On playing golf.

Posted by marshal on January 15, 2013 in Thoughts |

I have mentioned about how I think Zen and golf interact. Lately, when I play at playing golf (I make no pretensions at being any good), I find myself thinking about physics. Specifically, I think about the amount of energy I am applying to the mass of the ball and how far it is going to travel. I wish I could say I understand the statement that ‘work equals force times distance and kinetic energy equals one-half the mass of the object times its velocity squared,’ but I would be lying if I said I did. However, my mind is trying to come up with something like that.
I look at the green from the tee, and try to calculate the distance and how hard I have to hit the ball. Big deal, since I rarely ever hit it straight toward the green, but I still do it. I am rarely ever satisfied with the results of my calculations.
I am neither a physicist nor a mathematician, I am a Liberal Arts kind of guy, so I have no idea why my mind works this way. Maybe it’s because I am continually surprised at how far the ball can go when I apply just the least amount of energy. Heck, with a flick of the wrist, I can send a ball past the cup and off the green entirely. On the other hand, I sometimes put oomph in a putt and watch in frustration as the ball rolls only half way to the cup.
There are times when I understand why someone would wrap a club around a tree. I haven’t done it, but I can understand the urge. I have been working on a mantra to keep me calm so I don’t break a club. It goes something like this: “energy applied to mass, plus angle…”

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