July 21, 2009
Bourjaily: Golfing With A Shotgun
By Phil Bourjaily
With the exception of John Daly’s pants (below), I have no problem with golf, but I stay as far away from it as possible. My fear is, if I ever tried it, I might really, really like it. Then I would have two time-consuming, expensive hobbies instead of just the one that I get to call “work.”
Nevertheless, it has long been my contention that good shooters make good golfers, and vice versa. Golf and shotgun shooting require almost the same skills of eye to hand coordination, focus, and ability to think only of the next shot. As an experiement, I read Dr. Joe Parent’s Zen Putting recently, imagining the word “shotgun” wherever I read “putter” and almost everything in the book applied perfectly to target shooting, and sometimes even to hunting. I found the book fascinating and helpful and I recommend it, whether you are a shooter or a golfer. You can get it for $22.50 at zengolf.com.
It turns out Dr. Parent even coached a trapshooter by phone for a couple of years, a woman from Ohio named Sally Telfer who had stumbled upon Zen Golf, one of his earlier books. Although Parent knows nothing about shooting, he helped Telfer so much with her mental game that she was able to break her first 200 straight. “It was at the Ohio State Shoot,” she told me. ”It was windy and everyone was complaining about the targets but I didn’t notice they were hard. I was in the zone and never wanted the shoot to end.”
If shooting and golf are as similar as I think they are, then there must be some scratch golfers out there among you Gun Nuts. Anyone care to fess up?