Sand Tables have been indispensable tools of military professionals for centuries. I spent over a decade in Naval Aviation flying carrier aircraft followed by almost another on the ground in SOCOM. As aviators in flight school we were forced to construct low level ingress bombing charts, basically from scratch. Today, after countless advances in technology a platoon leader will still pick up a stick and draw a line in the sand while above them aviators reach down into the bottom pocket of their flight suit for a ringed chart to read annotations made with a ballpoint pen.
Years ago after a deployment, I rented a little studio overlooking the La Jolla cove. I grew up surfing and golfing but rarely engaged in either with a frequency. I picked up golf once more at a quaint little muni overlooking Blacks Beach. In the mornings I walked down the trails to surf the glass, then later in the day walk back up and play 18. I started drawing my own sketches of the course, and while not trained with or having any artistic talent, long hours of making charts in flight school gave me the ability to take simple geographic points and put them to paper. After a while of going to my own tattered book for numbers, people noticed and asked where I purchased them.
There is no substitute for knowledge. In a jet a light tells you what is wrong but it is the aviator’s job to know why that system is wrong and how to work around it. On the ground you know your enemy but your situational awareness is what gives you their location. It isn’t enough to know your light, your target and in golf to know your number. You need a bigger picture, you need carry, you need that mound that runs through the green and what’s behind it if you catch it a little thin.
And while getting that information why not engage the tool itself? Why not be pleased by the touch of the leather and simplicity of a pencil on paper? Even after 460cc, dry fit, this slot or that slide on the back of the club, Doppler radar and soft spikes…in the end it is you and a bit of grass, maybe some sand and water. Remove yourself from more complications and see the bigger picture.
Hit ‘em Straight,