The tee box just keeps getting smaller …
For years, I’ve had this recurring dream where I’m trying to tee off but can’t because the tee box has mysteriously become too small: there is a wall, or threatening branches, or a giant hedge, or spectators in the way. My playing partners don’t seem to have the same issue.
As I continue to try to tee it up in different places to get enough room to swing, the other players become increasingly angry. And still I can’t find enough room to make a backswing of any sort.
And the tee box just keeps getting smaller.
A variant of the golf dream involves being unable to tee up a ball because the ground has become uncooperative. It is made of concrete, or is on an impossible angle.
I’ve also had the experience of setting up to take a shot when a disc slips in my back, my legs go out and I collapse like a sack of wet concrete.
But that’s real, and not a dream, so is probably not apropos.
As for the golf dreams, I have never mentioned them to anyone because I thought them too weird.
But then a recent twitter feed revealed that I am by no means alone:
The thread goes on and on and on.
I’ve played nearly 300 different courses over the last twenty years and have never felt cramped on a tee box — even on the worst of courses. Further, with one or two exceptions, I have not felt as though I was out of my element on any given course. I’ve felt a bit of anxiety at the legendary Oakland Hills, but they have always been so gracious there that I have no excuse. On the tee at Pinehurst No. 2, I had a brief feeling of the weight of history, but that quickly passed — especially when I saw one of my partners slice it into the trees.
So if it is not a golf dream, what does it mean?
Looking for answers, I consulted Dr. Steven Tunick, Clinical Psychologist — who was my college roommate and is a lifelong friend. Dr. Tunick says that it likely is “a classic anxiety dream, except instead of showing up for class to discover you have an exam you didn’t study for, it’s golf. They typically appear when you’re facing a change or decision.”
The next time I have that dream, I’ll need to take stock and see what it is that might have triggered it.