Jack TenneyExtra Point

by Jack Tenney, Publisher

June 2012

Although I have been at this publishing thing forever (actually only 28 years, and now starting the 29th year), I still find brief experiences more instructive to write about than long ones. Instructive? Yes, in the sense of learning something. My extra point is that it’s easier to learn from a wicked mistake or spontaneous epiphany than a long repetition of actions, even those yielding successful or satisfying results.

Consider golf. When I took up the game in earnest I sliced like a skinny butcher. My absolute worst club was a 3 iron so, of course, I rarely used it and never practiced with it, because I knew for a certainty that it stunk worse than me.

Then, one day I was stuck under a bush on Kwiniaska’s 13th hole, the one on the right at the end of the dogleg they used as the 150-yard marker. If I scored par on that hole — which I rarely did — it was because after slicing two 3 woods (what beginner dared pull out a driver on a tee shot that would certainly end up way right in the puckerbrush?) my third slice (power fade?), with maybe a 5 iron, would leave me a two-putt or an up-and-down for a par 5.

What happened that particular day was two 3 woods and then what? The ball was almost touching the stem, shielded from the top by the belly and crown of the shrub. What the heck? I pulled out the 3 iron and swung easy, hoping to punch it back to the fairway. I feared that any more-lofted club would just pop the ball up and leave me with a repeated bad lie.

Shazam! The ball flew the green, on the fly, over, more than 165 yards. No slice. Swing easy and hit the ball with the middle of a squared-up club face and it goes straighter and farther. Who knew?

Before that shot, I sliced nearly every ball with a club with a loft less than you’d find on a 7 iron. Since then, I’ve managed to develop other ways to be a lousy golfer without slicing.

On the chance that you find my golf example “extra pointless,” consider this tip given my son on how to get the most out of a Tony Robbins seminar: “Sit between two pretty girls. There’s a lot of hugging at those things.”

Want another example? Fine. Put a splash of vodka in your pie dough. The alcohol burns off, no aftertaste, and you get a very flaky crust. 

You want more? Catch me next month.