As a golfer, it’s probably no surprise that I am a fan of Bill Murray. Whether it’s Caddyshack, Ghost Busters or Zombieland, it’s a pretty easy call. What might come as a bit of a confession is my favorite Bill Murray film, Lost in Translation. If you haven’t watched it, you really should. It’s hard to explain but this movie speaks to me on many levels. It’s a story of life and issues that we all face. I’ve found great pride in finding common ground with others. I’ve also found that it’s pretty easy to get along with anyone if you leave politics and religion out of the conversation. Why would we spend our time on the things that divide us instead of the things that bring us together?
We’ve been involved in golf and long drive for several years now and one common thread that seems to run between the two is the problem of translating the driving range swing to the course or the grid. In speaking with our long drive buddies, I’ve often joked about taking a bucket of range balls to the grid or tee box and gluing them together to use as tee markers. We’ve also talked in the past about a guy named Ranger Rick…the golfer who is a hero while practicing and has a ton of trouble when it comes to the course. I grew up as a basketball player, not as a matter of organized sports but as a matter of working everyday for hours and hours to achieve a level of ball handling and shooting. I can remember rehearsing in the back yard for game winning shots and free throws under pressure. I wouldn’t end a practice session without hitting 10-20 straight free throws or without hitting a 8 straight 3 pointers. No matter how much I prepared, there was a huge difference in hitting a game winner in the back yard vs nailing a game winner on a court in front of a crowd. Success is born on the back of failure and I can remember the first time I had a chance to hit a game winner on the court. I had been hot all day and when the Coach called a time out, I knew the ball was coming my way. I set up, accepted the pass and turned lose of a shot that I had made a thousand times when it didn’t matter. The shot bounced off the rim and we lost. I felt that I had let the whole world down but my team mates told me to shake it off and the Coach told me that I’d never make the shot if I didn’t keep taking it. Thankfully, my team mates didn’t lose confidence in me and I had several more chances to redeem myself. I finally hit pay dirt on the main stage when we were down by 2 and I hit a 3 from half court. Once I had tasted success, I became fearless. When it came to crunch time, I demanded the ball. I would insist on touching the ball in free throw situations and more often than not, I made the other team pay. There was a guy who joined our team when I played in an under 40 league. This guy was in the hall of fame at his high school for both basketball and baseball and he loved to brag about it. he showed up for the first game and demanded to start even though he had not practiced with us at all. During warm ups, he hit every single shot he took but once the game started, he was probably 0-30. You should never care more about how you practice than how you perform in a game situation.
So what’s the point? My point is simply that you will never score if you don’t shoot. You’ll never be great if you don’t take a risk and greatness requires an insane amount of practice and execution. Anyone can be a range hero but only the exceptional are willing to translate their confidence into performance under the gun. Hard work leads to repetition, repetition leads to confidence and confidence leads to success. I used to think that you were either born a gamer or you were born a loser but from my own experience, I can guarantee that’s just not true. The underdog can become the favorite and the kid who’s been discarded by the bully and jock culture can become the predator, all it takes is the heart and determination to prove the world wrong. Nobody wins all the time and it’s impossible to be perfect but the more you put yourself in position to be a winner, the more you’ll taste victory. Write your own history and remember, your very best effort is always good enough.
Shark Attack Golf