A Cure For Insomnia

The good news is you can take the round with you, tuck it in the memory for later use.

It might have been your best round of the year or the month or the week. It might have been a round on a one of those classic venues you finally got to tick off of your bucket list.

It might have been an adrenaline golf moment-rushing to finish the last three holes of a potential career round against the backdrop of thickening storm clouds dreading the imminent sound of the lightening guard alarm system that would scuttle the whole affair.

Or it might have just been the ethereal experience of a solitary walking round at dusk by yourself when the fact that you could no longer see the ball flight did not matter because you sixth golf sense just told you where it was headed and sure enough when you got there….it was there.

If you are truly a golf obsessive you have reached into this inventory to help you get through a long wait in the customer service line at the cable store.  Possibly you used it to get through that 30 minute claustrophobia of the not so open Open MRI machine or the seventh grandchild eulogy at a distant relative’s funeral.

But possibly the most utilitarian use of the hole-by-hole, shot-by-shot account of one of these cherished golf memories is lying wide-eyed in bed at 3:00 a.m. staring at the ceiling trying to dislodge some irrational circular thought from your brain that is blocking your descent back to deep sleep.

Sure counting sheep is a possibility but reliving par-birdie-par on the way to an insurmountable 3-up lead for the back nine bet can be so much more gratifying and effective.  Just visualizing the ball flight of a perfectly struck 19-degree hybrid working its way dutifully into that Clark Kent phone booth pin position in the back left corner on #2 can start the slide back into recuperative sleep.  Or maybe it is something as simple as a creative pitch and grabber off the steep side slope on the approach into a Par 5 that dutifully creeps on down just behind the hole for a kick-in birdie to win a skin that does the trick.

The therapeutic value of reliving solitary golf memories is best described in the poetic verse Billy Collins.  You might want to put a copy of this in your night stand drawer for quick reference.


Night Golf

I remember the night I discovered,

lying in bed in the dark,

that a few imagined holes of golf

worked much better than a thousand sheep,

that the local links,

not the cloudy pasture with its easy fence,

was the greener path to sleep.


How soothing to stroll the shadowy fairways,

to skirt the moon-blanched bunkers

and hear the night owl in the woods.


Who cared about the score

when the club swung with the ease of air

and I glided from shot to shot

over the mown and rolling ground,

alone and drowsy with my weightless bag?


Eighteen small cups punched into the bristling grass,

eighteen flags limp on their sticks

in the silent, windless dark,

but in the bedroom with its luminous clock

and propped-open windows,

I got only as far as the seventh hole

before I drifted easily away-


The difficult seventh, ‘The Tester’ they called it,

where,  just as on the earlier holes,

I tapped in, dreamily, for birdie.

Billy Collins


3 thoughts on “A Cure For Insomnia

    • I ran into Diddy recently and he told me you had gone in search of the ghost of Ernest and Julio Gallo.

      Happy and a healthy New Year to you and your family.



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