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No amount of instruction can fix my golf game

This magazine here says, in big letters on its cover, "How To Hit It 2 Clubs Longer" and "Knock It Stiff."

This other magazine's cover promises longer drives in 30 seconds and breaking putts made easy.

Over there is a book that claims to cure the yips forever.

I assume they are not talking to me. Had the authors seen my game, they would not make such bold claims. They are just doing their jobs, though. Instruction is the lifeblood of most golf publications, and no doubt, some of the instruction is helpful if properly applied.

But people have been writing instructional pieces for decades, pretty much repeating what has already been said 1,000 times. I must have a couple hundred or more books telling me how to play. (I didn't buy them. They were sent to me in the hopes that I would write a review about them.)

Somewhere in all those pages, in all those magazines that have landed in my mailbox for all those years, there may be solutions to all our problems.

(I have a new favorite. It's a mouthpiece that keeps you from clenching your teeth when you’re playing, thereby reducing tension and fatigue, it says here. It prevents the jaw from shutting completely. A more useful device, if you ask me, would be one that prevents the jaw from opening.)

One question I've never seen answered, though, is why golf behaves the way it does.

It's not to be trusted. It's a smooth talker with one hand on your shoulder and the other lifting your wallet.

You play like a dream one day and go to bed thinking you've finally got it but you wake up the next morning and it’s gone, run off with the mailman.

You're the same guy, got the same clubs but your game is a puzzle again.

There have been all kinds of theories about that, physical and mental, about how the body can change from day to day or the mind can change gears overnight. I've asked dozens of pros about it and none gave an answer that you'd write a book about.

There are a lot of moving parts in golf and it's extremely hard to keep them functioning properly. One day everything seems smooth and easy. The next day, a spark plug misfires or oil starts leaking.

Don't know why, but that's the nature of the game and if it weren't, we wouldn't play golf. It would be boring. We'd go find something else to drive us nuts.

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