It seems like there’s a whole lot of dreaming going on at the moment.
If you follow the golfing world and believe even a fraction of what you read and see, you will appreciate that just now a great number of players seem to be realising long-held dreams. Brian Harman (top pic) has only just made one dream come true by lifting the Claret Jug in July and now another is checked off the list – namely that of making the Ryder Cup team.
There’s no doubt the recent announcements of the 2023 Solheim and Ryder Cup sides are dream-fulfilling for many. After all, for certain nationalities, these teams are the undoubted pinnacle of our sport.Bob McIntyre is a case in point. The genial Scotsman narrowly missed out on making the European side two years ago but on this occasion he managed to snare the final automatic place in the last counting event in Switzerland. “For me it’s always been a dream to play in the Ryder Cup,” he said. “We’re going there to Italy to win the Ryder Cup back for Europe and that’s the real dream.”
Ah, he seems to have a part A and part B to his dream, but that’s the great thing about dreams – there simply are no limitations.
Shane Lowry seems to be similar in having a two-part dream. He achieved part A, making his Ryder Cup debut in Whistling Straits in 2021 where the Europeans were soundly trounced. Now he wants to be on the side taking the spoils. That’s part B.That got me wondering if the players actually meant they consistently daydreamed and visualised themselves achieving their heart’s desire. Or from the time they were kids did they actually dream in bed at night about playing in the Ryder Cup match? And how did they do in those dream matches?
I’m a big believer in a positive mental attitude and I am also a prolific and vivid dreamer in bed at night. But no one, and I repeat, no one, would want my night-time golfing dreams playing out in reality. All my life I have had golf dreams, most of the early ones centring around achievements in the amateur arena – probably because we didn’t have a professional women’s tour in Europe way back then.
Interestingly, my dreams tended to be about a team match, namely the Curtis Cup, a biennial amateur encounter between Great Britain & Ireland and the USA. It was rarefied air and a huge ambition of mine to make the team. So what were my nighttime dreams?
They usually centred around the first tee and my opening drive. My opponent had already safely negotiated their first shot but when I pegged up my ball I discovered that the tee markers were awfully close to a wall at the back of the tee. I didn’t have room to swing back without hitting the wall and if I teed up far enough away so as to miss the wall, then I’d be ahead of the markers. My dilemma was compounded because I knew with absolute certainty that all those spectators lining the first hole, as well as the officials on the tee, were blissfully unaware of my predicament. I made dozens of swings trying to miss the wall and could sense the growing impatience from the gallery because I was taking so long to play – and for no good reason, seemingly.
If it weren’t a pesky wall waiting to sabotage me, it was an overhanging branch of a tree – again on the first tee. My opposition was never troubled by this low hanging branch because they were never as tall as me. At six feet tall, I couldn’t manufacture any type of backswing that wouldn’t result in me getting caught up in the foliage. As with the wall, no one watching on seemed to notice and the pervasive thinking was, “Why on earth is she taking so long to hit it?”
I never did find out how I coped with these tee shots because I would always wake in a cold sweat before making any kind of contact. Don’t tell me Shane or Bob have these anxiety-laden dreams (I do hope not), which are, I suspect, uncomfortably revealing about my personality!
And they continue………… Despite not having played golf for almost two years because of various health issues, it’s apparent I am quite keen to visit the golf course in my dreams. I seem to have conquered the first tee because I now find I have moved to up around the green where I am afflicted with the occasional chipping and/or putting yips. Oh, rapture and joy!
I told the sister the other month that, once well enough to play again, I wasn’t sure I would be prepared to put in the work required to contain (not conquer) the yips. I wonder why I thought I’d get a bit of sympathy! Her matter-of-fact answer was simply to relay the fact that Henry Longhurst, that doyen of golf writers, professed to feel a huge weight lift off his shoulders once he made the definitive decision to confine the clubs to the attic.
Let me assure you, my dreamland is not a lot of fun and so it really does pique my curiosity (and envy) every time I watch golf on the telly and someone is declaring that “it’s a dream come true”.
For the record, I did play in the Curtis Cup and I had no problems on the first tee. For me, reality trumps dreamland every time.
I fervently wish you all golfing dreams that are the polar opposite to mine…………….and that they come true!