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The Journey to Improve – The Breaks

Golf is a game of skill that is rivaled by few others. Manipulating a tiny ball well enough that you can make it go where you want to after hitting it 200 yards is quite amazing if you really think about it. Most people need to spend years practicing to get themselves to a somewhat respectable level of competence. Still, there is an undeniable factor that often is the difference between what we hackers consider good and bad. It’s called luck and it can be exhilarating and maddening.

Ever hit a bump in the fairway with your ball only to see it bound off into the woods? I have and it just isn’t fair. How in the world can you finally hit a good shot only to see it cost you strokes? You might even tell your friends about it and how it robbed you of finally getting that score you were working so hard for.

Ever hit a tree square in the middle of the trunk only to have it bounce 37 times and end up right in the middle of the fairway? I have. Oddly, I don’t ever count that shot as anything other than a good one. I just goes down on my score card as a fairway I hit and I rarely make mention of the incredible circumstances to anybody.

That’s golf for you; a veritable mixture of skill and luck that separate the pars from the bogeys and the bogeys from the doubles. It’s something you have to take in stride to maintain your sanity. There is nothing quite like the day where the bounces are in your favor. The balls you thought you lost are sitting there like you hit them perfectly and instead of burning edges you are dropping putts. You have to cherish those days, because it’s a given that you’re going to hit the longest drive of your life when you’re sure that you’ll be short enough to stay out of the water. Or maybe your well executed layup will hit a sprinkler head and bounce out of bounds. There’s not much you can do but accept it for what it is and move on.

I’m not saying that luck is all that separates the bad from the good. It only goes so far and the luckiest golfer in the world still won’t break par without a good swing and putting stroke. However, I can almost guarantee that the worst golfer in the world could somehow manage to hit a hole in one. We all have that magical moment in us somewhere that is waiting to show itself. Some of us will be fortunate enough that it does so during our lifetime.

So, enjoy it when you can and ignore it when you have to. Luck is there on the course with you whether you like it or not. It will be your time soon enough. Thanks for reading and I hope that some good breaks come your way the next time you’re out on the course.

Ryan H.

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Ryan Hawk


Editor and writer Ryan Hawk lives in northwestern Illinois with his fiance and son. He's been a writer for The Hackers Paradise for two years and has been involved with a number of THP events.

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  • Great article! With so many trees on my course, I know exactly what you’re talking about! I am loving this series! Keep up the good work!

  • This was a great read that is so true Ryan! You just described this past weekend perfectly; 275 yard bombs followed by a chunk from 75 yards out. That is the game we love known as golf and some days things roll your way and other days not us much.

  • Nice piece Ryan. Breaks are just breaks, good or bad. They do happen and if a golfer truly focuses on the next shot, then the one that just happened doesn’t really matter all that much.

  • Ryan I have really enjoyed these articles. Quite a few times this year I’ve hit something in the fairway and my ball has jumped into the woods.

  • Nice article Ryan, enjoyed reading it.

    Very truthful thoughts there, especially the bit about not counting the good luck! You get a break and somehow you’re always convinced it’s just what you deserve, but you catch some bad luck and the world is against you – only on the course!

  • Great thoughts Ryan, it is especially true that all of us who enjoy this maddening game are waiting for those “magical moments” that invariably will come. I am enjoying these write ups of your observations.

  • Good read Ryan. You’re right sometimes they happen for the better and sometimes they don’t.

  • Well said Ryan, it’s a good perspective on the game of golf.

  • Another great read, Ryan. Have really enjoyed these articles, great job.

  • This is a really good article, well written and fun to read. I have really enjoyed this series Ryan and keep up the great work.

  • I have really enjoyed this series Hawk. I think we all wonder at some point in our golf life what if I REALLY put the effort into improving to my max potential how good can I really get but then think but what if it breaks my game and I get worse. These articles will make many, myself included, start a similar journey. Keep up the great work and articles!

  • Really enjoying these pieces Hawk!

  • Nice article Ryan, that’s funny that we never really talk much about the good breaks we get yet we sure remember every last bad bounce out there don’t we? I have really enjoyed this series and hope to read more.

  • Nice read Ryan, it’ll make me look at my play differently on the course. Great Job

  • Great read Ryan and well said. You noticed me get several lucky breaks during the mini outing, lol, and like you said it just goes with the game.

  • Ah yes, the bouncer that bounces back to the fairway. I’ve had a few of those, but unfortunately, not nearly enough! You hit the nail on the head when you said golf takes skill and luck. A great write up Ryan.

  • Ryan, I’m really enjoying this series. Your musings are so spot on. I for one, love telling the stories about the good breaks as well as the bad ones. Nothing like those random little events for a laugh or a pained-laugh!

  • Good installment, Ryan. I’ved been there and am still there!

  • Very nice article and I can relate to this every time I
    Play. Keep up the good work, waiting to read the next article.

  • Sweet article. It’s those shots that go exactly as planned that will bring me back forever.

  • Great read Ryan as always! Had a buddy make a hole in one once a few years ago that he actually hooked violently into the trees beside the green only to hear a “KA-WHACCK” and then see the ball shoot out of the trees onto the green and roll right into the cup!! GO FIGURE

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