alcohol, beer, golf, relaxation, concentration, coordination

Alcohol and Good Golf Don't Mix!

John Daly's most recent trials and tribulations at this week's Bay Hill tournament in Orlando caused me to stop and think for a few moments about how true it is that alcohol and good golf just don't mix! While it is conceivable that Daly's missed tee-time and "firing" by swing coach Butch Harmon may be able to be explained in such a way that alcohol was not involved, Harmon's explanation and the reported sightings of Daly drinking at some of the tournament's hospitality tents tend to make me believe that drink was somehow tied in.

All of this caused me to reflect, once again, on how alcohol has indeed affected my own game.

I can think of many times where I've been playing an absolutely horrendous round, and given up on it by about the 6th or 7th hole. When the drink cart arrived or at the turn I've bought a beer, drank about half of it only to have my game turn completely around and go on a tear of 4 or 5 holes where I could do no wrong. Of course this is usually short-lived, as one beer turns to 2 or 3 and the fine advantage gained by a slight increased state of relaxation, soon turned to the more damaging disadvantage of a lack of coordination that accompanies the alcohol intake.

As recently as yesterday, during a best ball scramble, this phenomenon showed up. On one hole, short par five, I hit my driver to with in 150 yards of the green. Between the 4 of us on the team we managed a second shot to about 8 feet from the flag, putt and we had eagled the hole. This being a scramble tournament, it wasn't long before the drink cart showed up and it wasn't long after that before my drives were not only shorter, but scattering unpredictably to the trees on the left and right side of the fairway. In matter of a few holes, I had gone from basically being "in a zone" to be out of control, as far as knowing where my golf ball was going to end up after swung.

As I said, I can't deny that on those days when stress and tension creep into your golf swing I've noticed a short, fine positive effect from a half a drink, to "take the edge off", but that beneficial area is easily overshot by an extra drink or two. Once you've passed beyond that small beneficial zone, there's no turning back. For that reason, if I was honest with myself, I would never touch another beer on the golf course, but , again being honest with myself, I'd have to admit that I've probably not swung my last golf club with a beer sitting in my golf cart's drink holder.

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