Almanac Golf: The conflict within: the dilemma of the weekend golfer




OK, I’m up.


Geez, the boys have all hit great drives, the law of averages suggests someone is going to duff one of these sooner or later, hope it is not me. The pressure is on, that’s for sure. I’m already a few strokes off the pace here, I can’t afford a mistake. Can’t believe I just three-putted that last hole.


This fairway is so tight, so tight. And it dog-legs. Should I use the driver or should I be looking to play it safe? No guts, no glory!


Ignore the water hazard on the right, dumb-arse, it is not really there. What lake? I can’t see a lake, it’s just a big puddle, really. Don’t wimp it just because there is a water hazard. Watch out for the creek on the left, too, by the way.


Ok feet, plant yourselves carefully, don’t stand too close to the ball, right angles to the target, nice and relaxed, distribute the weight evenly. Shoulders, line up with feet. Feet, spread far enough apart so you and shoulders are the same distance apart. Everyone remember where the target is. Check everything is right. Keep it simple. Be comfortable. We can do this. Piece of cake.


Knees, bend, slightly, not too much. Back, stay straight, don’t bend. Is the ball in the right place in the stance? Is it too far forward? Is it too far back? Line the centre of the club-face up with the ball.


Arms, are you bent? You shouldn’t be. Are you reaching for the ball? You shouldn’t be doing that either. Am I too close to the ball? Am I too far away from it? Feet, where are we? Where are we pointing? I need feedback.


So many things to think about, no wonder this game is so difficult. I can’t believe how well Terry hit his drive. How the hell does he do it? He is so casual I could almost see the tumbleweeds blowing between his ears. Has he ever even had a lesson? These natural sportsmen make me sick.


Back to business. Make sure everything is squared off to the target, knees flexed, begin the swing. Remember the video. Left arm, don’t bend. Are you listening to me, left arm? Don’t bend. Draw the club back smoothly, not too fast, even tempo, shift the weight onto the back foot, perfect positioning, bring the club head back in the right plane. I spent half the night visualising this shot, now make it happen.


Is the club in the correct place? Check it, doofus, don’t assume. Hips and knees, do your stuff! Are you guys where you should be? This game is all about the weight shift. Is the club head parallel to the ground? Are we all good?


We have lift-off. Commence the down swing.


Ok, repeat, but in reverse. Hips and knees, are you listening? You are up again. Follow the club. Do it easy, easy. Left arm, stay straight, don’t bend! Don’t let the speed of the swing to get ahead of the weight, don’t swing in-out or out-in, stay in the correct plane, not too late, not too early, don’t slice or, worse, hit a snap-hook, God, I hate those! A fade is Ok, I can work with that.


Eyes, watch the club, watch the ball, watch the target, don’t look up, don’t look up, don’t look up! Head, stay down, you can admire the shot later.


Follow through, follow through, follow through, c’mon guys….…….


Body parts (in unison)


STFU, brain.



About Joe De Petro

My favourite period in history began with the Summer of Love and came to a sad end with the birth of Disco. It was from 1967 to 1975. What was not to like in those days? The Grateful Dead, Creedence, The Beach Boys, The Doors, Janis Joplin, Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond and the mighty Tigers won Premierships every other year. It was a magical time, much like the current period in history.


  1. You are channeling me Joe. Golf is the search for the Holy Grail. That missing piece that will miraculously
    transform me from Rodney Dangerfield to Rodney Pampling.
    The arms, legs and head magically align like a blue red eclipse moon once every round. An addictive snap and arc more seductive than a first kiss. I still haven’t found what I’m looking for………

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