Hearing the sound a golf ball and golf club make when they connect is exhilarating. Seeing the ball race through the sky and now, your that much closer to the hole. The instant gratification drives you to do even better the next time. I can’t wait to hit it again and see how much farther I can go.
Until now, mini putt and video games have been the closest thing to golf that I’ve ever tried. One would think living in Ontario I would have taken advantage of all the courses at my disposal. I think the fact I can’t swing a baseball bat to save my life has played a vital role in keeping me away from any sport where hitting the ball with a stick is involved. Now I know, all I had to do is be more patient.
Our cart pulled up to the first of nine holes at the Stuart Lake Golf Course. I’ll admit I had no idea where to start. Bev Playfair, who has been golfing over 15 years, agreed to take me out and give me the rundown. She handed me a ball and told me to remember exactly what it looks like. Easy enough. She then handed me a tee, and told me to pick my club. Wow, there are so many. Drivers and irons and putters, oh my. Bev calmly explained each club’s purpose and it made sense. The big one or wood is to hit far, the solid metal ones or irons are also to hit long but with more accuracy, the wedge is for short distance, and the chipper is to chip and the putter is to putt. Ok I think I got it. I chose my wood and then stood back to watch Bev take her shot. Wham. The ball launched more-than-half way to the flag. It looked easy enough so I eagerly tried only to swing-and-miss, swing-and-miss and swing-and-miss.
“Keep your arms straight, and bend your knees slightly. Move forward just a tad and when you swing feel the follow through,” said Bev.
I stepped back to take a practise shot and ‘swish’, the club swept perfectly through the grass.
“Good now do it again but hit the ball,” said Bev.
I stepped forward, now with my knees bent, arms straight. I raised the club, swing, follow through, and I hit it!
“That was great distance, even if it is off the green a bit. Most people don’t get it that far on their first try,” said Bev.
Now I know why I had to remember what the ball looked like.
Bev and I continued through the course and I did surprisingly well. About three-to-one to Bev. For those who know the course, I proved to be a quick learner on hole three where I hit on the first try missing all the brush and obstacles. Felt good to know many folks don’t always make that one as clean a shot. By hole four I realized the need for golf gloves and by hole nine I was ready to pack it in. And although we didn’t keep tab that day, I definitely won. Not by score but by trying something new that I had always been afraid to. Now that I know what I am capable of, perhaps I will be golfing more often.
Thanks to Bev Playfair who was a patient and humbling teacher, and to Dave Burgess for pushing me to try.