Sunday, August 14, 2005

Stress Relief and Tilt

Now, i'm normally the most serene mf'er you'll ever meet. It takes quite a bit to get me upset, and I take this as a good thing though sometimes I let too much slide when I shouldnt.

Case in point, my recent poker downswing. When I had my troubles with the poker game, I knew when the beats were too much for a day and I quit. The nice thing about poker is you can just stand up and take your money when you take some hits. Golf is another story.

The problem with golf is, its a game of etiquette. It actually is frowned upon to just quit in the middle of a game so therefore you're stuck on tilt until you can get the hell off the 18th green. Now, some golfers handle bad events by swearing, some by internalizing it, and some by freaking out and slaughtering their equipment/nearby stuff. I do a bit of all 3. See the thing is, I can't like golf if I dont care about the game at any given time i'm playing it. So since I care about every hole for the most part... bad events tend to ... upset me. I used to just grin and bear it, but now i'm changing gears if you will to rid myself of that stress physically. In recent weeks i've thrown a few clubs, slammed a club into my golf bag, slammed a club into the ground and so on. Hey, Tiger Woods does it. The thing is, when i slam a club I usually walk away from my group for a minute or two... freak out in my own little world then come back like nothing happened. That's a good thing.

For example, today I had some shitty spell on #16 with a good round going, my hand slipped on my drive, and again on the 2nd shot. It was raining and I suppose this was a normal occurance but for GOD SAKES I had a decent round going and it's been a while since I had done that. I freaked after that double bogey... mostly internally though i did kick a metal thing that I knew wouldnt show the effects. The next hole I hit my tee shot (well struck by the way) in the bunker left, and instead of my bunker shot coming under the ball, the wet sand booted it up and out and I skulled the ball over the green again. From there I failed to get up and down, so went double double in a row. Sorry, that's enough to do me in after 15 holes of solid golf and effort. To have it slip away like that, oh shit was I upset.

So, I tossed my wedge towards my bag after I hit it.. no big deal... after the hole I walked towards the next tee with my bag over my shoulder.. then dropped the bag to the ground (didnt stand it up), kicked it, whacked it with the golf club, walked away slammed the club to the ground and generally internally exploded. I then made a nice smooth par like nothing happened. After the round I could hardly speak to people I was so upset, so went home quickly and made some soup.

Now i'm still pissed off, but feeling a bit better. I need to come up with something golfers can carry and basically wreck to release their stress and move on. I play so much better after I let go of bad happenings and leave them behind me.

The only important hole, or important hand of poker, is the next one I'm playing. History doesn't change. Tilt is tough to handle, and I never feel right showing it outwardly but sometimes theres no way out of that mood without exploding. I deal a lot better with poker than golf in this respect since I realize happenings in poker have an explanation, and in golf, it's all my fault -- tough to handle.

Suggestions are welcome in the comments.


Matt said...

I'm just glad your tirade didn't affect my drive on 18! ;)

dave said...

I think control would be a better thing to carry...I also believe this comes with age and in about 8 more years I will have it...I'm 61 now.

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