On Sunday 25 December 2005 09:58, Ed Hall said (on the Bullseye-L mailing list), “It doesn’t happen that everything is perfect if we do it by the numbers. We also have to realize that this takes time to develop.”
Coming up to my first anniversary in this sport, Ed Hall’s words remind me of other areas where the same is also true. Musicians spend hours, days, months and years in the woodshed practicing the basics of scales, how to finger the different notes and control the sound of the instrument in their hands, and on learning the quirks, oddities and intonation of the specific model.
And top-level golfers invest a similar part of their time, some as much as hours each day, in perfecting and then maintaining the timing of the swing and the movement of their bodies for a similar degree of repeatability and performance. And not unlike the musicians, each club’s behaviour and each stroke, be it from sand trap, fairway, tee or green, and its special needs must be mastered and applied on top of the basics.
Some individuals may be gifted with that golden musician’s ear or the natural swing of the club but it is still true that what separates the beginner from the expert is applying the basics consistently to shot after shot. That doesn’t come easy to anyone. Even the natural born musician, golfer and shooter must practice.
Speaking for myself, it will be nice to climb out of the Marksman ranks this year and, frankly, I’m hopeful it may happen soon. But that “goal” is a small one and I’m being careful not to quickly grab for it (by shooting only the 22 where I consistently shoot better scores) but rather to make sure I’m really “there” by working and practicing and focusing on the 45 and then choosing to earn the new classification primarily on that more difficult gun.
But what really matters is shooting better with any gun and, for that, I simply need to shoot every shot, regardless of the equipment, distance or competitive format, to the best of my ability, one shot at a time.
So here’s my New Year’s resolution:
- For each shot this year, I will release it cleanly with all the basics in concert together.
Now that’s a goal!