“A ‘gimme’ can best be defined as an agreement between two golfers, neither of whom can putt very well.”
People from all walks of life seek relief through certain concessions. Golfers assume that any golfer can putt from a short distance, so they declare it a putt when the ball nears the hole. It is called a ‘gimme.’ It’s not always a concession; mostly, it’s used to pace up the flights. In other words, to save time. At times, the sum of all shorts happens to be a gimme shot. At times, it’s a great relief. There is no better example of optimism than a ‘gimme.’ Much like life, it’s the small things that make golf pleasurable.
“For this game you need, above all things, to be in a tranquil frame of mind.” Harry Vardon
Some of our friends believe in perfection. They don’t give or take ‘gimme’ in a game or in their lives. Although golf seems to be a game of perfect performance, is perfectionism necessary in life or golf? Well, that’s an ongoing debate for all of us. There are two types of perfectionism: adaptive and maladaptive. Adaptive perfectionism is the good type. It is proper and healthy, where one tries to complete a task in timely fashion and up to the mark, while keeping in mind one’s own capacity, capability, and limitations — in other words, perfectionism within reason. Maladaptive perfectionism, however, involves setting unrealistic and unreasonable standards. That eventually tends to lead a person to compromise on self-respect and to beat themself up rather a lot. Perhaps it is human nature that drives us towards perfection, but real perfection only comes after understanding our flaws and limits. Whether in golf or life, peace of mind trumps over perfection.
I am throwing this psychedelic coriander on you for a reason. Today, I was paired with two gentlemen at Swansea Country Club. They were good players, as well as good fellows. We formed a relationship of mutual respect, there and then on the first tee. That remained intact throughout the day. One of us, though, couldn’t tolerate his own shanks and bad shots, in spite of the fact he was the only one among our crew to command a birdie. He scored pars and bogeys mostly. At times, he wouldn’t hit right, and he would yell and bash himself for his downfall. His ego really suffered because of his bad shots, though unnecessarily. His thin tolerance and thick temperament consumed him. What’s the point of playing if you don’t have fun?
“Golf is a compromise between what your ego wants you to do, what experience tells you to do, and what your nerves let you do.” Bruce Crampton
Yet he was friendly, respectful, and cooperative to all of us. I really felt bad for him because he was genuinely unforgiving to himself. His anger was full of passion, and his self-criticism was intense, but all of it was out of context. We all make the same mistakes in most rounds of golf. This game invites and ignites us to do so. It’s ironic how such a slow-paced sport fans a blazing fire within us. The courses are designed with certain hurdles, and they are supposed to frustrate you. Meeting such challenges, trying to overcome those hurdles, making a comeback, and losing some shots in so doing is what golf is all about.
“Golf is about how well you accept, respond to, and score with your misses much more so than it is a game of your perfect shots.” Dr. Bob Rotella
Maladaptive perfectionism not only frustrates you but also makes your teammates uncomfortable. It’s a sort of invisible debris that annoys more than the used beer can left in the rough. During a mellow morning, at a fresh fairway, in a bewildering breeze, with a crowning crew, no one needs hiccups. Such attitudes kill the buzz, refreshing flashbacks from the Freddy Krueger movie from the previous night.
“Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection.”
Let’s golf, be happy, and keep the fairways clean from visible and invisible littering.
“Love itself describes its own perfection. Be speechless & listen.”
Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel.
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