Thursday, May 18, 2006

Expectations, the scourge of western civilization

Okay, the G.I.R. thingy didn't work out (or rather, my ability to hit more than three G.I.R.s didn't work out). I only hit three, but kept it under 90, but only by two measly strokes. Granted, I was playing for the first time at De Bell in Burbank, so I was scuttled somewhat by lack of local knowledge. I'm going to play there again next weekend, so I won't have my lack of local knowledge to blame.
Here's a question I'd like you readers to answer: when playing with different clubs, say, a buddy's borrowed set while on a trip, do you usually play better or worse? I recently played with a buddies Cobra SS irons and I hit them pretty good. They had regular shafts, where my Ping Zings have stiff, which begs a question: are my Ping shafts too stiff for my swing? I've never been professionally fitted, and at around $250 to have it done, it isn't going to happen anytime soon (I suppose when my ship comes in, I'll get fit and buy a Sky Caddie on the same day. Of course, after buying my wife an exquisite piece of jewelry. Or at least, I'll let her think I bought her the jewelry first.)
So from a shaft fitting perspective, it's equally likely that I'm playing overly stiff shafts. Oy, I thought I'd put all this club buying shit behind me. I've got much too many things to obsess about--spec scripts I need to write, job to find, self to convince myself doesn't exist, which Fender or Gibson knock-off electric guitar to buy (I'm leaning heavily towards an Agile Les Paul knock off, they've gotten great reviews on Harmony Central. Plus, there's no way I'm going to Guitar Center or Sam Ash to play one. Firstly, they don't carry Agiles, and secondly, I CANNOT STAND when the guitar salesguys hover over you as you play. I feel naked, and since my playing is at the novice level, it's just too frustrating to play in front of them. I know, I know, you're saying, "Get over yourself little man." But it's just human nature to feel castrated in that situation, and since I spend most of my mental effort trying not to be castrated by the actual competitive world, I don't feel like going to the guitar shop and coming so close to castration when the guitar is supposed to be fun.)
So, back to shafts, I think my Ping shafts may be too stiff. So you know what I did? I went and swung my wife's clubs, which have Senior flex shafts (known as "A" flex: interesting sidetrack. Back in the day, "A" flex stood for amateur, and no one in the golf industry has felt like changing it.) The swings felt great. Fast, easy, little effort. So, tomorrow, I'm going to do a head-to-head comparison at the ole' range. If the Gramps shafts win out, it could be curtains for the Pings, though I am LOATHE to part with them. I'm attached, you know? They've suffered right along with me, but then again, they may have been responsible for a lot of that suffering. So DAMN them to HELL.
Which brings me to another subject and another question for you, the reader. Why is it that people become attached to things? Like the shirt that Uncle Bob gave you during that summer on the Cape? The recipe Mom gave you before she died? A Christmas ornament Grams and you painted when you were five? What does all this stuff MEAN? Mom is dead, and making that recipe in her honor isn't going to change that? Right? This is a tough question I've struggled with ever since my Mom died 20 years ago, but it applies to any kind of regret or sentimentality. After all, the recipe, or the shirt, or the ornament are just a symbol for something in us that we can't let go of, but was is it? I suppose if I could answer that question, I'd probably be on the road to... well, I'd be on the road, which is a something.


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