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Golf and the Enneagram
Robert Todd Carroll
It has recently been discovered that the enneagram is the layout of an ancient nine-hole golf course. In fact, I have met each of the nine types on the golf course. For example, type One is the Perfectionist. Anyone who plays golf knows what a pain playing with the Perfectionist can be. First of all, the One is never satisfied. Not only does he take a mulligan on perfectly good drives, he complains about something on almost every shot. "Fuck! I pulled it." "Shit! I pushed it." "Goddammit! Wrong club." "Christ! Too much fade." "Jesus fucking Christ! Not enough draw." The One is often very foulmouthed in an uncontrollable sort of way and always talks as if his body just didn't follow his mind's orders. This is the guy who slams his club into the ground as the ball is in flight right at the pin. He is also the one who keeps giving you unsolicited advice, such as "you should've aimed more to the left" or "you need to adjust your grip." The Perfectionist also takes forever to hit his ball. He throws up grass on the fairway about six times to check the wind. He adjusts his grip about five times before hitting. He keeps looking down the fairway to make sure his alignment is right. And when putting he walks all over the green, holds his putter up like a plumb bob, and generally takes forever before actually putting the ball. The One is no fun.
The Two is the Giver. This is the guy who says "nice shot" as soon as you swing at the ball. Even when you shank, slice, duck hook, chili dip...."nice shot." When you putt six feet past the hole, he says "great stroke; you were robbed." He's just looking for you to say "nice shot" every time he hits the ball. He gives all this approval because he seeks it in return. When the Two says "nice shot" as you put one in the water, you just want to punch him. The Two is a pooh.
The Three is the Performer. This is the guy who holds his finish for ten seconds so everybody can see what great form he has. He is forever giving the pumped fist in the air sign to let everyone know what a great shot he just made. He runs around the green when he chips one in. He pretends his putter is a sword and he fences an imaginary opponent after he sinks a putt. He drops to his knees and falls on the ground when he lips out a three-footer. Whereas the Giver is forever heaping praise, the Performer is forever demanding it. "Did you see that shot!" (His own, of course.) "Am I good, or what?" is the Three's favorite question. The Three's favorite words are me, me, and me..
The Four is the Romantic. This is the guy who's forever talking about the time he played the Old Course in St. Andrews. He's always telling stories about the time he was playing Ballybunion in gale force conditions coming in off the Atlantic and he had to hit to a 180-yard three par running parallel to the Ocean and the hole was across a canyon and the smart shot would have been to hit to the bottom of the canyon and chip up onto the green under such conditions but no, he had to aim out at the beach and whack a 2-iron and his ball carried at least 150 yards eastwards into another canyon and this happened three times until he was hitting 7 off the tee and he finally got smart and put it into the canyon in front of him and chipped on and one-putted for a nine, the best nine he ever had. The Four is a bore.
The Five is the Observer. This guy can be a pleasure to play with since he doesn't say a word the whole round. He just kind of grunts every once in a while but generally he maintains a totally detached attitude throughout the round. He seems to be intensely interested in your shots, as he seems to glare right through you from time to time, but he never says anything. It's kind of fun to watch a Giver and an Observer together. The Giver keeps telling the Observer what a great shot he just made and the Observer doesn't respond. He just quietly goes about his business of mishitting the golf ball. The Five is a good ride.
The Six is the Trooper. To this guy, the golf course is a battleground and every bunker, every tree, every blade of grass has been placed there specifically as an obstacle to him. Even the wind decides to blow only when it can oppose him. The Six is the guy who aims fifty feet right of the green because there is a bunker guarding the left approach. When he putts, he always seems to tap his ball over a spike mark that diverts his ball from the hole. If he mishits a ball, he looks up for the cause of his distraction. When he lips out, he stands over the hole, staring it down as if to say that he knows someone put a dip in front of the hole deliberately to stop his ball short. The Six gets no kicks.
The Seven is the Epicure. This is the guy who gets pleasure out of every golf shot, his when the shots are good and others' when the shots are bad. The Epicure is a pleasure to play with. He really enjoys the game and his enjoyment can be contagious if you are not playing too poorly. He sees every shot as an opportunity to try something out. If he hits behind a tree, it's a chance to try some shot with the face turned in a bit while aiming right of the tree, hoping for a draw around the tree towards the green just like the shot he read about in a book last week. This guy's always talking about books he's read or videos he's bought. He can't wait to hit into a sand trap to try out the new Greg Norman tip he saw on a television show. He loves to hit over water and takes great pleasure in pretending he sees dirt where there is water. The Seven also likes to drink beer while he plays, and is forever stopping the refreshment cart for a beer or a hotdog. I like a game with the Seven. If he's having a good round, he'll usually offer to buy you a beer during one of his many stops for refreshments. The Seven is from heaven.
The Eight is the Boss. This is the guy who's always telling everybody whose turn it is. "You're away," the Eight will say when no one asks for his opinion and everyone knows who is away. The Eight insists on honors when he has honors, otherwise it is "ready golf." The Eight knows the rules of golf and insists that everyone play as if they were in the Masters. If he doesn't know the rules of golf, he'll make them up as needed. The Boss is actually handy when one or two of the other players don't know the rules of golf. If the Boss sees you hit one out of bounds, he reminds you right away to hit another ball from the same spot. If you're in a hazard and look puzzled, he'll let you know that you can play it from there or even pick and clean it if winter rules are in force. I don't mind playing with an Eight. The Eight can be great.
Finally, there is the Mediator. Nothing seems to bother the Nine; at least he doesn't show his emotions when things are going bad. But he does tend to apologize frequently. "Sorry I'm not playing well today." The Nine loves to yell "Fore" whenever he hits a ball within 100 yards of any living being. And he loves to console the other player who has just bungled another shot. The Mediator is especially fond of complimenting you on your third shot out of a bunker. "That's the way to do it," he'll shout as you ask yourself why you couldn't have done that on the previous two tries. The Mediator is forever trying to make you feel better. "You've been just missing them all day." "A foot to the right or left here or there and you'd have had a hell of a good round!" Nines are fine.
Without the enneagram as a guide, where would golf be today? How could anyone not see that the enneagram, when understood properly, is a source of great understanding about people and relationships?
Since writing the above essay I have made an extensive study of paranormal phenomena and now must admit that I was wrong about the enneagram. There are more than nine golfer-types. For example, I did not mention the Psychic.
The Psychic can look down the fairway and see that there is a slight dogleg to the left, yet he always hits it straight at the green, directly into a grove of trees because of retrocognition. Unfortunately, the psychic "sees" the hole as it played twenty years earlier, before the trees were planted. When you ask the Psychic why he always hits his ball directly into the woods on a hole that has at least fifty yards of open space to the right of the trees, he just shakes his head and mutters something about a tingling feeling he gets whenever he stands on that particular tee. Furthermore, once he reaches this particular hole, his game goes downhill due to the decline effect, except for those times when his game goes uphill due to the incline effect.
The Psychic uses his remote viewing ability to visualize each shot. Sometimes the shot goes exactly as he sees it. Sometimes he doesn't think the shot went well until he reaches his ball and then reflects that he actually did see it taking that weird hop that landed him just next to the water hazard with a perfect opening to the green between two trees.
The Psychic seems to always know how his game is going to be on a given day. "This is going to be a good day," he'll say before starting a round, and often it is a good day. When he says he thinks he's going to have a bad round, he usually does, except for the times when his friends use super-psi to converge their good intentions for him. On those days, even though he feels sure his game will stink, he still has a good round thanks to his psychic friends network.
Sometimes the Psychic will write down his score for a hole before he plays the hole. He's usually wrong, but thanks to displacement he's usually right for either a hole or two behind or ahead.
The Psychic has one annoying habit that is unforgivable: he uses mulligans like they were get-out-of-trouble-free cards, and arbitrarily starts counting his strokes when he feels he's finally hit his groove. He also picks up his ball from the green anywhere up to 10 feet out and gives himself the putt. This optional starting and stopping in scorekeeping is probably the Psychic's worst trait.
Another annoying trait of the Psychic is his use of psychokinesis to improve his lie. His ball may come to rest up against a stump or a fence, or behind a tree, but a moment or two after the Psychic gets to his ball, it magically moves two or three feet, giving him a clear path to the fairway or the green.
Also annoying is the Psychic's use of retroactive precognitive psychokinesis (RPP). If you've ever seen a golfer point to his ball as it rests in the cup, you may have seen RPP in action. The ball has already gone in the hole, but it wouldn't have had the Psychic not known that he needed to point at it after the fact. RPP should be distinguished from simple PK, as when the Psychic yells at his ball while it's in flight to "bite," (i.e., hit the ground and stop, or don't roll too far after hitting the ground). It's amazing to see, but sometimes the ball actually listens to the Psychic and obeys his commands. Sometimes, of course, the ball goes left when he tells it to stop or go right, but the Psychic never claims to be 100% accurate.
The Psychic's worst trait, however, is to blame a poor shot on bad vibes from other players or somewhere else in the universe. The Skeptic, another type I didn't mention, is the Psychic's worst enemy. Negative vibes from the Skeptic wreak havoc on the Psychic's game.
Then, of course, there is curse-missing, but that's another story.