June 1, Part II: Practice Like a Champion

After my barking dog, Teddy-boy, prematurely ended my practice session at Old Chatum, I headed out towards the Duke University Golf Course to finish my practice session.  I needed to work on my 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, and 70 yard shots.  The course I am playing is 6,700 yards long, and there are several holes I can not get on in two. Maybel that will change with Dr. Coop’s coaching, but I wante to get the feel of those varying distances.  The only place I knew I could go is the very exclusive practice range used ONLY by the Duke University Golf Team.  Fortunately, the Duke Women’s Coach, Dan Brooks, was in.  He was very gracious to bestow on me “an hour of practice time” for my short game.  As a former Duke University golf team player, it was nice to know I still had some favor with the golf team department!  It just got through pouring down rain, and my barking dog at the prior range was now a wet dog in my car. I left the windows open for him, but realized I needed to take him with me to a very rarely seen place on earth:  the magnificently manicured practice area of the best women’s  golf team in the nation.  As Teddy-boy and I headed down the path to the elite practice field, we encountered a sign at the entrance:  “Practice like a champion.”  Good words!  What does a champion practice like?  With focus, fully present, with intent and purpose.  That I did, while my wet dog rolled around the green grass, and was quickly now becoming a green dog.  The low lying terrain was even more quickly becoming a sauna.  We were both sweating.  I walked around to the back of the range and filled up a cup of cold water.  I then proceeded over to my now green-tinted dog and poured the cold water over his head.  He tilted his head in bewilderment as I explained to him, “It is VERY hot out here, and this is the only way I know to cool you off.”  Tying him to a pole in the only shade I could find, I returned to my champion’s practice.  I had to wonder if champions took time out to care for their sweating dogs.  Every now and then I would turn around and laugh at the sight of my wet American Eskimo dog, sitting in the dirt right under the big sign that read “Duke University Golf Team!”  I’m not sure he was allowed to be there either, but I wasn’t going to leave my dog in the hot car.  It was so nice to be in a learning environment with all kinds of targets, pins, and nets to hit into.  These guys are serious!  I was even able to use their practice balls:  Titliest ProV’s.  WOW!  Only the best for the best.  After Teddy and I were both drenched in sweat, we headed up the hill to the car. I got in a good hour of practice after my great morning session. And my dog visited two very exclusive greens that very few people ever get to see.  Maybe I ought to write a book on Teddy’s Golf Adventures–or better yet, “Teddy Goes Golfing!”  I thought his quest was about me, but hey, maybe it is really about my jet-setting dog!

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