Hey kids, here's a little golf tip from the Constructivist! If you ever go a month without touching your clubs, head out to the course on a nice fall morning with no expectations, snag 3 birdies in 4 holes as you make the turn to fight back to +1 through 10 holes (one of your best starts of the year), face the toughest hole on the course (a 230-yard uphill par 3 with an elevated tee that's surrounded by trees with a creek and a mini-gorge all the way up the left), and happen to hit your 1st really bad shot of the day (yanking a 3-wood dead left off the tee), try to keep your temper. Whatever you do, don't try to bang the ground with your club and miss, hitting your left leg a few inches above the ankle instead! That's called adding injury to insult.
Somehow, I ended up salvaging a double, but it turned out to be the 1st of 4 on the back. The weird thing is, I had just managed to play through my 2nd group of the day, I had the rest of the back open ahead of me, with scoring opportunities galore to boot, and the double on 11 with my Callaway ball actually brought the Titleist ball I was also playing back into the match, so I should have been able to shrug it off and enjoy the rest of the round. But between the pain, the heat, my soreness from basketball the day before, my being out of golf shape (physically and mentally), and my lack of a snack, I lost my tempo and my temper quite a bit on the back 9. It wasn't long before I went from limping along to stumbling home. I was in such a fog by the end of the day that I couldn't even enjoy my birdie on the short par 5 17th, despite the fact that it's a very rare thing for me to make 4 of 'em in an 11-hole stretch.
Good news is, my leg is going to be fine and so is my game next year. I've already gained some length from a month at the new gym and some tips from a trainer there who also works at a private club in the area, even though I was only sometimes able to swing like I was supposed to with the move from my 1st lessons in a decade that I thought I had grooved over the summer. Despite the sorry shape of South Shore's greens, they were actually much improved from a month ago and I took only 28 putts, a rare departure from what's been my Achilles heel this summer. If I can keep to my workout schedule and do a lot of indoor putting with onechan and imoto this winter, I'll be ready to make 2014 my best season ever. At least, that's what I'm telling myself if this turns out to be my last round of 2013!