A little over halfway done and as my oldest tee-mate would say, “not even close.”
I’ve been quiet for the past couple of weeks for a variety of reasons.
To begin with, I was disappointed in the behavior of my playing partners. It may seem somewhat trivial to others, but politically driven conversations on the golf course are a rock in my shoe. Besides often being one-sided and purposeless outpourings of outrage, talking politics sucks all the fun out of enjoying golf. The one place I can get away from the news and endless bantering on economic and social disasters is when I’m chasing the little white ball.
Even now I have trouble containing the vitriol on their incessant regurgitation of opinions on current events. And that reactionary repulsion to their doublespeak made me pass on a few outings. Slippery slope as an object at rest stays at rest.
So I took a day off. Then I took a workout off. Then I took a range session off.
Then I found myself more comfortable not doing anything and buying a bottle of scotch (Loch Lomond 12-year, very tasty).
And to be completely frank, I felt zero guilt. As it should be.
When I did get back to the range, it was pretty aimless. When I got back to the course, it was pretty controlless. The goal of scratch wasn’t slipping, it was being let go.
If all this constant effort is the only way I could shoot par for the remainder of my life, it would be a waste of my time. Not because quitting is easier (because I really enjoy this game), but because what satisfaction is there in brutalizing myself all week to put up with polarizing conversation.
After playing a couple days (84 both times while not tracking my strokes gained), there was clearly something physically wrong. My hip and knee were hurting on my lead side and everything was coming up short and spray-tastic.
My swing, at the ripe old age of 31, is wearing me out.
Acute overuse might be beneficial if I’m fighting to finish at the top of my tour sponsored championship, but on the weekend with the “guys”? If I’m breaking down now, what hope do I have to even play with my kids someday?
My options are: to ease off the gas and learn to be content breaking 80 on good days for the rest of my life, keep pushing until something breaks for real, or find a new way to improve my game.
So I started searching for a safer swing.
Criterion number one: I need a swing for a lifetime, not for this weekend. Give me process and structure and explain how long things will take to change.
Criterion number two: I need to be able to make progress in my game without constantly going to the range or visiting an instructor, preferably from the comfort of my home.
Criterion number three: Please for the love of all things holy, give me information that I can verify without blind acceptance. Don’t tell me you’ve been instructing for decades and this is what you’ve seen. Explain the biomechanics and reasoning behind my issues and your program.
Criterion number four: I love affordability. This game needs more inclusion, which requires us to reduce the cost of entry. Not to mention dumpling large sums of money into a pastime without some return on investment is a good way to start treating the game like a business.
By accident, fate, or great SEO, I found what I believe to be an answer to all of these requirements: Rotary Swing.
It will be a while before I can tell you if it works. So far the information has been positive, unique, and verifiable. More importantly, if it can protect me and my swing for years to come, it’s already worth the price (which for a year membership was less than two private lessons).
There may be some contention on the web about the program, though I haven’t seen much. To be honest, this is probably what I should have found long ago. It’s technical, it’s self-directed, and beyond the sales pages, it’s been more educational training than self-gratifying hype. It feels practically tailored to what I want in golf instruction.
Worst case scenario I’m right back where I started in a few months. Best case scenario, I finally can enjoy pain-free and consistent golf for the rest of my life. Pretty easy trade-off.