Passions and Obsessions

Twinning golf and painting:
My sunrise-to-sunset fairway tableaux

Dawn to dusk, I play indoor golf, canvas on easel.
No fried brains nor sunscreens!

When the heavens are dumping much needed rain or blistering intolerable heat and humidity,

I trade my 460cc driver with a three-inch sable brush, 3 wood with a filbert, 7 wood with a round, irons with pointed or angled brushes, the mallet putter with a palette knife. And the blank cotton or linen canvasses evolve into sunrise to sunset golf fairway tableaux. FORE!!

The Sisterhood of Golfers aka bffs honed in Tagaytay Highlands laugh when I declare, “Painting is like golf!”. Homogeneous because of trying to consistently achieve the beautiful arching of the golf swing flying the dimpled ball into the right direction much like controlling the dancing/singing of the brushes on the canvas. Both need a soft hand handle on the club and brush yet require a synchrony of shoulder-to-wrist movement. A forever learning mode to achieve a symphony of body and mind.

These diversions depend upon conventional exercises beyond Gladwell’s “10000 hour rule”. A little twitch and the ball fades or slices. A brushstroke changes the likeness of a person’s portrait.

The fundamentals are achingly similar. Imperative to have the right pro to bring out the hopefully innate Tiger Woods roar or nurture the Amorsolo light and shadows. Oh yes, geniuses and gifted exempted. Keep on swinging to get that muscle memory and your handicap gets to single digit.  Keep on painting to master color mixing/color value to get your niche. Such reminders constantly ring every time I step into breathtaking fairways or stare at empty canvasses.

Visualization is an essential art to both golf and painting.  Your mind, heart, hand are in focus to see where the ball should land and to mentally paint the picture stroke by stroke. Hence one reads about getting into that “zen” stage before executing golf shots.

When I was stumped to produce a monthly obra maestra, visual virtuoso Maestro Fidel Sarmiento coaxed, “Sumunod ka sa pulso mo,” sounding similar to my late golf coach who advised, “After honing the fundamentals, trust your instinct.” In short, a mindful cruise control.

Another commonality is the GALLERY.  Professional golf tournaments feed on spectators or the gallery. Artists need the gallery to showcase their works.

Both therapeutic activities, particularly during this COVID-19 lockdown, are a perfect physical distancing/social responsibility tandem. One and the other can be solitary and social pursuits.

As golf is between the course and the player, painting is between the canvas and the painter. The twain frustrate but the siren calls. And when a momentous round peppered with a hole-in-one and birdies is attained, it’s forever etched and relived in golf memory. Just like when a 48 by 48-inch mural is done, it’s in the archives or hanging in a buyer’s house.  And the next round, the next obra beckons.

‘Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated. It satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect’

A heavily invested commitment is also requisite to succeed in either ethereal/hellish fascination.

In the words of golf legend Arnold Palmer, “Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated. It satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is the same time rewarding and maddening.”

French artist and Post-impressionist influencer Paul Cezanne commented, “Painting is damned difficult, you always think you got it, but you haven’t.” French Polish artist Balthus remarked, “Painting is a source of endless pleasure but also of great anguish.’’

Sentiments echoed by golfers.

Dawn to dusk, sunlight to moonlight, I play indoor golf, canvas on easel, walk through 18 holes, sometimes 36 holes, with no fear of getting drenched with sweat nor rain. No fried brains nor sunscreens!

When sheets of rain and ominous dark clouds dominate the sky, it’s still golf time, prodding our clubs…errr….paintbrushes to perform accordingly to their loft, angles, and bounce thickness with acrylic/oil paints.

Ahhhh! Here’s to year-round indoor and outdoor golf! Golf Nirvana indeed!

Wait a minute. Bonus. Repurpose trophy vessels as planters. So golfdiva.. “paintita”… “plantita.” Cheers! Here’s looking at the bright side of the pandemic lockdown!

About author


She is a former lifestyle editor of Times Journal, a veteran journalist, and now a happy golfer and painter.

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