men and a group of youngsters eager to be counted among the big boys. Llewellyn, a tough no-nonsense Aussie, has been around and he offers good instruction. After all, among those who he has helped achieve satisfaction on the golf course are Jyoti Randhawa and Daniel Chopra. Asked what is the biggest hindrance in the way of a club golfer achieving nirvana or at least a consistent level of skill in the game, Llewellyn came up with this brief but well thought out answer. “Ego,” he replied.

That is so true. The favoured topic at the bar after a few hours of club wielding would be ‘distance’, with most clamouring to stake claim on membership of the ‘300 Club’. It is another matter that a golfer may have breasted the tape at that mark once in 300 rounds! A genuine member would be one who gets there on a regular basis and the only way to do that is golf lessons backed by practice. An average golfer plays with his mistakes, says Llewellyn. He just doesn’t take lessons. Very often Llewellyn meets golfers at social gatherings and they come around to admitting that they could do with some guidance. He never hears from them again.

Pleasure in golf

India may not have golf teaching professionals pouring out of the woodwork but there are teachers readily available. Yes, your father, uncle or friend can get you to the golf course and fix you up with some golf clubs but if you want to maximise your potential, then get yourself some professional help. You’ll be doing yourself a favour. Imagine coming back home so much happier after those weekend rounds. The wife may even let you buy the new driver.

Tip i tried: If you’ve watched professional golfers on TV or followed them on the golf course, you would have noticed that every one of them follows a pre-shot routine. What they are doing is basically taking aim. It is amazing how many golfers just stand over the golf ball and hit it. That is like getting into your car and then deciding where to go. Focussing on a target (a tree or a bush, for example) is a good start towards getting the job done. It not only helps you align your club and body, it also takes your mind away from irritants like sand and water.

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