The following grouchy golf observation was submitted by a grouchy golfer from Hong Kong named "Intlvagabond." It's a great story that we can all sympathize. Thanks Intlvagabond, and may your stocks and golf game go on a bull run!
Golf and Stocks
The sudden realization that I was destined not to improve in golf happened quite inauspiciously at the end of a round in Taipei, almost 10 years after I took up the game. I shot a 108. It was perhaps one of the most indifferent moments in my life. The sense of caring just disappears. There is no more emotional energy left.
It's like buying a stock and watching it drop. At the beginning of the trade, you're all hopeful, you've done the research, and you're ready to get rich. You buy the stock that all of your friend's have recommended you get, kind of like the latest illegal driver by Callaway, and then you start to wait. But it doesn't happen, and then you just start thinking all the time about it. Then suddenly, the stock starts to rise and you start to mentally spend. You think about the new Porsche that you see in the magazines. And illusions of a better way of life starts to appear, the idea of business class over economy - how did you ever handle it in the past?
Then it starts to drop. It goes below your entry price and you think, if it just goes up to where you got in, you'll sell and at least be even. But it never goes back to par, it just keeps sinking. The feeling of sickness at the pit of your stomach becomes more and more unbearable until you have to turn off the screen.
In golf, that feeling is called a quadruple bogey. It’s confirmation that you've blown your round, par is no longer possible for the round. It's over.
When I started golf, my father insisted I take lessons. Best advice I ever got. I supplemented those lessons with magazines, books and videos. I became a student of the game. Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf was ingrained in my mind. I patterned my swing after Seve Ballesteros through imported magazines from Japan. They had all these sequential photographs taken at 1/32 of a second. Somehow, through Hogan and Ballesteros, I managed to hit my forged blades straight and consistent (nobody told me I wasn't supposed to hit blades).
It was 1992 and my golf game was about to take a detour... and not the direction I wanted. Fred Couples just won the Masters and every time a tournament occurred it seemed like it was the Couple's swing clinic. He had the smoothest, silkiest swing. It was hypnotic in a rhythmic even tempo'd way.
And there began my demise.
From a Japanese golf magazine CHOICE, I learned that Fred used a MacGregor Eye-O-Matic 845 Persimmon driver (later to a Boom Boom 9 degree driver) - x/stiff flex, Ram Laser Fx Bore thru 13 degree w/ Dynamic Gold X100 steel shaft (borrowed from Tom Watson), Lynx Parallax 2-PW, 56 and 60 degree Cleveland Classic 588 wedges and a Ping Anser 020 putter.
Guess what I got?
My fundamental, flat, elbow-tucked-in back swing now became an upright, outside-in take-away, looping, flying-elbow back swing. Of course, in reality, I had no where near the timing, eye-hand-coordination that Couple's did.
But I tried.
For a while, whether it was the energy of youth or just not knowing better, I got away with it. My score hit a low of 89 and I was truly happy.
But it was short lived.
Just like stocks, my score took a turn, and I was back into the high nineties.
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