25 August, 2013

New accessaries

Last year my right knee was bothering me a lot. I played mostly 9-holes (half round) instead of the full round of 18 holes. So, early this year I took a break of three months away from golf by going back to Malaysia for CNY and staying a month in Suzhou, to smell the flowers. When I came back to NZ, it was so difficult for me to restart my game again. I was subconsciously looking for excuses not to play: the weather was bad lah, too cold lah, too foggy lah, cannot see the ball lah... It was certainly hard to get up at 7 a.m. when the temperature was single digit. So, one day I found a way to motivate myself to continue playing. I bought a lot of new gear: shoes, trolley and bag. It was a total commitment of NZD775.
I am happy to report that I have succeeded in starting up my game again.  Over the last two weeks, I played the full round of 18-holes, 3 or 4 rounds a week.  Hurray! Credit must certainly go to Kevin Lee who gave me lots of encouragement to continue playing.

Many older golfers, like me, stop playing, not because we are too old or unfit. Usually it is because we cannot accept the fact that we cannot hit them 200 metres off the tee any more. If you hit them 10 metres shorter with the driver (one wood), your ball will not reach the 135M marker on par-4 holes. So, your favourite 5-iron is not enough to put the ball on the green any more! Now you will need to learn to club up and use a 4-iron instead of the 5. The problem is this. Although there is not much

difference between these two clubs, you will find that the slight difference is enough to kill your confidence and ruin your game for ever. On par-3 holes, you can no longer reach the green using your preferred iron. You may even have to learn to become proficient with a 5 wood so that you can hit the ball far enough to reach the par-3 greens! Don't even imagine that you can use a 3-iron because that is the longest iron and hardest to master. Many golfers don't even carry a 3-iron in their bag.

This is terrible. You are losing distance fast and not just with the driver. Golf is now an entirely different game from what you have been doing for years and years. All your other clubs become inadequate for hitting the distances you expected them to do. You will need to spend time on the driving range once more because you have to relearn your golf swing and perhaps adopt new strategies for playing this game. The difficulties seem so numerous and overwhelming.At this point sadly, many older golfers decide to give up and stop playing for good.

Older golfers say that they don't have time to go to the driving range to practice to use the long irons. This is not true at all because all they have now is time. If only they can change their attitude and forget about playing off the blue tees! In fact they should be considering teeing off from the white tees instead of the red. Recently, the club green keeper removed the red tee markers in order to redistribute the divot marks on the fairways so that the grass can have a chance to recover. Playing off the white tee markers, I became aware that on par-4 holes, my tee shots could reach most of the 135M markers! My game became easier and less stressful. This is how golf should be; not too easy, challenging enough but achievable.

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