Friends were unable to use their Ballet Arizona tickets last Saturday and were generous enough to pass them along to us. I rarely get to downtown Phoenix, so thus began the exercise of figuring out where the theatre was, how to get there, how long it was going to take and, of course, where to park in the tall canyons of a major city.
So all the while that the days were ticking by, I was really looking forward to the experience and felt a little tingle every time it came to mind. Finally Saturday arrived and, armed with my written directions, off we went. We were hoping that the meters weren’t enforced on Saturday, but we found close, cheap parking less than the Internet coupon I had found and downloaded.
The first of three ballets was a collage of beautiful bodies in motion to intriguing choreography. After the intermission, the second work began to creative stage craft and athletic dance moves.
And about halfway through it, sitting there in the dark, I suddenly realized that my mind was on figuring out how to retrace our steps back home. I have this beautiful piece of art unfolding in front of me and my mind is on how to finesse the inbound one-way streets on the way out. I actually laughed at myself and got back into the ballet without injury.
This little vignette came to me as I thought about all the buildup to the Masters which begins next week. This week, those guys who are playing as their preparation for Augusta are in Houston at the Shell Houston Open. And the good folks in Houston are no dummies; they have bent over backwards to setup the Redstone Golf Club as a sort of placeholder for the conditions the players will face next week: lightning fast greens, no rough and fairways mowed back towards the tee are the headliners.
So all week long, while the players are playing in and trying to win the Houston Open, their expectancy and all of the Redstone reminders will have their minds on Augusta.
Phil Mickelson is probably the most notable player to admit that’s where his mind will be. He told Golf Digest’s, Dave Shedloski, that in spite of all the attempts to mirror Augusta, the design of the holes in Houston suggests a lot of strategic tee shots with 3-woods. But Mickelson won’t be doing that. He’ll be hitting driver all week at Augusta, so he’s going to hit driver all week long in Houston. With the fairways pinching down out at his driver range, it could be a train wreck. But it’s Augusta next week and Mickelson appears ready to sacrifice Houston for his larger cause.
But for everybody else, the trick, as happened to me at the ballet, is to realize that that’s what’s going on and to get their minds back in the moment; right here, right now, in Houston. Even though you may be in the wrong place for the moment, it’s where you are and where your mind must be.
I promise you that next week, as long as they’re in contention, nobody’s mind will be on the following week’s Tour stop in San Antonio. They need to do that same thing this week too.
And that’s pretty much true for all of us.