#2. Who Cares if You Suck, You're Driving a Golf Cart! Woo Hoo!
So you whiffed on your initial shot, sank three balls into the water hazard, and took seven putts to get the ball into the hole, only to realize that putting a ball in a cup probably wasn't worth all the effort and testicle sweat. Your anger will rise, your rage will seethe -- but who cares? As soon as you're done disgracing the hole you've just played, you get one of the world's finest consolation prizes: You get to drive a golf cart.
Golf carts are one step above a Power Wheels car in terms of power, they can be rocket propelled by a stiff fart, and they handle with the grace of a rodeo bull. They're nothing special, yet I've still always been fascinated by them. I think it's because they can be driven with a bit more reckless abandon than a car. When I'm driving my real car, I want to drive in a way that will kill most of the people around me. If I had my way and I didn't have to conform to laws and various other things that are bullshit, my vehicular body count would be so outlandish, people would think the news anchor reporting it misread the prompter.
But with a golf cart and tons of open field to explore, I can finally feel free to be the vehicular homicide machine I've always known I am deep down inside. I can slam the pedal to the floor and ramp every tiny hill with little to no repercussion, because going on a rampage with a golf cart is like going on a mass shooting with a NERF gun.
So what if I made so many holes in the ground with my shitty swing that after a while I'm teeing off next to a mole-person? So what if my putting technique looks like a move out of a self-defense training video? Who cares that in just over a month of playing golf I've only landed the ball on the putting green once, yet I can hit a bird, a house, and an Asian lady with ease? None of that stuff matters, because in the end I get to hop into a golf cart and drive away without a care, with the world burning behind me.
Oh, and that reminds me of my most important tip ...
#1. Celebrate Your Pathetic Failures
"Who cares that in just over a month of playing golf I've only landed the ball on the putting green once, yet I can hit a bird, a house, and an Asian lady with ease?"
Remember when I said that two sentences ago? Good times. Well, not for the bird, the house, and the Asian lady -- getting hit with a golf ball was decidedly ungood for them. But I'm terrible at golf, so I'll take whatever victories I can get, even if they're pathetic. If you're wallowing in your failures, you're never going to build the confidence to continue and eventually get better. So, celebrate what others would consider a disaster.
On my first day playing a game of golf on a course that had holes and sand traps and water hazards and all that golfy jazz, I used my 9-iron to hit a ball on the fairway. The ball veered to the left toward a water hazard. In the short time the ball was in the air, I allowed myself to feel the disappointment of having shot so poorly. But then my ball hit a big black crow sitting beside the water and my arms unconsciously whipped into the air in celebration. I wasn't aiming for it -- I couldn't have hit that bastard if I tried -- but damn did it feel good to at least pretend I was accurate enough to hit a bird with a tiny ball from 50 yards out. The bird was fine (it was so big, I might as well have been throwing a pebble at a flying panzer tank), and it flew away more annoyed than hurt, thankfully.
Bet you don't feel so smart now, you idiot.
A couple of weeks later, I was at a driving range. For reasons I'm not experienced enough to understand, I kept popping the ball up really high instead of really far like I wanted. There was an awning covering the area where the golfers stand, and an Asian lady in the booth to my left. I swung and popped the ball straight up. It hit the awning, bounced down, and hit the Asian lady. The ball bounced away, never to be found again -- I think it was trying to save itself from embarrassment. I apologized, she smiled the kind of smile people put on when they want to be polite but actually want you dead, and we continued playing. I couldn't express it with her so close, but I was pretty damn proud of myself. Here I am, trying my hardest to hit a ball 200 yards ahead of me, and somehow I hit a person 5 feet to my left. I don't care about anything anymore -- which I made abundantly clear when I told you I decided to start playing golf -- so I'll take an impressive disaster over an accomplished goal any day.