Last weekend, my husband and I played golf on two consecutive days. It was great to play one full-course worth of golf in a short period of time. (Usually, we play only 9 holes, a half course, because we play golf in a very leisurely manner.)
Though we did not really mind playing golf in the rain, theoretically speaking, we ended up waiting for the unusually robust showers to pass on the first of these two days. No, it was not boring to wait for the rain showers to pass; actually it was interesting to observe how the sky changed so swiftly from the south-west while sitting on the club bench. The sky revealed the layers of dark gray clouds, white clouds, blue sky, and sunbreak. As the dark cloud approached toward us pushing the white clouds we could hear the sound of rain shower hitting tree leaves in the forest (not unlike the sound of firecrackers), and then blue sky tinged with sunbreak white advanced to the golf course. The changes were so swift that it was as if watching a sped-up version of the usual sky movement. (Obviously, the wind was fairly strong at high altitude but not at the ground level.) It was definitely worth waiting because the rain stopped completely after that. The course ground was a little spongy, but it looked wonderfully green. Due to the weather, the golf course was fairly empty, and we could really enjoy our unhurried golf.
The following day was a perfect day for golf, so the course was rather busy – particularly after a televised NFL football game ended. We even saw some of our friends arrive on the course. It was quite pleasant to play golf on a warm sunny day. (According to the local news, it marked the warmest day in its recorded history.)
I think both of us have improved our golf by playing it on two consecutive days. It is true that it’s not the book-learning but the learning from practice that helps one improve one’s skills in sports – as well as in other forms of art.
“If one really wishes to be master of an art, technical knowledge of it is not enough. One has to transcend technique so that the art becomes an ‘artless art’ growing out of the Unconscious.” D.T. Suzuki “Introduction” to E.Herrigel’s Zen in the Art of Archery