Sony Open in Hawaii

Waialae Country Club

The Loop

The Loop

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

June 30, 2011

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 *