Magic is supposed to be an illusion. Roseanna Leaton's Golfer Within is anything but. It is a reality, an incredible reality, that after a few short weeks of listening to her CDs I am living my own fantasy. I can putt. And more than that, I now like putting. In fact, I think I LOVE putting!
In five long, bitter, demoralising years my handicap rose from 1.4 to 5.5. Any Category One player will tell you that such an experience, for whatever reason, makes you want to quit. I did. Many times. I wanted to walk away because I lost my putting stroke. I lost my touch. I lost my faith in golf. I almost lost the will to play the game.
I continued, blindly, for one reason and one reason only. I hoped that somewhere, somehow, something or someone would come along and save me. From myself. From giving up the game I had played man and boy for almost fifty years. In the end I was almost as afraid of quitting the game as I was of walking onto a green. What, in life, could ever make up for my sporting passion? How could the void in my heart, even if it was broken, be filled? And I would always consider myself to have given up. To have been a quitter.
Now I'm back down to 4 handicap. I'm aiming for 3. I can see myself off 2.
Not only can I putt, I am a happier individual, more laid-back, more accepting of all the black things that can happen in a round of golf. Now I look for the positive. Negativity no longer has me bubble-wrapped.
Roseanna's CDs are far more than about putting. She ranges across the game and, more importantly, across the mentality of the game. There is something in her work for everyone. From top pro to the lowliest hacker, there are things to be learned from her teachings and advice.
I'm not out of the woods yet. I am, after all, only part of the way down the road to recovery. But I have Roseanna's route map. It has already directed me through lands once discovered but, I feared, never to be visited again. Yet I make my journey with a heart full of hope and (I can smile when I say this to myself) ambition. Best of all, perhaps, is that I now play golf for golf's sake. For the fun of it. Most especially, for the magic of it.