Where Golf And Guns Intersect On The Venn Diagram
I mentioned previously I was learning to play golf. My instructor, Gabe McGrew, (who I highly recommend) is former Army and attended sniper school while he was on active duty. So he is really good at putting golf concepts into shooting terms to help me understand what I need to do.
When he began describing to me how golfers learn the range of each of their clubs in the bag, Gabe told me that each club will yield a different distance depending on where you grip the club, how wide your stance is, and how far you bring the club back. So I concluded that I needed to make a DOPE book for each club. Gabe smiled, realizing that as long as he could put golf concepts into gun lingo, I could learn from him.
So tonight, I began making a DOPE book for my pitching wedge. "DOPE" stands for data of previous engagements. Snipers create a DOPE book on their rifles to help them get a feel for where the bullet will go when the scope is dialed in a certain way, when the wind is at a certain speed and direction, and when the target is at a given distance, among other things. All of this data is cataloged into the book, so that a shooter can figure out how much "DOPE" to put into their ballistics calculations for a particular long range shot.
The golf club is no different. For a given user, the club will hit the ball only so far if the other variables are constantly controlled. So tonight's exercise yielded the following preliminary data on my Tour Edge pitching wedge:
Distance from pin Elevation change Stance Back Swing Hands
14 steps +1 foot narrow 2 feet from ball full choke
19 steps +1.5 feet 4 inch spread 8 o'clock position full choke
25 steps +3 feet shoulder width 8 o'clock position full choke
I share this with you not because my data will work for any of you (I'm not sure it will work for me...yet), but I think it's important to point out an important lesson that has helped me time and time again: the things you learn in your disaster preparedness efforts can often be useful in the other aspects of your life.
For example, I learned a lot about friction loss of water pressure during my time in the fire department; I used that information to help my father figure out the correct hose diameters for his garden irrigation system. I learned a tremendous amount about nutrition in making a food storage plan; now I am a huge reader of food labels to get a better idea of what I'm eating and how healthy it is for me. And now my time on the gun range is helping me accelerate my learnings on the golf course.
Don't assume that your time preparing for disasters or hard times is wasted. I've learned a tremendous amount about science, history, finances, law, communication, and psychology from my efforts. And I'm sure you will as well.