A Mans Search For Form

One Hundred and Fourteen metres, there is a gentle breeze from the left, the rain has cleared and it’s warm. We’re a few thousand feet above sea level, it’s a perfect gap wedge. It can’t be a sand wedge because that’s stranded up a tree 350 yards behind me. I got angry. So I take the club, aim straight at the pin and swing like I couldn’t give a monkeys. I’m 3 over par through the first 7 holes, over par for the tournament and missing the cut. An all too familiar feeling. I strike the ball well, perfectly in fact for this particular shot coming from the rough. Me and Jamie watch the ball closely as it’s heading towards the pin. Bang. Straight in. I’ve holed out for an eagle on my 27th hole. I throw the club in the air, laugh and smile at Jamie. We gaze at one another and I can tell he’s thinking how much of a twat I am. We walk 5 yards and he tells me because I’m now smiling that his grandmother died last night. I can see he’s holding back tears as he tells me and I curse at him for not telling me ten minutes earlier as the chances are we’d still have a 56 degree sand wedge in the bag. I try my best to console him. We get to the green, I repair the hole, my playing partners weren’t even aware I’d holed out. They can’t believe I didn’t make more of a fuss. We exchange a few high fives as I’m now back in 107th place and they ask what excites me? Not this game I reply.

Not this game at the moment is what I meant.

I stayed about 30 minutes from the course last week in Johannesburg. Each day it seemed we took a different route due to traffic. I love South Africa. I love it’s natural beauty and the red meat. We drove through some pretty tough neighbourhoods last week, one of which was a place called Hillbrow. As a European Tour golfer, I would estimate I experience a dozen courtesy car drives a year that remind me of how lucky I am. Driving through Agadir or Rabat in Morocco usually provides a moment of reflection and perspective, just like Hillbrow did. Wasting shots on a golf course is still better than wasting away on the street. Even though sometimes the pain of this game feels enormous, at least it’s a game. Except it’s not really, it’s my life, it always has been. And when you hole out with a gap wedge and not really care, it grinds away at you. To not care about something you care so deeply for is paradoxical enough to make you question certain realities and doubt yourself.

The life of a struggling golfer.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be happy. Which doesn’t bother me because all that matters is that you aren’t unhappy. And I’m not unhappy. The truth is I feel like I know how this will play out. I have got my focus back, I understand the role of time, I know every career has its ups and downs. I’m still standing far enough away from my own existence not to get bogged down in it. Hence the reason I’m not bogged down. After all, Hillbrow reminds me it could be far worse.

I know finding form will be easier than meaning.

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21 Responses to A Mans Search For Form

  1. Michelin Man says:

    Eduardo, every bogey, double bogey, and missed cut is painful to us all, but you and the wee man will turn this around on a sixpence. If I have a bad day in the office nobody knows, you’re exposed. You’re way too smart and talented not to succeed. Come on Eduardo ! Come on the Villa ! Come on Michelin ??!

  2. iesharp says:

    Meaning is more important than form but when occasionally the two come together the bells of heaven ring out

  3. David Flynn says:

    Sad times for anyone loosing a family member, but your caddie needs you to perform well as do your followers. You can play well but like a lot of golfers today loose sight of what a great life you lead and a fantastic opportunity you have to be great. I started playing golf 5 years ago and at 61 only my mind swings like you young guys! I try to so hard to emulate you guys but the body says no. I don’t give up! I just have to try harder. Keep going young Eddie and help us older golfers keep the dream alive.

  4. LoadsofBirdies&Pars says:

    Inspirational Eddie & I mean that in the truest sense of the word. Fight the good fight (“Certa Bonam Certamen”) and the good times WILL visit you again. Keep the spirit alive.

  5. John Yates says:

    Great post Eddie.
    Perspective in life is everything as the wee mans bereavement shows.
    Send our love to Jamie.
    Keep everything simple in body and mind and you will achieve the success your talent demands.
    Yago and Sandra

  6. Jim Duggan says:

    Eddie,
    As always, a great perspective on golf and life. Hang in there and it will come right. Talent and hard work. (and patience!!) will win out.

  7. Elaine says:

    Thanks Eddie, enjoyed your post and your honesty. You need to start caring about your golf again and try and find your passion for the game. You have the ability to win tournaments which will definitely make you happy😀😀🏆🏆

  8. Jon bolter says:

    I stood behind Stuart Manley at at Cardiff game at Reading a few years ago .lovely fella, one of the best golfers to come out of Mountain Ash since Boobs the great lefty.if Manley can score , so can you. Give it five years . Buy property with spare cash , the. Write on the sport . I’m

  9. Richard Grime says:

    Hi Eddie, great post as usual self-awareness to the fore. As the last post advises, buy property with any cash to spare. Also don’t forget to use a sipp! Both will give you freedom! An ex business partners of mine always wanted ” Fuck off. Money” he didn’t achieve this, I have. It’s the ability to tell, anyone to fuck off and not have to care about consequences. If you have this you will be free to ” golf. Your ball”

  10. Martin Lee says:

    Eddie, another great piece and getting everything perfectly in perspective. You’ll definitely be back because you are too good a golfer not to. I hope it’s soon.

  11. Ken Bowditch says:

    Eddie, thanks for another great post. I believe a little less red meat and more fish could help you on your recovery.

  12. Greg Lewis says:

    You do care, a lot. But all these thoughts come and go. You’re looking for form but maybe should be looking for happiness, form follows.

  13. Andrew Watson says:

    Great posts Eddie: respect for your integrity.

    Those two imposters etc etc…

  14. Brendan O Reilly says:

    Like all things in life you need a plan b and in your case … you can write and describe your thoughts articulately. That is also a gift. So focus on plan a with all your heart and know you can fall back on a career in ‘media’ whatever that looks like in 20 years time!

  15. Cybodz says:

    Another lovely piece. You write eloquently. I enjoy your perspective on life.
    You’re a great golfer, and your current world ranking puts you in the top 0.001% of the golf playing world.
    A happy life is one lived in perspective.

  16. mark gamble says:

    Sound words Eddie. I am sure your game will turn round but if not a future in golf journalism beckons. Best of luck.

  17. Dr Michael Phillips says:

    Ha Ha. I had a glorious week staying in Hillbrow when it was oh so trendy in the early 70’s and I was foot loose and fancy free. I didn’t need to worry about my golf; I only played for fun. Drove through with an African driver (friend) a couple of years ago and saw what you saw. Terribly sad, like my golf which is off limits just now because of chemotherapy.
    Lets hope I get back to golf, Hillbrow gets back to being trendy and you, Eddie, start a winning run – we all know it’s just around the corner.
    Best wishes
    Mike

  18. John says:

    Then I guess it’s okay now to let you know my grandmother also died.
    Best,
    John

  19. Les Bayliss says:

    Hi Eddie, best wishes to Jamie, always such a bad time loosing someone, Jamie believes in you as he always has done, get yourself together and show everyone what a truly talented golfer you are , you deserve to do well and Jamie deserves you to do well, come on Eddie 👍⛳️

  20. Andy MacArthur says:

    The psychology of golf is no different from most other sports. Do you have the talent to succeed Eddie? Without a question, yes. You don’t know me, but I have followed your career for several years (initially because I come from Abingdon!) and I KNOW you are so capable of playing at the top table.
    Why do football clubs win six games in a row and then lose three in a row? Why does the (ex) World No.1 tennis player start losing to players he could previously beat in his sleep? It’s all between the ears. Belief. Easy come, easy go. It will come back Eddie, of that I have no doubts. It’s just a matter of when, not if.

  21. Peter Zeevy says:

    If the golf ever stops fulfilling you life as a writer awaits. Love reading your posts. 🙂

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