I’ve always been fascinated with watching wildlife. As a kid, I couldn’t get enough of my Grandfather’s hunting stories like the time he came across a monkey while chasing down a rabbit or the time he turned and shot a giant bird which was actually a Crane. Although I have the background for it, I did not end up a hunter but rather an observer. After dealing with golfers and especially Long Drivers for a few years now, I think they share some of the same qualities with wildlife.
The Scavenger– This golfer would compare to a vulture or hyena. The scavenger is often forced to pick through discarded golfing equipment. They don’t have the money or commitment level to pursue top shelf targets so they survive on what they can find for free or cheap. I know that when we first ventured into the sport of Long Drive, we were forced to buy used equipment either on Ebay or from our buddies who had already gotten most of the use out of their clubs. The problem with being a scavenger is that you never know when you’ll eat or what your going to find so consistency is not really possible. A true scavenger will find a way to pick the bones clean and this shows determination and a will to succeed.
The Prey– Prey animals are often the most beautiful and graceful. These are the people who know how to put an outfit together above all else. They may not win but they’re gonna look good trying. Prey animals often rely on strength in numbers and are the ones who would rather sit around and talk about golf than to actually go out a prove their greatness. These guys also serve another very important purpose, providing a food source for the animals at the top of the food chain. These types of players are first to put their names into the pot and the first to spread their plumes so that the word can notice that they are really important. The prey can also be the victor in any confrontation but the odds are not in their favor.
The Predator– The predators are the elite and most dangerous of the bunch. These players have the speed, power or tactical weapons and skills to eat even when times are hard. When you’re at the top of the food chain, there tends to be a natural swagger and a confidence that’s hard to hide. Some cross the line into being cocky but most know when to walk it back to a more reasonable state of being. Every great predator has learned their skills from another and many are blessed with an innate ability to perform under pressure or when it matters the most. The predator can become weighed down with the expectations of the world and actually become the prey in certain instances. I remember this being the case in 1997 when my favorite college basketball team was a no. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and was favored to beat the no. 15 seed easily. What happened was a shocker as the underdog hung around and took a lead into the final few minutes. The pressure began to build on the shoulders of my team and the crowd responded by rallying behind the prey animal. In the end, the stress became too great and the powerful fell victim to the weak.
Just as in nature, all of these creatures serve a purpose and their is a balance that relies on all of the players. The unique thing about sports is that it’s possible to morph and change your status or place on the food chain. There’s also no shame in being associated with any of the classifications. Learn to play and to survive in your element. Some creatures flourish in water and others in the heat and dry. You might not want to take on a Great White in the ocean but he also doesn’t fancy a run at a Grizzly Bear on land. A Deer may not be able to outrun a bullet but a Coyote would be hard pressed to follow it over a 6 foot fence. Maximize your skills through practice and survival and each time you live to fight another day, wake up with a new focus and purpose.
Moby- Shark Attack Golf