I don’t know. It seems to me that those who want to read about my golf game have about the same level of interest as those who want to hear stories and see pictures of other people’s kids. Which is to say, few-to-none. It’s as if “par”, “mulligan” and “hook” cause the same level of mental detachment as “Parker”, “Minecraft” and “playdate”. Yet here we are…
I’m not going to lie. I’m not very good at golf and will take any assistance I can get: be it practical, technological or even pharmaceutical. At the end of the day, if it can knock off a few strokes from my total score, I’m all for it. And between the Garmin Golf app and a recently purchased (used) Garmin Approach S40, I have one of those three covered. Sort of.
Yet a friend asked, and I quote, “Why, the fuck, do you need an app to play golf?“
He is not wrong, really. It is a good question. But after a couple of rounds using said app and watch, the answer is an easy: because it fucking helps!
From making kids run up the hill to check on the slow foursome ahead so you don’t blast a 3-wood into someone’s right calf to utilizing an old-school rangefinder to determine how far you are from the hole, golfers have long used various methods to improve their golf game. In this case, I am simply triangulating multiple satellites orbiting miles above the Earth’s surface to provide real-time Global Positioning System (GPS) data to accurately measure the distance to the nearest sand trap, water hazard, front/middle/back of the green and to the hole itself.
You know: give or take a few feet.
The app also displays how far I hit the ball with each club, which has brought on a troublesome discovery. My power is gone. People have questioned why my drives are only going 210 yards or so. My 7, 8 and 9-irons are all coming up short of where I think they should be going. My putting still stinks, though I doubt the S40 watch can help with that. Give the good folks at Garmin some time and they will probably figure that out too.
So what do to? What. To. Do.
Using new golf balls has not helped. Yeah, I’m cheap, but also lose a lot of balls. So historically my bag has been filled with slightly used or quality used or the term du jour premium recycled balls. The only difference seems to be the degree to which the ball has been cleaned prior to being sold. So I bit the proverbial bullet and brought a few new sleeves of Titleist and Pinnacle to no avail.
Multiple trips to the driving range to work on form have proven fruitless as well as trying to teach myself what I might be doing wrong is a pointless endeavor. Like most golfers, I also thought about blaming the clubs themselves. I mean, it can’t all be my fault can it?
Perhaps it is an age-thing. The older I get, the shorter the shots. Maybe.
Though let it be said that none of this is taking away from the enjoyment of the game itself. It is the same frustrating, ulcer inducing, game it has always been. But you know… FUN. If anything golf is evolving but that just means the rest of us should too. Even a stubborn old guy like myself.
Just know that if the weather or cloud cover ever prevents my watch’s GPS from connecting properly with commercial satellites flying overhead, I might just have to hit the clubhouse bar for two hours and watch the Cardinals game in an attempted ruse to convince my wife I was actually out on the course. Fortunately, that has not happened yet (at least I have not been caught).
(Oh. As a full disclosure, I am not being paid for this Garmin product endorsement. Yet if Garmin were to somehow come across this blog and elect to send me a sample Garmin Approach S62 — you know, for evaluation purposes — I wouldn’t argue.)