(Regular readers of this blog — or even readers dealing with irregularity — know Sundays are reserved for flashbacks. And I’m not talking about something that comes as a result of too much tequila the night before. I’m talking about Flashback Sundays, which is when I dust off a post or newspaper column from long ago, back when I was building a readership through the promise of free Sea Monkeys. Today’s flashback is from 2005, when I was asked to return to the scene of a crime where, a year earlier, I had committed the act of golf. I chose this post because now, eight years later, I have been asked to do it once more. The only explanation I have for this is that my publisher has started drinking again…)Our universe is full of mysteries:
The Bermuda Triangle.
And perhaps the biggest mystery:
Why I was chosen to captain our office’s Relay for Life golf team for a second time. Being asked the first time could be attributed to office members not realizing how bad a golfer I really am. Though none of the injuries sustained during last year’s tournament were life threatening, having six golfers (two of whom were playing the hole behind me) knocked unconscious by balls with my initials on them — I thought — would become my golfing swan song.
(Speaking of which, I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize once again for the tragic death of that swan near the putting green. Had I known the difference between a putter and a pitching wedge, things might’ve turned out differently for that majestic creature.)
Because of this, I fully expected a letter from the American Golf Association (and PETA) denying me access to any course that doesn’t include a windmill and tokens for a free hot dog.
Needless to say, when I was asked back for this year’s golf scramble, I naturally assumed that, at some point, hard liquor had become available in the clubhouse.
As it turns out, being the worst golfer in Ocean Dunes Golf Links history actually makes me a hot commodity! That’s right! With my handicap, the only way a team I’m on can lose is if, over the course of 18 holes, I accidentally knock each of my teammates unconscious with my backswing.
Which is why I’m determined to make this year different.
By hypnotizing myself into believing I’m a good golfer.
That’s right. Thanks to golf hypnotherapist Dr. Kenneth Grossman, I will utilize the power of my subconscious to golf in a manner that is, quote:
Relaxed, self-confident and — unless I purchase both CDs — amazingly like that of a chicken.
The program, called Hypnosis for Golf (available at http://www.hypnosis4golf.com) comes with a no-risk guarantee that if I’m not completely satisfied, my money will be refunded “ … within a period of time considered reasonable by many third-world countries.”
Like many of you, I was a little skeptical about the idea of hypnotizing myself because I figured it meant standing in front of a mirror with a shiny object and repeating:
You’re getting very sleepy.
That was silly, of course.
Dr. Grossman is a man of science, and his method is scientifically proven to induce the trance-like state necessary for self-hypnosis. This is achieved by having the subject go to a quiet room and, for 15 to 20 minutes, watch golf on television. If you happen to be among those who are more resistant to hypnosis, then switch to bowling. However, Dr. Grossman warns that prolonged exposure can send subjects into a catatonic state similar to a coma. If that happens, change to something more stimulating, such as the blue screen on your auxiliary channel.
With two weeks left before the golf scramble, I feel there’s plenty of time for me to become a better golfer.
Or at least a less dangerous one.
I plan to practice Dr. Grossman’s technique each day until I can approach the fairway with complete — and entirely unfounded — confidence. I’d also like to say to my team members that, if for some reason I don’t show up, I’d appreciate it if someone would come over and change the channel.
(Ned is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at Siuslaw News, P.O. Box 10, Florence, Ore. 97439)