I was watching television with my wife this weekend and the song Onward Christian Soldiers came on. We were not on a religious channel but I know the tune so well from when I was a child.
I’ve always looked at the golf course as a battlefield and I remember walking down the fairways to my ball and singing this hymn. I was only about 15 or 16 at the time but I sang it a lot. It was as if I was at war with the number 4 (PAR) and needed this song for strength. Obviously I took the game very seriously and still do today.
Several years ago I was in somewhat of a trance, thinking about the great golfers who influenced my Grandfathers golf swing, Harry Vardon, Ben Hogan, Walter Travis and somehow I channeled this mindset into an aura that I walked with these 3 great golfers and my Grandfather Joe Norwood. I went Birdie, Par, Birdie then my friend’s cell phone rang and he was on the phone for over 10 minutes and I lot the moments. I’ve never regained those feelings since.
I can’t tell much about the feeling of singing a Christian song other than I felt focused and determined. I can tell you about the feeling of channeling these 3 champions and my Grandfather. The feeling was effortless. I’d hit my ball into the center of the fairway and make the putt, 2nd hole 195 yards par 3 – just lipped the cup for birdie and on #3 505 into the wind knocked my 60 degree lob wedge 1 foot from the cup. Then it all fell apart. I played PAR that day but the feeling of knowing I could birdie every hole was something to behold.
I love playing well, literally “hate” scoring in the 80’s and it’s not worth my time to play in the 90’s. I know it’s snobbish and sounds conceited and 30 years ago I was that way but now days I need to go for the “Pin” on every hole. At 62 and @ 260 I am way overweight so it’s getting late for me to lose this bulge I carry around with me so I am working out at a senior heated pool center and my arthritis seems to have gone and my Plantar Fascitiis is going away and my injury to my Gluteus Medius seems to have healed since I played 25 holes (had to ride in a cart) early last week.
I don’t understand why golfers won’t and don’t work on their game. They’re always upset out on the course but just don’t take the time or effort to play well. I start hitting balls again in my backyard again this week. I should get in a couple of rounds before the end of October. Alex Findlay played in the 70’s well into his 70’s, I believe he died at 76 and my Grandfather couldn’t play at 70 due to his developing a hunch back but I can see myself on the course when I’m 95 scoring 85 but I do need to get into shape.
I can go out in my back yard and full swing my 60 degree lob wedge so slowly that the ball only goes 20-30 yards. I have a 40-50 yard long back yard. I can full speed swing an 8 iron with solid cover plastic balls from one end to the other as I try to drop them into a trash can. Gramps started me on that. Hit it in the barrel Danny and you’ll win a bucket of balls. Well once again rambling on so enough about Onward Christian Soldiers.:)