May

10

 The only thing I like more than golf is trading. Both seem to always demand the very best that I have. There is never any easing up on a swing, placing a trade, focusing on a tough shot out of the rough, or trading on a volatile day.

When I started playing golf seriously years ago I had trouble with my short game. I felt then that it was the most unforgiving sport out there. I was pounding the drive 300 plus yards, but it would take me five more shots to get that little ball in the hole. Frustrating, to say the least. So, I asked my brother-in-law, who holds twelve Arizona course-scoring records, what is the hardest shot in golf. He told me that one of the most difficult is the lob shot.

This lob shot is used when the golfer doesn't have a lot of green to work with, or has a sand bunker or water hazard to pitch over to reach the green. I tried this shot, with a newly purchased sixty degree Cleveland wedge, and it was one of the most frustrating exertions I have ever tried. The other wedge shot is called the bump and run. A fifty-six degree wedge is used around the green to simply strike the ball that lands a few feet from where you hit it and then is supposed to roll to the hole, following the lie of the green.

The primary reason the lob shot is much more difficult to master is margin of error. The ball must be struck with almost absolute precision in order to put the proper backspin on it, not to mention the small target location. The margin of error with the bump and run shot is quite large compared with the lob shot. Therefore, it has a higher degree of forgiveness and is often mastered by many. But when one is in trouble, the bump and run is of no use.

So, for a week straight I hit 300 lob shots a day. I would spend a couple of hours a day striking that ball over and over, from every part of the practice green. I would pick the most difficult locations and lies that the practice green had to offer. I became so comfortable with this that I took fifteen strokes off my handicap because I became so adept at the lob shot. I would often use it even if it weren't necessary, much to the chagrin of the bump and runners.

It seems that the market is similar. When I first started out I traded everything, from cocoa to wheat, from lumber to beans. I was not skilled enough to become profitable, let alone phenomenal, in all of these markets. About this time I emailed Vic and Laurel out of the blue and told them what I was doing. What was shocking to me was they answered my email within an hour. Among other things, they told me to pick a market that was liquid and focus on it.

I picked a market that experienced a large amount of volume each day and studied and traded it for weeks. Ever since then I can say that have taken at least fifteen "strokes" off of my trading game, the most unforgivable "sport" extant.


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