More Confessions of a Weekend Golfer: Year in Review
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Tom Selleck, Nov/Dec 2007
Being "The Shotmaker" means carrying around a lot of pressure to make the key drive or crucial putt on the 18th hole that defines one's reputation. Sadly, I was not the shotmaker as often as I would have liked in 2007. That being said, 2007 was a defining year for me. To date this year, I have played more than 75 rounds at more than 30 different golf courses, including seven of the top 10 courses. My dream is to one day say I have played all of the Top 100 courses. Of the more than 120 courses that I have played in my lifetime, only 29 are among the Top 100. They say "practice makes perfect." In golf it does not necessarily apply. How about "practice makes for gradual improvement"? Every time I play a great round and think I finally got it, I follow it up with a shitty round. I get depressed and think about giving up the game. Eventually, my passion for golf kicks back in and I fight my way back.
I am now fully recovered from my trauma of playing with Tiger Woods when my game sunk to an all-time low in the Buick Open in 2005. (I had never played before a mass of spectators before!)
My recovery got a big boost when Ernie Els and I beat Gary Player and Johann Rupert at Seminole in 2006 and I won the match (winning hole) on 18 with a par 5, net 4. But I took a step back earlier this year when Raymond Floyd and Rush Limbaugh beat Greg Norman and me at Old Palm.
|An amazing battle took place at The Bridge where Rudy Giuliani and The Shotmaker were pitted in a fierce battle against Mel Immergut (left), David Kornstein (second form right) and Rob Goldstein (far right). The cigar smokers won!|
One of my real disappointments this year was playing Bethpage Black in 95-degree weather. Without the availability of a cart, I just could not finish. I hope to have another chance one day.
During the summer, my game declined to the point where I couldn't hit an iron straight. A one-hour lesson at The Bridge with the resident pro, Jeff Warne, helped turn my game around. My confidence and swing came back. I hadn't been turning my body and had been swinging too fast.
|The Shotmaker explains the secrets of his swing to two-time major champions Greg Norman (second from left) and Raymond Floyd (second from right) over breakfast at Old Palm. Rush Limbaugh concentrates on decoding my secrets.|
Steve urged me to "extend" my backswing. I resisted his advice. He then said, "Try it. If you miss, it doesn't count." With that condition, I took the club back further and bent my wrist over my shoulder. Low and behold, the ball traveled straight down the center 240, 250 yards. I repeated this swing on every hole on the back side with the same result. I am now using the new extended swing on both my driver and fairway woods with amazing distance and accuracy.