After five golf lessons spread over a couple of months, the day finally arrived for my last session. My son, Sam, wasn’t able to participate due to another tennis tournament, so when I pulled up to the clubhouse, it was just me and the oversized polo shirt I’d once again borrowed from my husband. You’d think by now I’d have just gone to the pro shop and bought a cute collared shirt, but no. I was destined to look like a bowler every time I set foot on the golf course.
I admit to feeling a little melancholy as I walked over to meet my golf pro, Marci, because while the lessons had taught me a lot about golf, they’d also taught me about myself, too. I’d miss the experience. I know, I know. I sound like I’m getting ready to write an awful memoir titled, Eat, Pray, Fore! but it’s true. A surprising amount of life lessons, like being in the moment, quieting your mind, focusing on what’s in front of you, had come with my golf lessons. I’m sure this isn’t a newsflash to those who already play the game, but I certainly didn’t expect it to happen. I mean, I’d never come to any self-realizations during Spin class—besides figuring out that I hate pedaling to Rihanna.
Our plan for the final lesson was for Marci to walk me through what a day playing a round of golf would be like. We started off by checking into the clubhouse at our appointed tee time, a process that was easier and more casual than I expected; I was pleased to see that they were friendly and happy to answer any questions I had. It can be intimidating when everyone else knows what they are doing, especially when there are loud men strutting around.
Marci went over how tee times work and how they’re staggered to minimize players rushing other players. She also talked about the etiquette when someone does want to play through, and how to handle that situation. That was good to know because I expect some holes will take me a lot longer when I’m just starting out since I’m guessing I’ll be spending a lot of time searching for my ball.
Next, we hopped in a cart with our clubs loaded in the back and headed off to the course. We teed off from the first hole, and I was surprised that it was a very different feeling from the driving range. The swing felt good, but guess where my ball went? If you said “completely in the wrong direction,” congratulations, you’ve been paying attention! While I hunted around, Marci went over what to do when your ball goes where it shouldn’t, how to score and how to read the lay of a hole . . . all very useful.
I then suggested we spend the rest of the lesson just driving the course in the golf cart and chatting about next steps in my new golf playing life.
Marci recommended that I look into group lessons or clinics, both of which the LPGA offers, and that I find a friend to go with me to make it more fun.
“That’s a great idea,” I responded.
The lesson finally came to an end when Marci pulled up to the clubhouse after we drove through the front nine. I thanked her for putting up with both Sam and me as we’d dipped our toes into the world of golf, and she kindly offered to answer any questions going forward.
As for continuing to play, I think I will. It was fun, and once I get better, will become even more so. Plus, golf is a game that you can take at your own pace and enjoy it as it goes along. Much like life.
I’m going to write Eat, Pray, Fore!, aren’t I?