I’m (still) a little bit too excited about this (+ 5 lessons)

Just over a week ago, I achieved my biggest goal (so far) of 2022…

Nope, not finally conquering my addiction to Junior Sanatogen.

Throwing a golf ball into a hole.

I know it doesn’t sound like a worthy goal… 

… because it isn’t.

What started out as a stupid random thought morphed – through 38 frustrating evolutions – into an achievement I’m just a little too proud of.

(If I was in the job market, you better believe “Sensational Slazenger Slinger” would be sitting pretty at the top of my resume right now)

I learned some important “non-nonsensical” lessons along the way though – the kinda lessons that could help you. Maybe.

(No promises) 

So let me save you the angst and frustration of rummaging in the undergrowth for golf balls and ruining your best Chinos, by giving you five lessons my greatest accomplishment of 2022 taught me:

1. Pick a goal… any goal

I cannot lie… I’m still riding high.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the “male protagonist finally kisses the girl of his dreams in a Hallmark movie” kinda high, but it’s up there with getting a “good job” from my copy chief.

(I don’t know what that says about me. Please don’t tell me)

Brains are clever – they like it when you achieve a challenging target. But…

Brains are also a lil’ bit stupid – they like it when you achieve POINTLESS challenging targets.

If I were you, I’d use this information to double your Dopamine hit by:

a) Choosing a challenging target, and

b) NOT making it a completely bloody pointless one

2. “Wanna join my $25,000 a year tossing mastermind?”

This may come as a shock to you, but Masterclass doesn’t have a “Pitching a golf ball for beginners” course.

No one does. I know because I looked.

If I was going to do this, I was on my own. I was going to have to feel my way to success.

Yes, the same approach that got me banned from massage class was to be my saviour here.

Even for a gifted athlete like myself, it took 38 attempts of tweaking, learning, observing, and adjusting to finally nail the shot. 

But the video evidence clearly shows I was getting better with every throw.

In fact, some of the last few were agonisingly close. I even hit the flag!

The lesson? If you want to get better at something, adopting the “have a bash and see how you go” strategy isn’t the worst idea.

3. The more swings you take…

The fact is, no matter how badly I threw the ball, it was going to go in at some point.

I’d have to be facing the wrong way – while standing in a car park in Skegness – for that NOT to happen eventually. 

There was always going to be some lucky bounce, some unexpected hill that would intervene and guide the ball into the hole.

Given enough balls, even Stevie Wonder could do this.

Apparently, in the year Babe Ruth got the record for the most home runs, he also struck out the most.

I know nothing about baseball (Go Dolphins!), but I’m guessing the lesson here is “swing for the fences enough times and you’re bound to sink a three-pointer every once in a while”.

4. Once you pop, you can’t stop

I’d love to tell you I’ve not thrown a golf ball towards a hole since sinking that splendid Slazenger…

… or that I no longer search bushes, looking for Bridgestones…

… and that I’ve DEFINITELY not upped the ante and started throwing with my left hand…

As I said, I’d LOVE to tell you that, but I can’t.

It’s official – the data is in…

How long does it take to hardwire a habit?

38 reps.

Balls.

5. Paula Abdul was lying to you

Opposites don’t attract. 

I quickly learned as you progress in one skill, other skills of equal use come along for the ride too.

Not only was I getting better at throwing golf balls, but I was also improving my ability to find them too.

That means I’m now proficient in TWO skills with no discernible monetary value.

If my random thought had been “I wonder how quickly I can learn Spanish?”, instead of “How many attempts would it take to throw a golf ball into a hole?”

… I’d probably be the EU commissioner by now.

– – – 

That’s it.

Hope you found my odyssey into golf ball throwing useful.

Because I sure as heck didn’t.

John