Who Dares to Dream Big…

” Some are born to move the world, to live their fantasies, but most of us just dream about the things we’d like to be.”

Neil Peart

As time matches on, our interests become subject to change but one component of our personal lives remains the same for those who choose to take the chance and that is their ability to dream big.

Racing fans dream of winning the Indy 500, football fans dream of winning the Super Bowl, Scientists dream of making the next big discovery. While the number of actual success stories is relatively small, some people never make it out of the starting blocks for a number of reasons. Some reasons are beyond their control, some fail simply from a lack of effort, some suffer from a fear of failure, but the vast majority of unrealized potential arrises simply from a lack of effort.

I’m a competitor but not what I’d consider an athlete. I’m an academic but certainly not a genius. I’m an introvert but not a big fan of absolute solitude. I’m socially awkward and uncomfortable with strangers but I have zero trouble speaking to groups of persons or putting what I believe into the written word for all to read. I’m a walking contradiction…and I’m a big dreamer.

The upside to being a big dreamer is that I’m never at a loss for motivation. Motivation can be a double edged sword and if your source of motivation is to prove your skills and worth to others you’re doomed to failure. If your source of motivation is to prove something to yourself, the motivational well will never run dry. You will no doubt suffer setbacks and the inability to realize 100% of your dreams can (and often does) lead to disappointment and periods of doubt and depression, the “you have to be in it to win it” mindset allows you to “right the ship” and fight on. Dreaming big has both up and down sides to it…know that going into it.

From the moment I decided to purchase a set of clubs and commit myself to learning the game from a PGA Professional Instructor, I dared to dream big. In order to do so, I had to set aside other interests, some of those interests I’d been involved in and was successful in for over 30 years and some of those interests others enjoyed as much as I did. My having to do this was only two of several sacrifices I had to make to dream big. There are no casualties when making life decisions. The only safe way out is to never make a decision in the first place…never dream big to begin with. This was NEVER an option. Some things we do in life are because we have to, some things we do in life are because we choose to. Dreaming big is an act we are compelled to do. We have no choice because it’s our calling. We are drawn to it and it consumes us, blindly guiding us towards a new path that is both exciting and frightful at the same time. It opens us up to praise and criticism, success and failure, clarity and insanity. It’s the same strong and compelling allure as our favorite food, a fast car, the open skies, and the heartfelt allure of a significant other. Fight it as you may…it will eventually get to you unless you’re capable of completely ignoring its gravitational pull. I ignored the calling of the game of golf for 25 years…I can ignore it no longer.

When I practice, it’s if I’m practicing for the U.S. Open. When I play, I’m playing for the lead at the British Open and when I train, I’m training to earn my PGA Tour Card. In my heart and mind…I can quality for the tour even though the reality of the matter is that I have a less than 1% chance of making the tour. In all honesty it matters not what the odds are. I have to be “in it” to “win it” and my degree of achievement will not be adversely effected by inability to dream big. They will only be effected by the degree of effort I put into learning the game and playing it well.

Amateur tournaments are in my future, I have no doubt about that. I’m shooting for the sky, setting my sights high, and giving this new venture all I have. This venture that seems to have come out of nowhere has been a well kept secret. It’s been in the making for 25 years. I’m no longer afraid to switch gears and pay attention to this driving force in my personal life. It’s time to make it happen.

It’s time to dream big…

The Baseline Has Been Set….

Today was my buddy Mike Caton’s birthday and in light of that he and I partook in 9 holes of golf at Southern Meadows.

As we pulled into the driveway of the club…Mike reminded me that it was 31 years ago, the summer of 1982, when we last played golf together. He also reminded me that my set of clubs back then (I gave them to Mike’s younger brother Jeremy at the end of the summer) had woods make of actual…wood.

Although I was SO looking forward to actually playing a round versus just partaking in lessons and practicing in my back yard with Callaway foam golf balls and my 7 iron, I was concerned that I was rushing things a bit. I also knew that I really wanted to play as setting a baseline for my skills and abilities was important. One has to know and understand their capabilities before improvements can be made. The key was to concentrate on accuracy, sticking to the principles and skill sets my instructor Mike Clawson has thus far shown me, and have a good time learning the game. To borrow from a race car driver perspective, I wasn’t fast enough for pole position but a solid top 20 finish was well within my grasp.

Southern Meadows is a links style course with a good mixture of par 3 and 4 holes ranging from 86 yards to 485 yards with a few bunkers strategically placed throughout and no water hazards. A good test for a beginner golfer like myself. After arriving 45 minutes early for our 2:15pm tee time, warm up consisted of hitting a small basket of balls on the driving range with my driver and 7 iron. I was striking the ball well and I felt confident that I would be able to put in a respectable performance.

I ended up shooting a 53 for 9 holes to my playing partner Mike’s 45. I also managed to par the 115 yard par 3 second hole and came close to shooting par on the 175 yard 7th and 105 yard 9th holes but fell short on the greens with the putter…a club I have virtually no practice with since the arrival of my Wilson Profile HL club set. I struggled on the 319 yard par 3 hole by shooting 5 over par and on the 345 yard par 4 fifth hole by shooting 4 over par. One of the many bright spots in today’s results were my ability to identify where I was making mistakes and crafting a plan of action to correct my deficiencies.

I struck the ball well throughout the day with my having onlya few shots where I “topped” the ball as I struck it. Each and every time this occurred, I raised my head during the downward portion of my swing thereby taking my eye off the exact spot where I wanted the club to make contact with the ball. A frequent problem throughout the day that no doubt cost me strokes concerned my alignment to the target. My accuracy was adversely affected by the fact that even when I thought I was properly aligned to the target and my club face was in the correct location…it wasn’t. This is something I will be working on with my instructor this coming Friday in my weekly training session.

It’s also clear I need instruction and experience in putting component of the game. This deficiency will also be corrected through proper instruction but I have to say with virtually zero formal training, my putting wasn’t terrible.

Add to the above the fact that I played the entire course with the same golf ball (no 6 plus balls lost in the woods kind of thing) and all in all it was a fantastic day.

The baseline has been set. Now, the improvements begin.

Swing Keys for Chuck DiSalvo

140725_001This morning was my 1st official instruction class at Southern Meadows Golf Club in Rush NY with PGA Professional Mike Clawson. Mr. Clawson is an exceptional instructor and his teaching style meshes well with my learning style making my instructional session both beneficial and extremely enjoyable.

We worked on set-up, stance, gripping the club properly, and swing mechanics. After an hour-long session, I possessed a greater understanding of the aforementioned topics and I was striking the ball with a greater level of consistency and accuracy then I ever did before. Distance will come with time and perfection of my technique but my working with the 7 iron primarily and a bit with my driver saw me hit my fair share of decent shots both from the tee and the grass.

I’ll be working on those swing mechanics for the better part of the weekend and next week in preparation for my next instructional lesson on Friday August 1st.

I’m energized for the possibilities….

A Wealth of Information…

Here is a link to a fantastic website that has provided me with a wealth of information on gear, techniques, and tips regarding the game of golf.

It also helps that Wilson Golf provides the info…as that is my choice of equipment so please bear with me as I place my “biased” spin on the matter (LOL) !

Visit http://www.wilson.com/en-us/golf/gearup/ enjoy the content and partake in the conversation.

Gear Up with Wilson Golf !

The Missing Component…

The coach asks, “how many clubs are in your bag and what are they?”

I respond with my inventory list of which I am told, “you’re missing a lob wedge.”

I remedied that this afternoon. On its way is a Wilson Harmonized 60* lob wedge.

I have now been advised I have what I need to get started both learning and playing.

These constant deliveries from UPS, Fed-Ex and the USPS are fun and I’ll miss them when the finally slow to a trickle.

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To Cover..or Not to Cover

305014_im_____0_gsiOk…it’s customary to cover your drivers, hybrids, and putter with a cover but do you cover your irons as well ?

Never mind the “clanking” sound they make when you walk or drive yourself around the course. I’m interested in protecting the irons from unnecessary and inadvertent nicks, scratches, and dents. Mind you…my clubs didn’t cost me four figures but they are MY clubs and if you knew me personally, you would know I suffer from “excessive compulsive” disorder when it comes to things I buy myself.

Mom says it’s a birth defect….I beg to differ.

I purchased a set of Z-Tech neoprene iron covers that use a zipper to secure the cover to the club. A bit of overkill…maybe but then again, I like to protect my purchase.

I’m certain I’ll get my fair share of good-natured ribbing….just as long as the clubs stay in good condition and need not have to suffer unnecessary and unwanted damage me and my “excessive compulsive” disorder will cope just fine.

Homework…

Based on a recommendation, I purchased the hardcover book Total Golf to be read and studied as a precursor to my becoming immersed into the game.

It arrived yesterday afternoon and I managed to spend some quality time with it last evening and this afternoon. So far…the content has been extremely helpful and informative.

Now a bad resource for $5.04 plus $3.95 shipping from Half.com

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