In the current issue of Golf Digest, the 60th Anniversary Issue, there is a putting drill that I decided to try today on the practice green. I placed a tee in the ground on either side of the putterhead, with about a quarter inch of room to spare. Then I set one tee three inches in front of these just to the inside of the path the heel of the club should take and another tee three inches just outside the path that the toe should take, three inches behind the parallel first tees, creating a channel through which I was to swing the putter, leaving very little margin for error and encouraging smooth back-and-throughs and a square putter face. I hit 10 or so balls this way, and it seemed to work. As I stood over each putt, my mantra was "smooth."
I then spent about an hour putting, and I think I am on to something (though declaring such likely just jinxed me): Once I implement the forward press, I tilt my head slightly to the left, taking the hole out of the peripheral vision of my left eye, so that I do not "peek." I made a higher percentage of 3- to 6 footers than I normally would have, and by being hyper conscious of the smooth back and through from the drill, I dropped a decent number of 8- to 10 footers as well.
So, since The Second Golfer, aka Eric, asked: I receive an email notice a while back from Malibu Country Club (the course I grew up playing, long before it was called Malibu Country Club and long before it featured 18 holes), saying that the club was hosting a Valentine's Day Rapid Dating event, which would include 9 holes, followed by a rapid-dating session, followed by dinner. Due to bizarre nervousness regarding the format, the rapid dating phase has since been replaced with "ice breakers" instead (this concerns me, since anyone incapable of having a five-minute conversation is understandably single. What are we going to do, play pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey? But then, it could be Jell-O wrestling, so I'll try not to show contempt prior to investigation).
Before I was fully able to admit the state of my destitution, I signed up for the event, so now I am hoping to meet a really hot sugar mama with a golfing jones and a predilection towards generosity, a woman with an aversion to golfing alone and an insatiable compulsion to pick up the tab, a pulchritudinous benefactor, a big-hitting lovely with a fondness for largess, a divorcee with a huge settlement looking for a travel companion to accompany her to the Old Course at St. Andrews.
Okay, so I'm not likely to find that tomorrow, but kind and vaguely sane would be nice, and solvency would be a plus. Of course, if she isn't, then we have something in common from the start. Perhaps we can share a bankruptcy attorney. Or a dumpster. We could sell our sticks and set out on homeless adventures, investigating underpasses together, embracing at soup kitchens, embarking on a relationship devoid of superficialities such as designer clothes and foreign sports cars but one built on trust, communication and the sharing of peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches. If the high road doesn't pan out, we could make people forget Bonnie and Clyde, Mickey and Mallory. We could set out on a cross-country crime spree, provided we can memorize the Union Pacific's schedules. We may become the world's first golfing hobos, sneaking into locker rooms by cover of night, pinching members' clubs, then playing the finest courses by headlamp. We will likely become mythic figures. Dylan will almost certainly capture our escapades in song. Golf will soon become a game not of country clubs and for elitists but, influenced by us the way Salk influenced polio, golf will become a people's game, welcoming any and all, the various roustabouts and the sundry ne'erdowells as embraced by the game of Old Tom Morris as the patrician bankers and the not-so-sober judges. Quickly the game will proliferate, then transmogrify, and before Nicklaus reaches his 75th birthday, golf will be much more light-hearted, more amenable, and will be a less-expensive game that features windmills, clowns and colorful balls. A guy can hope, can't he?