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The Loop

The Loop
June 30, 2011

Larry David's many stages of grief, er, golf

We've all been there. And judging by his "Shouts & Murmurs" column in the July 4 issue of The New Yorker, Larry David has been there more than once. The co-creator of "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" has enjoyed a fruitful career as America's favorite neurotic, but hasn't enjoyed the same type of success as an avid, but frustrated, golfer.

"The Anger phase lasted for years, and then I entered the next phase, Denial," David writes. 'All I need are some lessons,' I told myself. 'Why should everyone else be able to do it and not me? Why are they good? I'm coordinated. I have a jump shot! I can go to my left. Obviously I have it in me. I have it in me! Next year, I'll go to Orlando and spend a week taking lessons with Leadbetter. I don't care what it costs. How can you spend a week with Leadbetter and not get better? It's impossible.' But I did, and I didn't.

Eventually, David said, he entered the final stage -- Acceptance.

"I will never stand over the ball without considering the disaster about to befall me. I'll never line up a putt and think I'll make it. Never face a chip without fearing the decel.

"And yet I'll continue to play, because I do hit some good shots, especially when I'm on the driving range. I actually hit some great range shots. What the hell is that? I've had swing compliments on the range. 'I love your tempo,' a woman once said to me. That's right--I have good tempo. I've had many other range compliments that I won't bore you with, but, believe me, I'm an eight or a nine on the range."

"So it's clearly psychological. I wonder . . . what if I blindfolded myself ? Is it possible?! Have I stumbled upon the Secret? It makes sense. The reason I can't hit the ball is that I can see it! Tomorrow I'm going to play blindfolded, and if that doesn't work then I'll definitely and unequivocally accept Acceptance. I just want to try this blindfold idea. I have a very good feeling about it. Very good."

-- *Sam Weinman *