It’s been quite a while since my on and off student Stan has made his way over to Woodmont for a lesson, so I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed his name in my book for a couple hours last week. If you have read any of my articles recounting my various forays with Stan (Click here) you know that he is endlessly entertaining as he searches for any and every way to get better without having to do the work and practice that I always insist he needs. Stan really wants to believe that the game is “90% mental”, and that if he can just conquer his inner demons and focus on the target he could become the player […]
It’s been a few months since Stan, my longtime student, has graced my teaching bay. Stan is the epitome of the struggling golfer, taking lessons here and there, trying tips from magazines and television, falling victim to every infomercial promise.
If you have read my articles in the past you might remember Stan, my imaginary student. I know I’m doing well with Stan the character when I’m asked “Hey, Wayne, is that a real guy?” Or, “I think you’re writing about me again, aren’t you?” The truth is that Stan is kind of an “everyman”, or, as it were, an “every-student”, and I draw from my daily experiences on the lesson tee when I give Stan his voice.
It’s been almost a year since I’ve seen Stan, my sometimes student who regularly promises to take lessons more than once a year and to actually practice what we work on. The last time Stan paid a visit he was in his usual funk, unable to progress and questioning his desire to keep pounding away at such an elusive game.
Here it is, the first of the year, and I’m taking the opportunity to hit a few balls and work on my swing. It’s cold out, and the heated bay at Woodmont where I teach, with its V-1 computer system, is the perfect place to really grind away on the swing glitches that have plagued me over the many years I have played competitive golf. I’ve got the I-pod on (jamming to the Black Crowes latest), and I’m having a good old time. When the weather is even half decent I’m always jammed with lessons, so the dead of winter, when I’ll have hours open, is the best time to prepare for the coming year, one in which I will […]
Wayne: So, J., tell me how things have gone since our first lesson.
J.: Well, I played four rounds, and didn’t do so great. I hit some good shots, but it was very inconsistent. I really tried some of the things we worked on, but it was pretty hard to do it out on the course.
Wayne (The Teacher): “So, how are you today, Mr. S? We haven’t had a lesson together before, so tell me about your game. What kind of handicap are you playing to these days?”
Mr. S. (The Student): “I’m a 22, but I’m trending to a 21.”
Wayne: “And about how long have you been playing?”
It has been 6 years since I gave Stan a lesson, a half hour of torture full of so many memorable moments that I have been recounting them over beers ever since. My guess was that anything that I attempted to teach Stan was lost in a matter of moments, since his retention rate was around 10 seconds, or the time it took him to rake another ball over to machine gun out onto the range.
Stan and I go way back, back to his start in the game (alas, I am partially responsible), back to his ex-wives and ex-girlfriends who have not survived his desperate search for mediocrity. Thinking of Stan’s golf game already has me unconsciously removing my cap and rubbing my forehead, something I am prone to do often in our hour of…what should I call it? Education? Instruction? Futility? No apt words of description come to me.
My first thought for a title to this article was “10 Dumb Questions From Stan”, but as I thought about it I realized that when it comes to golf there really aren’t any “dumb” questions, mainly because the subject matter is so innately counter-intuitive.
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