01 Oct 2022

Opinion: 'Latest overload of golf nut wisdom' - Ivan Morris

Limerick Leader golf columnist Ivan Morris

“FOR all of its appearances of tame and genteel tranquility, Golf presents a more searching test of nerve and temperament than any other game - Harry Vardon  

My golf’s not that much to boast about anymore; more bad days than good days. A scattering of good shots and well played holes but too many indifferent ones also.

My drives are coming up shorter than they ever did. My irons land further and further away from the intended target. My putting is no longer reliable. I keep telling myself that I shouldn't care so much but, I do.

When being competitive is imbedded in your DNA and, trying your hardest is the only way you know how, one's competitive mindset never leaves you completely, which makes the inexorable slide into oblivion harder to take.

Everybody, me included, should play without a scorecard and enjoy the game for what it is - a gentle walk in the countryside with plenty of time in between shots to breathe, look around, talk, listen, smell the roses.

To make up shots, if one feels like it, preferably with an extra ball or two in your pocket for re-loads whenever it might take your fancy?

Competition golf requires a different approach especially when you come to the last few holes and there is 'something' on the line with business to be done!

Playing less than perfect golf (as if there ever is such a thing) is far better than lying in a hospital bed with no hope and tubes hanging out of you!

I've always welcomed a challenge. Challenges are good for us and do you know what? In the end, winning or losing shouldn't be what matters.

Besides, in golf there is usually only one winner which, of course, means everyone else is a loser.

When I bore people by talking about this, I'm told 'easily solved': Get a few shots back on your handicap and you'll be dangerous again.

Do I not like that! It seems like cheating to me. I have never regarded my nett score as a measure of my golfing worth.

“When you’re not practicing, someone, somewhere is; and when you meet him in competition, he will win” - Vince Lombardi

“When I play with my hickory clubs, every good shot is celebrated, and the poor ones do not annoy me as much. It's obvious I should play hickory golf more often, but my friends frown on it and disapprove.

No matter how hard I try I cannot persuade them otherwise.

Obsession is healthy when it is fuelled with a deep love of what you do. When obsession is driven by competitiveness, it's a potent concoction, for sure” - Matt Williams

Here's a thought: Too many bunkers make life unnecessarily difficult for ordinary golfers without bothering the good player to the same degree or in some cases in the slightest.

Don't you think that it should be the other way around?

It is perfectly in order that a reputedly 'great golf course' can take a heavy beating up from better players every now and again. There is nothing that should be done to stop it, nor any reason why there should be. Low scoring is part of the game.

Winning at any sport depends on how you handle ‘the moment’ and not get distracted.

An overly long golf course caters exclusively for the giants amongst us but is too much of a trial for the 'average' player even to the extent that they will feel so inept and frustrated that they may be driven to despair and give up the game. Nothing in the whole world of golf is as tedious as losing your ball in long grass.

Hunting around in the rough, wondering whether to let the people behind come through, ruining a score, losing the hole in a match without even playing it to a conclusion—nothing so completely ruins the fun of golf as losing one's golf ball.

Golf is a science - the study of a lifetime, in which you may exhaust yourself but never your subject. It is a contest, calling for courage, skill, strategy, stamina and self-control. It is a test of temper, a trial of honour that reveals character.

It affords a chance to play the man but act the gentleman. It means going out into the outdoors, breathing fresh air, getting close to nature, enjoying gentle exercise, a sweeping away of worries and mental cobwebs.

It is a cure for cares - an antidote to worries. It includes companionship with friends and helps one to make new ones by showing courtesy, kindliness and generosity towards an opponent.

“Golf promotes not only physical health but moral force” - David R. Forgan

The aspect of the game you lose with green speeds averaging somewhere between 11-13 on the Stimpmeter is the ability to build contour into your putting surfaces . . .

“When you take contour out of the greens and speed them up, you only make the game easier for the average-putting Tour pro, and harder for the club player” - Pete Dye

Whenever there is a carry offered, two things are essential. First there must be a way around for those who are unwilling to accept the risk, and there must be a definite reward awaiting the man who takes the chance successfully.

“Without the alternative route, the situation is unfair; without reward, it is meaningless” - Bob Jones

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