One of the items on my ‘Summer Want To List‘ is to perfect my golf swing. Let me tell you how I imagined that playing out.
First, keep in mind, just over a year has passed since I first put hand to golf club and attempted to make a ball lift off the ground, go straight, and reach somewhere in the vicinity of where I aimed. We started last year with rounds of chip and putt* mixed in with a few visits to the driving range.
*For the non-golfers out there, chip and putt (also known as pitch and putt) is a game similar to golf, but on an amateur level. The maximum distance to the hole is 80 yards, therefore no drivers** are necessary, and it takes about a quarter of the time to play. It is also used by golfers to practice techniques for their short game.
**Again, for the non-golfers, a driver is the golf club typically used first in each hole due to the distance it is able to reach.
Last year, Lance wanted to take me on my first round of real golf by September. But September and October were filled with birthday celebrations and travels which caused golfing to fall by the wayside.
Naturally, as the weather grew warmer, we got back into golfing. We started as we had the previous year, then Lance decided to sign us both up for Introduction to Golf classes.*
*Not that he needed them; he was there for the moral support. That, and he knew I wouldn’t go without him.
Though our teacher encouraged us at the end to go ahead and try a round of golf, with experienced golfers not other amateurs, I still wanted more practice.*
*Translation: I was never going to be ready.
In my mind, we would go to the driving range, spend some time at the practice chipping area, and then play a few rounds of chip and putt before planning a day to do a real round of golf that I would eventually worm my way out of, somehow.
After having a particularly bad day at the driving range*, in a jolt of frustration, Lance said, “That’s it. I can’t take it anymore. I need to be able to practice my swing out there. I can’t do the driving range anymore.”
*Not because of me!
I knew then my plan was ruined and I would soon be experiencing my first round of real golf.
I am a person easily terrified of new situations. The thought of playing real golf with the big kids made me start to question why I decided to start this sport at all.
Friends, in case you needed a reminder, I am not an athletic person. In school, I ran from the ball during forced games in gym class. The way I throw a ball has ruined the reputation of girls all around who actually can play sports. And an eight minute mile? Try more like eighteen.
By the ninth hole of my first round of golf, I remembered why I decided to reach out of my comfort zone and try something one hundred percent foreign to me.
I did not expect to enjoy myself as much as I did and I certainly did not expect my husband to enjoy playing with me as much as he did.
After a successful first hole, I let go of most of my inhibition and began to soak in the entire experience from learning to put my practice into action to relaxing in the calmness of the course. I thought by somewhere in the second half of the course I might want to call it quits, but all in all, I was holding my own surprisingly well, and loving it.
Something I’ve learned in this year of learning to golf is that until you physically immerse yourself into an experience, you can never truly know what it is all about. While yes, it’s a game and one people want to do well in, it’s also a bonding time with people and nature. Cell phones are tucked away, and the focus is on what lies directly before you.
I know there is still much to learn, and many aggravated experiences to face, but thus far I’d say this Summer Want To is going quite well.
We’ll see if my sentiments remain the same after my second real time golfing experience.