The scramble turned out to be disappointing. When it came down to it, I couldn't hit the ball cleanly. There was an obvious difference between hitting off of mats like I had during practice and hitting off of grass. Most of my shots were fat but unlike on a mat where the club just bounces and hits the ball I was taking up clumps of sod and dirt before making contact with the ball. I had a lot of practice at fixing divots that day. With the exception of a few good shots I didn't do much to help my team.
I was frustrated but at the same time inspired by some of the great shots I saw my teammates hit. It's different when you see a regular guy hit a really good golf shot versus a pro on television. I realized it was unrealistic of me to think that in only five weeks I'd be playing well and decided that I'd need to continue to practice and take lessons if I was going to improve.
I went back and met with Bill (my instructor) and told him how badly I played during the scramble, he didn't seem surprised. I signed up for more lessons and range time, with the understanding that I wanted to learn how to be a good golfer and I was willing to work hard to get there. He said he got it and that he'd help me build a solid swing foundation. I don't know if it was just words on his part or he forgot what I wanted, but at my next lesson we kind of just picked up where we'd left off after my last lesson. I was just hitting balls off the mat, no real instruction or correction to my swing, just an occasional "add more salt" which was Bill's way of telling me to use a stronger grip on the club.
At the same time I was taking lessons I was also reading books on the golf swing and spending a lot of time here on The Sand Trap. I was reading about ball flight laws and proper swing techniques, etc. but when I'd try to discuss them with Bill he'd dismiss them as being too advanced or unimportant. I was also spending a lot of time at the range and while I felt I was making progress hitting off of mats I knew that grass was different from mats.
After my 8th lesson I told Bill I was kind of disappointed with my results, I still wasn't hitting my 7i 150 yards as he promised, I still felt awkward swinging the club and was hitting shots fat and thin. He seemed kind of dumbfounded and said he thought I had unrealistic expectations. He explained that it would take at least a full year of lessons and practice before I felt comfortable and would be able to play a round of golf on a course. I asked him if my swing was technically correct, he said that I had some bad habits he was trying to work with. I reminded him that when I signed up for new lessons I told him I wanted to learn to swing a golf club properly not just patch up my bad habits. We went back and forth but overall he didn't seem interested or capable of teaching someone how to swing a golf club properly he just wanted to patch them up.
I found out a few years later the swing Bill had me committing to muscle memory included almost zero hip or shoulder turn, it was almost 100% arms. He also had never told me that I swayed on both my backswing and downswing which explained why I was having difficulty making consistent ball contact. Overall I had wasted an entire golf season and $800 on lessons and practice of a flawed golf swing.