Jump to content
  • entries
    8
  • comments
    62
  • views
    3,252

It's For a Good Cause

Sign in to follow this  
newtogolf

1,446 views

I had six weeks to learn how to play golf well enough to not embarrass myself in front of family and friends.  I know it's sounds stupid because it's golf but I think we all forget how uncomfortable and awkward those first few rounds on a golf course feel, especially if we're not prepared.

I did a search on the internet for golf forums and found The Sand Trap.  I stalked it for a few days and then decided to register.  At the time, the site was pretty heavy into Stack and Tilt but overall even as a newbie I could tell the core membership had a great wealth of knowledge about golf and it was much better moderated than many of the other sites I checked out.  Most of the advice I saw for new golfers was to take lessons, so I started a search for a local golf instructor.

My business partner and family were supportive of me taking lessons but urged me to get rid of the Knight clubs as none of them wanted to play a round of golf with me if they were in my bag.  My cousins dad was a lefty and he lent me a set of Callaway X-12's and Warbird 3 and 5 woods to use until I was sure I wanted to stick with golf this time.   My business partner gave me a Nike Sumo driver for my birthday so I was pretty well set equipment wise, I just needed to find someone to give me lessons.  I called up an instructor close to my house and set up a lesson.

The instructor, Bill was really laid back and I gave him some background on my golf experience and the date of the charity event I was going to play in.  He told me to hit some balls so he could gauge where to start the lessons.  After I warmed up and hit about five hacks he said we needed to start from scratch (the grip) and work on my swing from there.  Bill had made enough adjustments to my horrible swing that I could actually hit a ball somewhat decently.  He had walked away and I was just hitting balls into the range when it hit me that this was pretty fun.  The longer and higher I hit the ball, the longer and higher I wanted to hit the next one.  I was bitten by the golf bug and at that point I knew I wanted to become a good golfer.

Bill came back and suggested a five lesson package that would take me right up to the week of the charity event.  In addition to the lessons he wanted me to practice 2- 3 times per week.  The five lessons were going to cost me $400 for 5 hours of lessons and free range balls.  I signed up and went home to tell me wife as that was a pretty substantial amount of money to spend.  I wouldn't say she flipped out but she wasn't real happy either.

I think what bothered her most is that I had given up golf the entire time we lived on a golf course in Virginia and all my friends there were golfers and now that we were back in NY, I was taking up golf.  I told her it was because of the charity event and that it was for a good cause.  After some eye rolling and sarcastic banter I got the words of encouragement I was looking for, "Do what you want".  It wasn't a no, and I wanted to learn how to play, so that makes it a yes.

I spent the next five weeks working with Bill and spending time at the range.  I was hooked on golf bad, between lessons, practice, reading golf books, watching golf on television and spending time here on the Sand Trap I barely had time to sleep.  My golf swing was improving but it was still really inconsistent.  My last lesson was on chipping and putting and I might as well have not taken that one because you can't learn how to chip, pitch, read putts and putt in an hour.

I realize I put Bill in a tough spot having to teach me how to play golf in five weeks but overall I learned that most of what he taught me was how to patch up my horrible golf swing.  He didn't teach me how to make a good golf swing, he showed me how to take my swing and make it good enough to get through the golf outing.  I hit a lot of slices so to fix that he had me use a very strong grip.  He used the analogy of comparing a strong grip to salt, so he'd tell me whenever I sliced the ball, just add some more salt to my grip.  Looking back maybe my expectations weren't realistic but while I made some progress those five weeks I also engrained a lot of bad habits and a pretty horrible golf swing.

I had five hours of lessons, probably 30 hours of range time and tomorrow was the golf outing.  I had everything laid out and I was ready to go.

Sign in to follow this  


0 Comments


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



  • Want to join this community?

    We'd love to have you!

    Sign Up
  • Blog Entries

  • Posts

    • Very cool.    If you want to upload a video, submit it to Youtube first.  
    • I have to eat some humble pie, but I’m not afraid to out myself here.  I played SO badly this round. Didn’t even score one hole, after I reached 12 strokes.  I haven’t played this poorly in a long time, but I’m undeterred. I will move past this.  All the course management in the world couldn’t help the swing I had yesterday. I literally put an 8 iron mere feet from OB off the tee on one hole. An 8 IRON!!!!! Here are my excuses, in no particular order: Started on 18, because of being with a large work group, social outing, all teeing off together.  I hit too many balls on the range the day before playing, and developed blisters, due to.. Grip and swing changes that I tried to implement, but certainly didn’t have grooved by the day of my round. I had too many swing thoughts in my head on the course (see above). I was paired with two people who had never ever played before, even once, and required (and received) basic swing, etiquette and basic rules instruction from me. I had to leave by a certain time to return to work, and was therefore pressured to finish on time.  Pace of play was very slow for everyone. (5+ hour round). Was playing on a military course in Japan, which allows local guests. The polite thing to say is that the elderly Japanese golfers in several groups directly ahead of us were... ‘deliberate’. I talked so much trash on here about my course management plan, and failed to implement it on numerous occasions because... I hit bad shots with my ‘safe’ clubs, and thereby lost confidence in all clubs, and so I even hit driver a few times, (predictably) badly, late in the round.  And most of all: I wanted to do so well, so badly! I psyched myself up and out of this round before I started. The positives were: I had a string of four 5’s in a row, and was definitely playing well enough during that period. I putted decently. Didn’t make any putts outside of 6’, but only missed 1 or 2 inside of 6’. I hit one drive with my 5w 230 yards or so, and dead straight.  AFTER I hit my 8 Iron next to the woods to a severe side hill lie off the tee (see above), hit an approach well short (of course), duffed a SW 5’ (yuck)... AFTER all that.. I hit my next SW stiff to 2” from about 50 yards, and tapped in for a 5 on a hard, short par 4.  I got to play golf!  As neither a positive, or an outright negative, I confirmed that I’ve developed a consistent one way miss with my irons: a hook. Or as I call it an ‘overcooked draw’, LOL. (Starts straight, or slightly pulled, then curves left, and more left.) This ‘shot’ has almost always been in my bag, but today it’s almost all I seemed to hit! Now I have something specific to correct as I practice.  The quest continues. Next time I’ll make sure to put myself in position to play well, and to keep the pressure off myself.  I’ve not given up on my course management plan, and I already bought the LSW book. It hasn’t arrived yet. Hope to get it and read it before my next round. Would already have it read if it was available on Kindle, (hint, hint).  Good luck to all!         
    • I live in Upstate so no I'm not. The PGA at the Black is an absolutely different story all together.
    • You and I have similar issues. Think of it this way. Though @iacas and @mvmac will disagree with me. Whether you're swinging a putt or a driver, you're using a swinging hit.  I'm going to give you a small piece of wisdom, a scratch golfer gave me when I was about 13 or 14. Hold the club, like you would hold your wife or girlfriend's hand. I was gripping too tight, and Craig my instructor (whom I've known since I was a teenager). "Shane, hold the club, like you're holding Alina's hand while crossing the street." (Alina is my eldest daughter).  The golf club only weighs sixteen ounces, you don't need to strangle it to control it. Caress the club just gentle pressure, you don't even need the 3 to 4 most instructors tell you. Just enough pressure to have control but feel the weight of the head of the golf club.  Try that with your wedges and sand wedges. Make sure you can feel the weight of the head, use a swinging hit. Head steady, not still or rigid. A little movement is ok, even rotational movement toward the target after impact is acceptable. Swinging hit, not hitting swing. Hope this helps.
    • Well, his foot has to be there, it can't be lower back unless he consciously extends his right leg to the ground. It comes up with his rotation.
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. JDChip
      JDChip
      (56 years old)
    2. Nikhil
      Nikhil
      (45 years old)
×

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...