I am the most uncoordinated person in the world.
At least, that’s the way it always felt in gym glass in middle school, when instead of spiking the volleyball, I punched myself in the face.
I’ve always wanted to play a sport – any sport – but assumed I’d end up laughed off the court/field if I so much as attempted to play something. But then I drove past Palmetto Bay Golf Course, our only local public golf course…
And I started wondering, could I play golf?
While I was tempted to just play mini golf in their mini golf park, I decided to actually play real golf. I mean, sure, I would probably miss the ball 99% of the time I swung at it…but if I took a private lesson, there’d be no one around to laugh at me, except for the instructor – but I’d be paying him, so he couldn’t really laugh at me, right?
So on Thursday, I headed down to Palmetto Golf Course, which is literally just a hop, skip and a
tumble jump away, for my first golf lesson.
And I totally rocked it.
Where do I begin? My instructor picked me up at the pro shop and I was whisked away in my golf cart to the “greens” – I actually knew what that meant before the lesson, thanks to my love of Adam Sandler and watching Happy Gilmore ten billion times.
Yes, everything I knew about golf, I learned from watching Happy Gilmore. Shhh, don’t tell my instructor!
When we arrived at the greens, my instructor, PGA Certified Professional Philip J Argianas, began explaining to me the difference between the clubs. What do I remember? There are irons, drivers and wedges. There might be more, but those are the ones that I remember – and I used two irons and a driver. I preferred the irons, the 4 iron especially, because it seemed to require me to move at a more natural angle.
Learning to hit the ball? It was difficult. Like Happy Gilmore, I often shouted (in my head, lest my instructor think I was insane), “Why don’t you want to go home, ball? It’s your home!!!!”
A deliberate, rhythmic movement does not come natural to me. My instructor had the patience of a saint, I will tell you that much. He had to show me over and over the correct way to hold my stance, to swing like a pendulum, and to not stop looking at the ball while I was swinging like a pendulum. I actually hit quite a few balls using the technique he taught me and started to enjoy myself instead of being frustrated and feeling like a total dork.
I took that success to mean that Philip Argianas is a dang good golf instructor, because I walked into the golf course thinking that I’d be lucky if I made contact with one single golf ball.
I actually hit a few balls at least 100 feet, which is completely and utterly awesome, considering how horrible I am at anything hand-eye-coordination related. It felt really good. Especially when he told me a few times that I did a great swing or had a nice hit.
I thrive on positive reinforcement.
I actually left thinking that I kind of loved it. I’m an outdoorsy person by nature, I love being outside period – being outside in the fresh air, in the sunshine, learning to play golf was the most fun I’d had all week! My instructor sent me home with two irons so that I could continue practicing my swing on my own. I scheduled another golf lesson with him for the week after next, so I will just return them to him then.
I wasn’t able to take photos during my lesson, so after I picked up my daughter from school, we headed to Target to buy some golf balls and tees. I want to show you all what I learned, since I wasn’t able to take photos during the lesson.
Photo shoot time!!
The first thing I have to do when preparing to hit the golf ball is to make sure I am holding my club the proper way.
This is called the interlocking grip, and it’s the basic way to grip your golf club. My instructor recommended I do this to maintain my grip on the club – no one wants a golf club flying through the air!
Next, my instructor taught me how to stand – yes, the way you stand has a lot to do with the way you hit your golf ball! He taught me to space out my distance from the ball, bend my knees slightly, and to take a bit of a bow. He explained that you want to be almost over the ball, not in front of it.
I learned the proper way to swing – to swing like a pendulum – so that when I brought my club around, it was moving in a perfect circle.
I totally hit that ball. But…it only moved about three feet.
I definitely need more golf lessons!
The Palmetto Bay Golf course was truly lovely, with Bermuda grass and grounds that are kept in immaculate condition. Philip Ariganas has been teaching golf lessons there for twelve years! He told me all about his lesson schedule and instead of just paying $85 for one private lesson next time, I will be signing up for a package of lessons at a reduced rate. I still haven’t decided what kind of financial commitment I want to make to taking golf lessons, but I am definitely going to pursue it further. You can see more about my golf lesson in this Google+ story I created.
So, watch out Tiger Woods.
This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. All opinions are my own! #CBias