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Golfing With My Inner Child

I play in a golf league on Wednesday nights. I am far from an avid golfer although I do like to play the game. The golf league is 9 holes and if I play one other day during the week I am lucky.

I am not very good at the game, maybe average. My handicap is around a 22 so that means I should shoot 22 shots over par for 18 holes. If the par for 18 holes in 72, then I should be able to shoot 96. That is similar to many of the people I play with.

Sometimes I get down on myself if I hit a bad shot or play a bad round. When that happens I think about the fact that I am in my late forties and should not be stomping around like a child after I hit a bad shot.

It reminds me of the time when I was a kid abound 15 and went to play golf with my father. We would go to a course that was not too far from our house. My father was a good golfer, much better than I have ever been. I had hit a string of bad shots and was so frustrated with myself that I slammed the club down against my bag and the club broke. I remember that my father did not lose his temper or take me off the course. He stayed silent, hit his next shot and moved on down the fairway.

We finished off the round that night and he didn’t make any mention of my outburst. When we got into the car on the ride home I remember him talking to me about the “inner child” that we all have. He said he still had it and it would rise up at inopportune time (like when you hit a bad golf shot). He said what he tried to do was be aware that the inner child was coming to the surface and work to control it. He mentioned my outburst and the fact that letting the inner child get the best of us can sometimes lead to poor outcomes such as a broken golf club. I don’t remember a whole lot of heart to heart talks with my father over the years but that is one that I still remember to this day.

I need to keep the conversation that I had with my father in mind when I get out on the golf course next Wednesday. I know I am going to hit a bad shot. I know I am going to get frustrated with myself. I know my inner child will start to emerge. When that happens I am going to take a deep breath, look at the greenness around me, and remind myself how lucky I am to be outside on a summer night playing golf with some good people.

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