“What I’m talkin about is a game, a game that can’t be won only played.” – Bagger Vance
Have you ever read the book “The Legend of Bagger Vance?” I read Steven Pressfield’s excellent book when it hit the book shelves in 1995 and my impression was here’s a guy who has written a book that gives us a small glimpse into golf’s never world through the eyes of a tormented man and golfer named Rannulph Junah. Maybe you saw the movie adaptation of the book which starred Matt Damon as Rannuph Junnah, a local golf champion from Savannah Georgia who plays an historic golf match against two titans of the golf world at that time, Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones.
Will Smith play’s Junnah’s caddie Bagger Vance an interesting character who provides Junnah with unusual insights into improving his golf game and for that matter his life. Bagger Vance is a teacher of the game of golf and he instructs Junnah on how to access his “authentic golf swing.”
In the movie clip Junnah is faced with a common dilemma facing all golfers and everyone else…choice. Bagger Vance tells Junnah that he has a choice, he can stop or he can play. He can stop trying to play the game of golf and just play it.
“Now play the game, your game – the one that you was only meant to play.”
This golf story reminds me of the dialogue between Alice and the Cheshire cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” said Alice. “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.”I don’t much care where–” said Alice.”Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.”–so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.”Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough…”
We are constantly being asked to make a choice, a decision about which way to go? But do you make it on your own, or do you have a “Bagger Vance” to help you make your choice or decision?
Bagger’s final bit of advice before Junnah exorcises his demons and hits his shot is this; “let yourself remember your swing.”
You have always got a choice…you can stop trying to play golf, or keep trying to play and…
Golf confidence lives outside of the shadows.
Until next time.