All golfers, high, low and all handicaps in between, look to play better golf. Some of us like to beat balls at the range until our hands are sore. Some of us walk right from the car, to the tee, with only a few back stretches — sometimes less. How we get to the first tee differs from golfer to golfer, but, one thing is similar in all of us, we want to continually get better.
Before my round Monday I saw Alex Lionetti on the putting green. It was weird to see him there at 10:30am as that was late for him to be teeing off. I went to hit a few putts and Alex and I had a quick chat. “What time are you teeing off?”, I said. He replied, “I’m not playing today.” “Oh, no? You’re just out here practicing?” I asked. He replied, “You know, Jamie, I’m not putting the way I want to. I need to fix it. I can’t believe the way I’ve been putting. I’ve been putting terribly.”
Alex wasn’t trying any major overhaul of his stroke or anything. He was looking for that ‘something’ that works. He was looking for that little tweak to his stroke that he could carry over into his next round and hopefully longer than that. Alex and I continued to chat and we talked about the struggles Spieth is going through after the amazing run he’s had. “That’s how golf is. Sometimes we feel like we have it but it can go away just as fast. Look at Jordan Spieth,” Alex said to me. He continued, “I’m looking at the back of the ball. That’s all I’m doing… Look, that came off the putter like I wanted.” Alex was finding ‘it.’
It was pretty cool to see Alex out there practicing and talking with him. He’s the young age of 73 with the same syrupy swing he’s had for decades, and there he was, trying to find that ‘something’ to fix his putting. After we talked, I realized that trying to find that ‘something’ in our golf game is never ending. Age has no bearing on our drive to get better. We can be in our young teens, or in our young 90’s, and we’ll always have that subconscious drive to get better and always look for that ‘something.’ It’s something that will always be with us the moment we take up the game and it lasts a lifetime.