August 24, 2008

Take control over your own life...

If I make it to the Gannon Vietnam Open Championship this year it will be due to unbelievable luck, but at this point, I seriously doubt I will be able to attend for the first time in over 10 years…

And that really pisses me off.

I wish I could say there was a good reason for missing it, but there isn’t. In fact, the reason is so utterly ridiculous that I am embarrassed to reveal it in this column, so you KNOW its gotta be insane because I’ve sunk very low in the past.

Suffice it to say that it isn’t of MY doing, nor the tournament…

To be honest, there’s a lot happening in my life lately which is getting under my skin and, frankly, I am getting quite tired of it. I suppose if you kick a dog enough times he eventually has enough of it and rips your leg off for laughs.

Well, it’s a good thing that my title of "DoG" is an acronym and not a reflection of any canine instincts because if it were then there would be a lot more bleeding legs this week.

I think the problem is frustration more than anything else. I hate not being in control of my own destiny. When you are a "visitor" in an other country, even if you’ve been there as long as I have – 16 years – you’re still a visitor and have to worry about visas, permits and the like. To be honest, I am rather sick of it.

If the government will let me I will become Vietnamese tomorrow. Let’s get it done once and for all before I lose what is left of my sanity. They did it for Santos, they can do it for me too. Enough is enough.

There are golf courses which also choose your destiny for you…its called tricking up the course and it’s usually done to camouflage a poor design. Look, anytime an architect tries to take a club out of your hands and forces you to hit something else, like a 3 wood instead of a driver to stop you from getting on a Par 5 in two shots, you know it’s a garbage hole.

From my side, that’s just not a good design as the player should have many different options available to him, each with a risk vs. reward, but to drop a lake in a landing zone just to make players lay up off the tee is not cool.

Caddies can drive you nuts too.

Don’t ya just hate it when the caddie chooses a club for you and leaves the bag 100 yards away so you really have no choice but to use it, unless you want to make everyone in the group wait for you to get a club…

Most of the time you’ll hit the worst shot of your life and consider what kind of prison sentence the judge would give you for wedging a caddie’s skull. With any luck the judge plays golf and would sympathetic to your temporary insanity plea.

Slow players in front of you can also influence your game, to the point where you cannot get any particular rhythm going. Once again, this is a situation where you want to take out the wedge and take a few hair plugs as a memento of yet another glorious day on the course.

The bottom line is that there are a lot of things out on the course that can drive you nuts if you let them. Once again the operative term is "you". Players are responsible for their actions and decisions, so they must bear the weight of their own choices in life as well as on the golf course.

The golf clubs should do whatever they can to ensure you have as little stress out there as possible and that includes well-trained caddies and marshals, but the fact is you have to be mentally strong enough to deal with the little frustrations which can add up and ruin your day.

Now, having said that, I will do as I say for a change and take back control of my own life at least for this weekend…

See you in Phan Thiet!

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