In the movie This is Spinal Tap, there’s a scene in which Nigel is giving a tour of his guitar and amp collection and shows Marty a particular amp that has a max volume setting of 11. All other amps only go to 10. It’s also said that Deion Sanders once commented on a football player having 1 up speed. He went on to explain that 1 up speed meant that if a teammate ran a 4.3 time, the other guy would run a 4.2 time just to be faster. These are both examples of taking it to the next level and they both apply to golf and long drive. The reason why we work on the range and spend hours trying to build a perfect combination of club shaft, grip and head is so that when it comes time to separate ourselves in a tough fought match or set on the tee, we can reach down, deep inside and find that 1 more notch that will deliver us a victory. I’ve watched on several occasions as 2 competitors have gone toe to toe and ended up in a virtual tie. I’ve also heard the players say things like “that’s all I’ve got” as they send a ball down the grid.

Golf can never be truly mastered and it’s an imperfect game played by imperfect people. Although commercials on the Golf Channel or in Golf Magazines beg to differ, there’s simply no magic cure or gadget out there that can take the place of caring enough to practice your trade. A repeatable swing is found in repetition and improvements come in small increments. You can’t rely on the other person to lay an egg on the tee box but you can rely on your own strength and resolve when you have given yourself to effort and labor when no one else is looking beforehand.

Some golfers seem to forget what it was like to get started in the sport. They get better and instantly consider themselves ¬†too good to play with struggling or beginning players. Part of the process of getting better is putting yourself out there in front of others and risking ¬†failure for the world to see. I remember when I first picked up the game and the total fear that struck me whenever I was forced to tee up a ball with others watching but after going through that experience, including tournament golf, I now have a much more comfortable feeling no matter who watches as I swing. I am encouraged to see newcomers at long drive events. They often drive in from long distances and have very little gear to speak of. They’re understandably nervous and find it hard to perform on command. The look in their eyes however, when they catch a ball like they know they can is priceless. You have to respect a person who is willing to spend the money and the time to put themselves on a stage that can offer both failure and success.

In the end, all you can ask for is a chance to win. When you’ve worked hard and applied yourself on the range, in the gym and in your mind, you might be surprised at just how much you can achieve. Hard work leads to confidence and confidence leads to an extra gear or notch that will be available when you need it the most.

MobyMatt / Shark Attack Golf

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