FORE!

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April 27, 2009 by 8junebugs

I knew I would love golf.

In 2006, I spent some birthday money on a decent set of beginner clubs. I went to the driving range a couple of times and did, I thought, pretty well. I didn’t hit very far, but I hit straight.

(I didn’t start with new clubs. I picked up a couple at Goodwill one day in 2005 — enough that the cashier gave me the AWESOME bag they were sitting in for free — just to have a starting point. I think I spent about $30 on that first set, which I believe was made by a company that, um, usually makes tennis stuff.)

In 2007 — I think — I asked for and recieved an hour lesson with a local pro. My ex-husband had tried to coach me, but there were two problems with that. First, he was as much of a beginner as I was. (He bought clubs to play with friends, which I think he did twice, but I don’t know if he ever really liked the game itself — if so, it seems like he’d have tried to get better at it.) Second, his swing was noticeably influenced by years of Little League.

KidBrother tried to help, too, when asked…the one time we went to the range at the Middlebury College course. As with other sports, though, he’s got a metric ton of natural talent and not a lot of formal training. It was a lot of fun, but not very instructive.

Anyway, it seemed wise to learn from an expert, rather than from someone who just wanted to be more expert than I was (Mike, not KidBrother). The pro taught me things in a way that made them stick, and, when I followed her advice, I hit well. That still holds true.

Last summer, I think I made it to a driving range once. Maybe twice. I was busy.

Yesterday, after hitting a small bucket of balls at the driving range, I finally played my first nine holes with Alicia and The Bride of 2008. I’d say Alicia and I are at different points in the same level. The Bride, on the other hand, grew up on a golf course. She’s on a level I can’t even see from here. She hit from the same tee we did, out of courtesy — my second-proudest moment was overshooting the seventh hole by about as much as she did. I had to try a lot harder to get there, though.

My proudest moment was the…eighth hole, I think, where my tee shot got me on the frog hair. (The Bride taught us that term. She said it’s technically the apron, but I like “frog hair” much better, don’t you?) It’s not a difficult course, for which I am very grateful, but it felt really good.

In a way, I think these were the hardest nine holes I’ll ever play, because they were the first.

If I have a goal with golf, it’s to be competent to play a full course comfortably, to get to a point where a good swing feels natural, and to have fun every time. Getting off a good shot comes with such a satisfying whooshTHWACK — it’s a little addictive. Besides, golf is just a long walk with friends, stopping along the way to play a little game at each hole. It’s a nice way to spend a couple of hours in good weather.

Plus? It involves (although doesn’t require) costuming and alcohol. Bonus!

We will be doing this again. Someday, we may even keep score.

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