Month: August 2014

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The scoreboard.

I played for the fifth time in the Rijnmond Open. Made the cut and could play the final round with the 24 best players. In the end however I had my worst results ever: 86+86+82=254. Been looking forward to this tournament all year, and in the last week I practiced every single day. At one stage I even thought that I might have a pretty good chance at winning this event. Who was I kidding?!

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Maurits van der Linden, Steven Klinkenberg and me (18th Hole).

When I teed off I felt great and whacked the ball down the middle of the fairway and then on the green in two. Three putted for a bogey, when my misery and frustrations began. Don't know what went wrong after that. Although my swing felt good, I just couldn't get my act together. My putting was atrocious and even on the second day I three putted eight holes.

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Thea was a fantastic caddie.

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I was putting really great the previous two weeks. However, when I saw Sergio Garcia on television shoot a 27 for nine holes with his fancy new Super Stroke grip, I had to get one too.

This was done on a stupid whim. I saw it in the drawer when the pro opened it. Why take the risk of changing when my putting had been amazingly good? I was regularly sinking ten meter plus putts and within four feet I never missed. I agree that twenty-two euros is a bit much for a piece of rubbery plastic, but what the heck. It looked good too.

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My new putting grip.

So it turns out that although I was all excited to try it out the next day, my putting was abominable. Not even close, I felt handicapped and I had lost all of my confidence. It was like I was yielding a baseball bat wearing thick woolen winter gloves, that's how much touch I had lost.

By nature I persevere and kept trying no matter what. If Sergio could do it then I could do it also. Day after day but no luck. My putting sucked.

Then I remembered something I had done when I was a young golfer. Back then I also had a ping putter, one of the originals. Once during a dry spell I was desperate for anything no matter how superstitious. I took some black tape and right at the center of gravity I wrapped a single turn of black tape around the shaft. Right where I could see it during every putt. It gave me focus and when I started sinking putts again I regained confidence.

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Black tape at the center of gravity.

That's what I did again. And believe it or not it works. My putting is back and I can strike the ball pure, sending it dead straight right into the hole. Not quite at the level I was before I put on the new grip, but I am getting there.

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Like everyone else I was also very shocked to hear the news of Robin William's untimely death. Later, I learned that the cause was suicide and that it was probably triggered by a lethal mix of depression and alcoholism. How is this possible? Such a genius comedian and actor who appeared to have everything under control. This is proof that the true measure of happiness is not defined by your surroundings and how popular you are, but rather it is measured from the inside self. Inner thoughts and feelings that rarely reflect the way the outside world really is. The inside world is all we have, and the thoughts about thoughts (about thoughts) are what can confuse and rattle the spirit, disturb the true balance with which God blessed us at birth. The good news is that he gave me so much enjoyment in life. In the end, he sacrificed himself for the betterment of those around him.

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Good-bye Robin Williams ...

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Trust lies at the heart of a well-functioning and cohesive team. The members of the team should feel confident among each other that their peers' intentions are good. There is no reason to feel protective or careful around the group. Each and every teammate must feel comfortable being vulnerable and open to conflict.

The most important action the leader should take to encourage the building of trust within his team is to demonstrate first and foremost vulnerability himself through his own actions. This means that the leader will necessarily risk losing his own face in front of the team in order that the rest of the team will feel free to take similar risks themselves.

A true leader leads by example and creates an open and honest environment that fosters creativity and will never punish vulnerability.

See: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

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The stakes are high when you really want to practice intensely and improve your golf game. You need to follow between honing your skills and not overdoing things. This year I've put almost every extra ounce of energy into bringing my game to a new level. Having achieved my lowest handicap ever, this tactic seems to have been fairly successful in helping me reach my potential.

However, there is a fine line between reaching your maximum and not over straining your physical well being. Golf means sacrifice in more ways than one. I really have the urge to play as much as possible, but at the same time I am starting to feel the effects on my body. I'm not as young as I used to be.

To be more precise, it has to do with my left knee which has been getting more and more painful in the last couple of weeks. It started about a month ago after running. So I took a break for a week before running again after it seemed to have disappeared. Then it got so bad that I couldn't stand up properly, walking upstairs was unbelievably painful, and I limp like an old man. I sleep restlessly and am awakened by the throbbing pain.

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ITBS - Iliotibial Band Syndrome

So here's the dilemma. If I take a break from golf the pain gets less, but at the same time since I am not practicing my golf game gets worse. If I do not take a break, I can practice more and keep my game sharp, but my knee starts hurting much worse. This seems to me as very ironic. Finally in my life I've reached a level of golf I could have only wished for, and then this stupid pain becomes a frustrating obstacle in my way. Maybe it's some kind of message or something.

There are still a number of important tournaments I want to play in, so I will just have to wing it out and bear with the pain. When winter comes I'll have all the time in the world to rest and recover. Just enough pauses balancing with minimal practice so that my game remains good enough, though perhaps not at the peak possible. Better golf means more pain which means worse golf a hopeless ad infinitum.

As is the best way to go with so many things in life, I will have to find the middle path out there: play good enough golf without wrecking my body.

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Information

This personal weblog was started way back on July 21, 2001 which means that it is 7-21-2001 old.

So far this blog contains no less than 2291 entries and as many as 1876 comments.

Important events

Graduated from Stanford 6-5-1979 ago.

Kiffin Rockwell was shot down and killed 9-23-1916 ago.

Believe it or not but I am 10-11-1957 young.

Began well-balanced and healthy life style 1-8-2013 ago.

My father passed away 10-20-2000 ago.

First met Thea in Balestrand, Norway 6-14-1980 ago.