Jim Murray

2 months ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility ~100 ·

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A Reflection On That One Perfect Moment

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Random Ramblings
On The General State
Of The Universe

It was the summer of 1964 and I was just about to turn seventeen.

I was working as a caddy at the Eriedowns Golf & Country Club, in Fort Erie Ontario, and had just recently been promoted to working in the back of the pro shop, retrieving clubs for the members before and cleaning clubs for the members after their rounds. It wasn’t hard work but we had to stay there until the last member had finished.

With the time we had toward the end of the day, we, meaning whoever I was working with that day, would take turns hitting a bucket of balls out to the driving range which ran along the Gilmore Road side of the course, parallel to their long third hole of the front nine.

The thing I remember most about that part of the job was the absolute joy and sense of accomplishment that was possible to achieve when the head of the driver you were swinging made perfect contact with the ball sitting a couple of inches off the ground on a wooden tee. 

And in that feeling, I could totally understand the reason why so many people became hooked on the game of golf the way they did. It wasn’t about aspiring to be a professional, because that only happened to about .0001 percent of all the people who played the game, and it required a whole range of skills beyond making great contact off the tee.

No…it was in the one perfect moment when all you had learned about how to swing a golf club that the club pro generously taught you, came together with the perfect back swing, firm foot placement, solid flush contact, and smooth follow-through.

It was in that one perfect moment that the whole world seemed to make sense, as you watched that tiny ball fly off your club head and out in the general direction you were aiming, for about 100 yards or so, very low to the ground and then slowly rising for another hundred to hundred and fifty yards, making a beautiful arc and landing softly. 

There was no feeling quite like that, and in that one perfect moment, you realized that no matter what else you may screw up in your life, no matter how many setbacks you may have, and steep hills you have to climb, that one perfect moment, repeated a number of times in your life will more than compensate.

You don’t really think about it too much while it’s happening. Mostly your competitive animal takes over and you quickly tee up another ball, to see if you can do it again, just to prove that it wasn’t some sort of fluke.

There’s nobody on the range to give you an attaboy. This is just between you and the club and the ball. It’s a bit of ballet and a bit of sledgehammer, and when you manage to put that all together in a fairly consistent way, you know you have the one core skill that you can build on, from the driver to the 3 and 4 woods, to the irons from 2 to wedge. You have learned about how to make that one perfect moment into a satisfying game. It won’t always work for you, but there is no success without failure and so you push through. 

That summer I ended up with a 4 handicap on the Eriedowns course, which we were allowed to play on the slow days. Shot by shot, perfect moment by perfect moment, with a lot of less than perfect moments in between.

I learned more about life in that summer and the next than I had in all the years leading up to it, and even in a few years following.

When I started writing and then got into advertising, I carried that whole notion around with me. It was always there. I was always looking for it. That one perfect moment, when you knew the idea you had just typed out or scribbled on a napkin in some restaurant or managed to keep in your head till you got home from your bike ride was worth blowing out into something.

Those were the ones, the perfect ones. The ones that would do what you needed them to do, like the tiny golf balls I hit endlessly back in the sixties. And I found my share of those perfect moments. Enough to make a career that I carry on to this day, well past when I could afford to retire.

Because, these perfect moments, and the striving to hit them, man they are addictive as hell. And you don’t want them to ever stop popping up and challenging you to conquer them.
 

~ Jim Murray ~
| am an ex-ad agency creative director, writer,
art director, strategist, editorialist, reader,
TV & movie watcher. | have been actively
posting on social media since the early 2000s.

| live with my wife on the beautiful Niagara Peninsula

in Canada and work with a small group of companies MURMARKETING
who are making a positive difference in the world. ~ STRATEGY & CREATIVE ~

 

COPYRIGHT 2021 MURMARKETING
My blogs, including others in this series, are all accessible here on bebee.com
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Jim Murray

Jim Murray

2 months ago #6

Ken Boddie

Ken Boddie

2 months ago #5

Brings back memories, Jim, of my childhood days with my older cousin Jack, who patiently taught me how to play golf (or rather how to swing a club) at the tender age of 9 or 10.  I still think back with fond memories of my times spent during school holidays on various golf courses in the south of Scotland, either playing in awe of my cousin, or caddying for him in the odd comp. Unfortunately there were never enough “perfect moments” for me and that sweet sound of wood against ball at the right time and right place were never frequent enough for my impatience. Although I still had frequent games through school days and even into my uni days, there was never enough reward for effort in my case and I didn't ‘follow through’ with my golf into career days. Those childhood hacking times were well before driving ranges appeared in Scotland and, even although I've been out on the odd driving rangs in more recent times, golf, whether on the course, or off the bucket of balls, set ‘em up and go for broke, driving range, remains the most frustratingly annoying game for me. I reckon I’m the exception that proves the rule, Jim.  That doesn't mean that my life hasn't been without my share of addiction, but that's a story for another day.

Incidentally, cousin Jack was the same person who first taught me to drive a car, on the sandy beaches of the Solway Firth, way before I could legally do so, and I seem to have mastered that art pretty well.  It follows that it wasn't the teacher at fault when it came to golf, but the pupil.  😢

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Wonderful post, Jim.

Fay Vietmeier

Fay Vietmeier

2 months ago #3

@Jim Murray 

Multiplied thanks .. for this wonderful post 

I did not learn to golf until I was 36 .. I too, became addicted to those “perfect moments”

In the early weeks & months I hit so many buckets of balls .. I bruised my ribs ;~) 

.. then would go swim so I could hit more balls. 

I fell in love with the game and then in love with the pro teaching me (years later - we married) 

 

 

I was honored to meet this legend: Arnold Palmer .. some of his wisdom 

"Golf is a game of inches. The most important are the six inches between your ears." 


"I’ve always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying; I never felt that I didn’t have a chance to win."

 

"Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening – and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented."


"The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done."
 

Neil Smith

Neil Smith

2 months ago #2

That was a lovely read. Thanks. 

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

2 months ago #1

Well said, my friend. Those moments can carry us through so much. And so it goes.

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