There’s no shortage of golfers who think they can play and who think they can hit the ball a long ways. What there is a shortage of however are players who can back up their handicaps or distances they swear to. It’s easy to forget the extra balls hit and to whitewash a round in the 90’s with a scorecard round of 75. It’s also funny how quickly 350 yard drives and driving par 4’s seem to disappear when you introduce a GPS, a launch monitor or a witness to the scenario. I have a background in music and it comes natural to me as I inherited the ability to play several instruments by ear. In the world of music, singers are literally a dime a dozen. This is why programs like American Idol or the Voice do absolutely nothing for me. Basically, the powers that control the music industry are much more concerned with finding people to fit their needs and who are willing to sell out in order to achieve fame. I know personally of a Music label that sat around a meeting table and laid out plans for a new band that would be 3 men who would all be a certain height, have a certain color hair and would all wear blue jeans, black jackets and goatee beards. The recruiters then went out and found people to meet that criteria. A year later and like magic, the creation was on tour and pushing a top album. Taking average singers or musicians and making them studio perfect isn’t rocket science but when they venture away from the studio and the auto tune, reality sets in. The unique thing about sports and golf in particular is that you can’t fake greatness.
I’ve watched sports teams participate in leagues that are clearly inferior in talent in order to pump up and prove how great they are and I once played in tournaments with a guy who bragged about being the greatest but would throw away shots in order to get into a 3rd or 4th flight. His justification was that all flights pay the same amount but in reality, he was afraid to compete with others of similar experience. Being involved in Long Drive for a couple of years has really opened my eyes to what raw power and talent really is. You can buy all of the latest and most expensive equipment and you can look like you’re sponsored while walking around but when it comes time to crawl into your slot on the tee box, all the money and bragging in the world can’t make you hit the ball far. Fooling a girlfriend is one thing but fooling a hitter who is legit is completely impossible. Some of the greatest musicians are unknown and simply make music for their own pleasure and there are many folks with the ability to swing a golf club really well who just don’t know it yet.
Golf is a game that really needs no further sponsorship or promotion. The game is well known but it does need to be more accessible and fun. The people who control golf on the big stage are more than satisfied for it to remain an exclusive and elite game but inasmuch as they can exert control over the pro tours, it is just as evident that they have zero control over our mission to preach the golfing gospel to the less fortunate masses. Long Drive remains a sport shrouded in mystery although the LDA is achieving a measure of exposure that hasn’t been seen before. It is our job in part to share what we learn so that others can follow. While it might be impossible to sling a dead cat without hitting someone who talks about golf, it remains difficult to find those who are willing to expand golf beyond the selfish and into the hearts and minds of the young, the inexperienced and those with limited means. What have you done to make a difference today? If the answer is nothing…it’s never to late to start now. Swing hard, swing often and when you make the contact that only comes with commitment, it will be it’s own motivation and reward.