By Danny Silbor, BCBP Makati
“No one ever looked up and saw a beautiful golf shot”
So says a sign posted at Philippine Navy Golf, tee mount, hole number 5. They were quoting a guy named Don Herold, an American Humorist, probably picking the line from some of his books about the funny side of golf.
Perhaps 90% of golfers know of this and yet they continue to commit this fault. Many leisure golfers (this writer included) have such anxiety over the shot they make that they can’t wait till their swing has finished, and the ball they just hit has left the turf. They often look ahead hopefully to catch sight of their “beautiful” golf shot. Many see nothing when they look up because their ball had taken a low flight and bounced for less than a hundred yard because of a “topped” ball; and they had just used a driver.
Commonly known as “look-up,” this swing fault is often the result. Many golfers, even amateurs, are aware of this a bad habit. That touches on the importance of having an honest pro/instructor during your practice at the range- to remind you of returning faults, that you had already learned how to correct. One might have corrected this habit before but for leisure golfers who presumably play less often, forgetting is easy with less practice. If golf is a game of recovery (Walter Hagen) then for a golfer who desires continuous improvement, “Golf is a game of reminders.” The final reminder being: stop all swing thoughts at the moment of the swing and just hit that ball. Favorite golfer line: I already learned that years ago – I just keep forgetting.
Shifting to life away from golf, reminders are a funny thing in our community. Funny as they were spawned from questions like “when is the First Friday Mass? – when is the next Wednesday breakfast?” Yes, Makati Breakfasts and other assemblies also heavily require reminders to keep them going. As if the existence of the Breakfast on a Wednesday morning for the past 35 years is not enough of a reminder. I had have often told AGL’s that their unavailability to attend should not stop them from reminding their members to be there.
The good thing about BCBP is that there are our brothers to remind us to attend and serve. In the lonely game of Golf, the guy needs to remind himself when he is out there on the course. Not always effective. This is where funny comes back in. The golfer himself forgets to remind himself that he has learned those corrections before.
This make reminders food for one’s memory in remembering dates and good swing habits. That is until one’s memory is full-fed with reminders that feeding it is not necessary. It’s like going from consciously skilled and learned (thru practice) to UNCONSCIOUSLY skilled (second nature). This is unavoidable be it for breaking bad golf habits or keeping attendance. The BCBP Breakfast has almost become second nature to many members if they have the time.
A tempting conclusion is recognized. Reminding oneself will never be as good as being reminded by a brother or a sister. And in our prayerful BCBP life, reminding oneself is often regarded as God himself reminding ourselves, not us. Perhaps that is why in our little Makati golf group called CIGA, we find many brothers who are both great BCBP members (breakfast goers) and great golfers. Perhaps that fact is useful as a new evangelizing thought to use in the fairways. But that may be a new column in itself. Somebody please remind me to write about it.
Danny Silbor, BCBP Makati, CIGA founding member, Handicap 31,