I love golf. I think. But it doesn’t always love me. Or so it seems.
And with that intentionally ambiguous opening salvo, I courageously aim to reboot this little blog of mine.
I am painfully aware of the silence these past two months, nearly an eternity in social media time. So for those faithful few who are still out there wondering, the least I can do is answer a few basic questions:
Are you still alive?
Yes. By all accounts, I’ve yet to shuffle off this mortal coil.
Are you still in Scotland?
Definitely yes. And, I should say, still gratefully so.
Are you still playing golf?
This is where it gets a wee bit murky. What I can say for certain is that, since my last missive in June, I have logged several rounds on some terrific links courses—such as Goswick, Crail, Machrihanish, Dunaverty and Western Gailes. But did my actions on these hallowed grounds constitute golf? Highly debatable. A more accurate description would be futile attempts to flail away at the ball, occasionally interrupted by flashes of competence.
Thus my opening lament. And this long overdue post.
Trust me. I get it. Things have grown so quiet in this space that even the digital crickets have packed their bags and moved on. But perhaps, by jumping back in—even if I haven’t a clue of what lies below—I can regain my footing. Maybe, just maybe, I can rediscover my mojo.
The operative question, as always for me, boils down to just one word: Why? Why do I devote so much time, money and energy to what is ultimately a pointless pursuit? Why do I allow so much of my emotional wellbeing to hinge on whether my golf ball goes where I want it to go?
If you’ve read this far, there’s a good chance you often find yourself wrestling with the “Why?” question, too. If, like me, you struggle to come up with a satisfying answer, perhaps we can help each other out. I’m open to suggestion. At minimum, misery loves company.
Because, fact is, my poor play has me in a deep funk. And it’s not just a golf thing. The negative vibe stirred up on the course has begun to seep into my real life. I wouldn’t go so far as to classify it as depression. That would overstate my case and understate the fate of people who truly do struggle to function in the world. A more likely diagnosis is a bout of the blues, though it’s quite possibly the most virulent strain I’ve ever encountered.
As such, when I do play golf and things go poorly (as they inevitably do), I’m disinclined to want to bring that frustration home and wallow in it by writing about it. Yet, choosing not to process the bad juju doesn’t mean it goes away. The unresolved feelings simply get pushed under the surface, reemerging elsewhere in unhelpful ways.
Like, for example, disrupting a peaceful night’s sleep. Or restraining my embrace of each new day with joy and gratitude. Or clouding my awareness of life’s small but priceless blessings. Like a Scottish summer sunset. Or the supersized patchwork quilt that blankets the Scottish Borders at harvest time. Or the boundless energy of a Cavalier King Charles puppy (aka Winston).
It’s downright foolish if not borderline criminal to allow the inability to execute golf shots have such power over me. But the evidence would suggest that I do.
The good news? The first step toward solving a problem is to acknowledge that you have one. Hopefully, this post will check that box.
And maybe, after I press the publish button and share this confession with all who happen to stumble upon it, I can begin to heal.
Now that just might be a journey worth writing about. And, from where you sit, maybe it will make for a blog worth reading.
Hang in there with me.