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Dad Shots
By Anne Marie Goslak


For those of you who don't know, in the June edition of this magazine, I wrote an article honoring my dad. The article was about Dads and Daughters and what he taught me through the game of golf. At the time, he was battling cancer. I had hoped he would have beaten it. Sadly, he did not. He died a day before Father's Day. The magazine had just arrived in his mail box that day. I'd say he never got to read the article, but somehow, I feel that the readership of this magazine extends to the Heavens. After all, it's on the internet now.

Although he is not physically here, do not be discouraged. He is still here, with us all, every time we experience a 'Dad Shot'.

"What's a Dad Shot?" you ask? It has already been established in previous articles, that my dad was a 'hack golfer'. When I say he was bad, I really do mean it. He could hit shots that would make a golf pro cringe and mothers shield their children from the hideous sight.

When I was a kid, I was pretty good. I'd hit the fairway, hit the green, and take my par and go home. Meanwhile, my dad was right, left, in someone's yard looking for his ball. He'd find himself in the worst positions. I'd follow him into the woods, creek beds, and hazards. Then I'd say, "Hey Dad, can I drop a ball here with you and try your shot?" Hence the name 'Dad Shot'.

From being put in a tough situation, I learned to scramble. And because I learned it in such a fun and stress free way, every 'Dad Shot' proved to be an exciting adventure.

When you are in a tight situation, here are a few things that might help.

Breathe. Take a deep breath and exhale as much as you can.

Make yourself a list of THREE options so you don't talk yourself into something stupid. Example:

     1.   I could hit it in that narrow opening.
     2.   I can hit it backwards, losing 20 yards, but the opening is wider.
     3.   I can hit it high above the tree line and hope it comes out.

Weigh each option for the pros and cons. Do not hit until you do this. Trust me. Dumb things happen to those who think they only have one option.

Slow goes low. Everyone gets in a hurry when they find their ball in the woods, for an example. They rush their swing and then the ball spins faster. Because it spins, it rises. A ball that goes high often hits tree limbs. If you want the ball to go low, swing slowly and take a big, lazy low back swing and low follow thru.

Finally, keep your head down for three seconds or forever, whichever comes first. If you lose your visual focus, that's when you get in trouble.

I will end with a philosophical question. Isn't it like that in life too? When we are in trouble, we should stop and breathe. We should list options so we don't believe that lie, "I don't have a choice! I have to.."

We should slow down. If we move slower, often times, things don't jump to dangerous level. And finally, stay down and keep your focus. Decide what to do then trust it.

We have all been in 'the woods' in our life. It might be a golf shot. It might be a marriage. My hope for you is that you realize what I already know. Hacker that he is, my Dad is with you, in spirit. Enjoy the 'Dad Shots'. They are challenging, but in the end, that's what makes them so exciting.

-Anne Marie Goslak