“Golf… is the infallible test. The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well.”
“The most important shot in golf is the next one.”
I have had many of my golfing readers request that I write about this insane game, so I will finally be doing so, dedicating this particular blog to all those fellow chasers of ridiculously small white spheres that do their best (18 times, mind you!) to avoid the 4.25 diameter hole for which they are intended!
(But let’s be honest, folks:
If someone kept coming after you with a club, wouldn’t YOU try to run away and hide too?!
That’s what I thought!)
Alright, then ~ Let’s play a round with golf today! (Pun intended)
While so much has been written about golf and all the mental, physical and spiritual aspects that parallel it to life, playing golf never fails to surprise me anew as it points out yet “something more” to ponder each time around.
An earlier round this year provided such an epiphany . . . and the inspiration to write today’s missive.
But wait! Even if you don’t play golf, please read on . . . Because this game and its lessons speak very much to our shared human adventure:
And yes . . .
Our true selves.
It’s all in there.
I CAN assure you, each of us will find ourselves somewhere within these words.
So if you find you are curious enough to play this “round” . . .
I will thank you now for pausing to join me today, on this particular tee time on the Power In Pause Course!
If you only find one idea that brings you a single step forward, then this will be time well spent.
(And, I assure you, a lot easier than having to record your true score when you’d rather not!)
OK . . . Tee it up! ⛳️
I pause to stand over my fluorescent(!) yellow ball and I say:
“I commit to this shot.”
What are these five words truly saying?
When we commit to a shot, we commit to many things: where we are standing . . . to the club we’ve chosen . . . to how our feet are positioned . . . how we are balanced . . . to the condition our body is in, (great or not!) . . .the grass conditions . . . and yes, even the weather!
But do we ever consider . . .
That we are also committing to wherever our ball winds up?
This means we commit to facing the downright daunting job of accepting that it lands where it lands.
Middle of the fairway.
In the rough
Plugged in the side of a trap
On a downhill angled lie
Behind a tree
In the water
In someone else’s divot
Lost in the woods
Poised one fraction of a roll away from landing in the cup.
Now, to be fair, let’s not leave out that one “knife in hot butter” shot: pure, effortless, organic, in the zone . . . The “One Shot” that reminds us why we committed in the first place and keeps us coming back over and over again.
The infinite possibilities of . . . Whole Package . . .
And consequently, the infinite possibilities of the potential we each contain within ourselves.
This is true for golf.
But it is also true in every moment of our day.
So use this golf analogy not just to improve your golf psyche . . .
But also as a template for strategizing how to view your own life, the things that happen under your control and not under your control, your choices and the responsibility you take for them.
Practice pausing to say
“I commit to this shot.”
Whenever I play golf, I can always expect the full range of emotional and psychological experiences, from elation to frustration, from pride to mortification, from dread to wonder.
But because the golf microcosm is Life itself, containing what a single shot holds,
Wherever that bright yellow ball goes, there I am.
Sometimes I’m happy with its results . . .
And then there are all its other destinations I’d rather forget!
Nevertheless, only I am responsible for each and every “home” that my ball finds.
I own each and every position of that little yellow sphere . . .
Simply because I first chose to commit to that shot.
As in life, yes?
Fortunately, there is a fringe benefit: there is a power in owning my shots . . . With facing the truth, with staying committed.
And it is this very power that gives me the strength and confidence to commit to my next shot from its new location as well.
I can feel doubt and anxiety.
But once I address the ball, I choose to commit once again.
I focus on THAT.
And then . . .
I commit to facing my less than lovely shots . . .
Because I cannot own ONLY the beautiful ones:
Golf is a Package Deal.
Just like Life.
I may get to see myself in all the glory of that perfect connection . . .
And then soon afterward, I am guaranteed that I will experience the humbling despondencies created by my hozzle rockets, pop-ups, shanks, skulls and whiffs.
And then of course there’s everything that falls between those extremes.
Golf . . . Like it or not . . .
Is always a picture of me.
The parts I love . . . and the parts I may not be ready to face.
But yes, I signed up for this tee time . . . So if I’m truly in for the entire round? I have to face all of it…
Everything I created by how I made each shot.
A Package Deal.
Oh and one more thing:
“Move” just means “Leave where you were.”
The direction matters not so much as the fact that you DO move . . . letting that former place go because it’s no longer relevant . . .
Moving away to accept the new locale of your ball.
After all . . .
You put it there.
My round is a continuous string of commitments
Of a relationships.
Of reminders that only I own my round
From the first shot
To the last.
But . . .
The first commitment is to myself.
“I believe there is a gift to be discovered.”
“I accept where I am.”
“I commit to this shot.”
So life, as with golf, becomes a continuous search “to improve upon my current locale”.
“I commit to this shot.”
Pause . . .
Take a stance . . .
Craft a swing . . .
Then move to your next locale . . .
And begin again.
Eventually your ball WILL find the hole.
Of course . . . you might have a slightly longer adventure getting there at times . . .
But I CAN assure you, you won’t be alone on the course!
“Hit ’em straight”, my friends!
5 thoughts on ““I Commit To This Shot””
Beautifully written and loved the connection. As always, SSF, Perfect timing for me too 🙂
Thank you, my beautiful friend 🌟💕 I always so appreciate being reminded of the connection not only that you and I have, but also of the one we all have together, regarding timing and what nourishes us in the ways we need.
We’re all here to watch over each other…but every once in while, we get to learn of how we connected and helped someone, whether family, friend or stranger…so we receive a miraculous surprise! 💝
Giant hugs 🤗💕
Enjoyed playing a round with you. Even though it’s been 30 years since I was a golfer, your words resonate deeply. Life is the game, and how we tee-up for all of its challenges is up to us. It isn’t just about getting the ball in the hole, but what we do, how we play the game, and who we love along the way that matters. Always a joy to experience the power of pause with you, Janelle.
Thank you for being with me on the course, Carole! I especially love the imagery you bring with “how we tee-up for all of its challenges is up to us.” We are always responsible for our perspective, our actions…we are constantly choosing, whether we are aware of it or not!
Hugs to you, my friend!
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Wow, what beautiful truths written here for the mining and application. Thanks for the encouragement/fuel to keep going in what I have committed to do. And the reminder of my agency to choose my response and attitude to even what I cannot control!