“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
Welcome to my ‘Blogumentary’ The Journey to 4, which going forward will be referred to as JT4. So, what is the journey, and why? What is the purpose of my JT4 blog and what do I plan to do with it? Over the next 15 minutes, all will be explained below.
In a stark contrast to one of my personality dislikes (lateness), this golfing blog is, in actual fact, two and a half years late, ironically. That said and on a positive note, I have this vast amount of time to write about, to bring you up to speed on this ‘Blogumentary’.
I played the beautiful game of golf as a teenager. This was purely for fun, amongst football, basketball, tennis, and so on. It was during my late teens that I discovered nightclubs and alcohol (and all the fun that comes with both). As a result, my golf clubs sadly did not see a tee box for quite some time.
Fast forward a decade and to my late twenties. My brother (who is actually my cousin but the closest thing to me), was admirably serving his time in the British Armed Forces. During the odd weekends on which he returned home, we required some form recreation that allowed us to spend numerous hours together, to be able to talk and share stories, but also to be able to have fun. Enter the game of Golf.
We would play a round of golf on the Saturday morning, losing a dozen balls as well as our tempers on occasion, and occasionally shooting awful “3 digit” scores, paying good money for the privilege. Yet those 4 hours together with the beer after was for us….what it was all about. We repeated this each and every time he returned home, for at least a couple of years. They were good times.
The Bug: Now it was during these bonding/recreation years that you could say I was bitten by the ‘golf bug’. Slowly, and gradually, I found myself enjoying the game more and more. I was beginning to remember that feeling of excitement as a younger teenager of going to play golf with my father and his friends (you know, before I discovered night clubs etc.). It helped that I began losing fewer balls, and all of a sudden, the shots started to go straight at the target – sometimes.
This continued and the bug within me grew dramatically, golf was on my mind pretty much 24/7. By dramatically, I mean that I found myself awakening at 5.30am, grabbing “my sticks” to go play golf, allowing myself to be first on the course. This spiralled into the summer evenings, when all of a sudden I was quickly changing after a day’s work, and driving straight to whichever was the closest golf course at the time. Magazines, books, internet articles, I was reading them all, and could not get enough. I remember as a young teenager mocking my father for watching the sport of golf on TV – insisting it was boring to watch. Fifteen years later, I found myself tuning in to coverage of every tournament being aired, and happy to stay up until the early hours engrossed.
Passion: Some say (or believe) that every single person in the entire world has an underlying passion for something within them. I am one of those believers. However unfortunately, it seems that not everyone manages to discover their ultimate passion, which saddens me. This could be something that you have never tried before, thus not even realising. For example, one may not have ever played chess before, yet unbeknown to them, they may have a hidden passion (and talent) for it, and so on.
For me and gratefully, I had found my ultimate passion in life. When I say passion, I truly mean something that I would find incredibly difficult to live without. There have been occasions where I would be standing on the kerb waiting for the traffic to pass, and I’d begin to practice my putting stroke there on the spot! Or I would go to the practice green with a dozen golf balls and would only realise I have been there for 5 hours when I see the moon and start to lose light. I would be down at the range hitting golf balls until I had to stop due to the blisters on my hands! I’d find myself daydreaming things such as; “what if I change this grip or what if I move my stance, I think that would work”. Invariably it wouldn’t/or didn’t. Yet I was so excited to go try, I could hardly wait for work to finish or for the weekend to arrive. Rain, wind, frost, nor high summer temperatures; nothing would stop me.
The JT4 Decision
Two years and five months ago in April 2015, I had made a ‘radical’ decision, to chase a dream.
I pondered the possibility… could an “average Joe” make it to a Handicap of 4, with just hard work, sheer willpower and determination? Is that enough, or does there have to be a god given talent to get there? How much dedication and focus would it take if it is possible? Also, why 4?
Rarely in life have I ever set such goals when I think back – a somewhat sad fact on reflection! Therefore I decided to experiment and try. I made a decision to devote the next 5 years of my life to achieve the goal. I knew it was never going to be easy, if indeed possible. There also has to be a PROCESS to be followed strictly – which I will comment more on during this ‘Blogumentary’. I also accepted that I will require assistance, in numerous areas; from coaching & fellow players, to very understanding girlfriends and family. However whatever it takes, 100% of both time and focus will need to be given.
As for the goal of 4, why that number you may ask? Well the first & simple explanation (and another fact about me) is that due to slight OCD, I do not like odd numbers! Also, and the reality behind the decided number, was that IF I can indeed get to 4, not only would I be in reach of PGA Club Professional status, but I believe that I would almost certainly stand a chance of making it to scratch. However 4 must be the initial goal.
“So where am I presently”?
I will back date my journey in further blogs, and continue to update as it progresses. However at the time of writing and posting this first blog – 2 years and 5 months into the JT4 – I have made it down to 9.8 HCP from an initial “3 card” handicap of 17.6.
Is this good progression, or not so much?? I guess arguments for both views could be had, as there are many additional factors to be considered – which will be documented. As with life’s general up’s and down’s that we all encounter, the JT4 has not been without several hurdles, including injuries. Am I happy so far? Indeed. This was never going to be a quick “experiment” or easy journey for that matter, hence the initial 5 year allocated time frame. But it would be difficult not to be happy having experienced such improvement.
There is no doubt in my mind that the JT4 is only going to get harder – I am both mentally and physically prepared for that. Particularly as the highly desired “single figure” is now close. But as I will mention in further posts, this means adapting the mind-set together with altering the attitude towards the goal and what is required of me to get there.
The JT4 nevertheless continues, and I will also be feeding my #Instagram with updates/pictures/videos as well as this blog, so follow the JT4 with me…