Beware of the injured golfer

I had a remarkable game of golf yesterday. I didn’t have the best score but it was still remarkable (at least for me 🙂 ) and it hit home the amazing possibilities that can arise when I let go and refrain from worrying about my golf swing or anything else.

Driving to the course I felt some discomfort in my eye. By the time I arrived my eye had swelled and was getting sore. I tried to wash it out and remove the foreign object. No luck. In most cases I would have headed home but because I had arranged to play with a mate I didn’t want to let him down. I decided to give it a go, thinking that I could always pull out if it got worse.

I struggled on the first hole. I blocked my shot way left and was lucky to make a bogey. I did the same thing on the third, my simple approach missed the green and I scrambled for another bogey. I wasn’t enjoying myself at this point. I couldn’t see that well and the eye was hurting.

On the fourth tee I made a commitment to forget about my eye and just play. I figured this was an opportunity to test my automatic and natural playing concepts. I birdied the fourth and fifth holes. I should have birdied the 6th as well but missed a simple up and down. (those short shots were hard with blurred vision 😉 ). I bogeyed the 7th but eagled the 8th hole and birdied the 9th.

At this point I had a decision to make. I was keen to head for the doctor. By this time I could barely open my eye without it hurting. I was also having trouble reading greens and seeing the hole locations. Some friendly ribbing from my playing partners and with my competitive instincts kicking in I decided to keep going.

I was free wheeling with my swing. I wasn’t aiming at anything (couldn’t see the target) and the ball kept finding the target. I narrowly missed birdies on 10 and 11. I negotiated the 12 and 13 with pars and missed a great chance for birdie on 14. My dodgy vision not helping me line up a fairly easy two metre putt. When I birdied the 16th I was three under for the day. I hit my approach shot into the 17th with my eyes closed. By now my eye was really sore and closing them provided the only comfort.

My putt on 17 missed by a long way. Disappointing because I was only about 4 meters from the hole. On the 18th I pulled out all stops. I let go and let rip. I had no thoughts of technique or score. The ball sailed long down the left side of the fairway. With only 100 metres left I was hoping for a final birdie. I got over the ball, closed my eyes and pulled the trigger. The shot felt great but was pulled slightly. It finished in a bunker (dead!) and I settled for a bogey. I was frustrated with the finish but it had been an amazing round of golf.

Even with impaired vision I was able to perform my golf swing well. It made no difference. I must say it was an excellent ball striking round. I did struggle with putting and the short shots a little but not hopelessly so. I was still able to compete and not embarrass myself. The best thing about the day was running into a doctor in the locker room. He removed the object and the eye was back to normal in a couple of hours.

The automatic process is truly amazing.

Good golfing,

Cameron Strachan

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