Not that I would bag on my ex (who would do that?!??) who often proclaimed me un-athletic. But I do believe this was his deep-seated belief that I might beat him at something that was typically reserved for just him and his buddies – GOLF. Ladies were not included and the day typically was one where he would leave the house early (and leave me at home with the kids) while he and the guys would go out having fun. Grrr. I wanted to have fun too.
Fast forward to just a few short years past divorce and I have been offered the opportunity to learn to play golf with the PGA’s Get Golf Ready program. I have discovered golf is amazingly fun and with great teaching (from Jamie at Highlands Ranch Golf Club) and I have realized I am pretty OK at the game. Golf can be a lot of fun for people of all ages AND genders!
One of the best parts of this program is that you do not have to buy equipment or sink a bunch of money into learning if you will like it. Just get out there and try it. We set up a time for us to start which was amazingly simple as there are several different Pros participating in the program – and golf courses across the country as well. There were several right in my back yard (OK, not LITERALLY in my back yard – but near me). I literally didn’t have to have a thing. I needed to show up ready to have some fun. That was it? Didn’t I need clubs and balls and such? No. They will lend participants clubs and the balls you need for the program are “range” balls (so they have those too – but when you play on your own you will need to buy those).
My friend Heather joined me. We could have up to four total. But several of my friends couldn’t come that day (as we started mid-week during school). We met Jamie at the Pro Shop and she was very kind and friendly. We peppered her with questions and learned that she played on the University of Colorado Golf Team (go Buffs!). We even talked about the golf apparel (she was cutely dressed – and I must say I had a preconceived notion that golf shorts kind of make me look…um…boyish?). I felt like I made an immediate friend. She just wanted to share with us her love for the game.
She had a plan to teach us golf – starting with the closest shots to the “hole” and then move out from there. The first day was to be spent putting. She told us how to “read the green.” She even gave us the tip of walking to the hole from where the ball is we can see it in a different way and see which ground might be higher or lower so we can compensate for that in where we aim the ball. In theory, we should only have to putt the ball twice to get it in the hole when we get it on the green (the shortest grass and the closest to the hole).
Jamie also explained to us a bit about the clubs in the bag. She specifically pointed out where the “sweet spot” is on each club.
Jamie did an amazing job of reminding us that golf is a game. We are meant to have fun! She talked to us like adults (didn’t talk down to us) but explained every detail like we had no clue (which I can say for myself – I didn’t).
Jamie was ready to go with wedges. Today we would get to drive the carts to the other side of the golf course (past Hole One) to get to the chipping green. This session seemed a bit more fun to me than the putting. We got to drive carts and felt more familiar with Jamie and the process. The ball got higher off the ground. While I am no Tiger Woods, I did get the ball up off the ground. In theory (one of Jamie’s favorite sayings about how to play golf), the wedge should only take one hit to get up on the green. There are several different wedges–some are marked “P” (for pitching), some “W” (for wedge) and some with numbers. The numbers indicate the angle the ball should take if hit on the sweet spot.
Although not part of the official session, we also talked about some interesting exercises to keep our core strong.
My son Dalton is finally out of school this time to join us. I believe that the lesson was more fun with more of us! I now understand why people do this to bond during business and why it is such a game for a group of friends. Golf is often played with four people together which they call “foursome.”
At session 3 we were able to go to the “driving range where we hit the ball further. Once again we talked a lot about the sweet spot (the second line) on the clubs. She also had us listen to the different sound that the club hitting the ball makes when it hits the sweet spot (sort of a “tink”) versus above or below that (which sounded harder with more of a “clunk”). I also learned that “divots” (taking out part of the grass) is not only an OK thing – it really is kind of necessary in order to hit the ball on the club’s sweet spot. Jamie reminded us that we should use our divot tool to help fix the divot.
Due to some scheduling issues, I somehow missed this session. However, in her ever patient way – Jamie explained what I missed. She explained that she reviewed more about the drop and swing action of the longer hits. They practiced at the range – watching the full swing, and choosing which club to choose in which area.
I am really sort of sad that I will not be meeting up with these great ladies regularly anymore. We rode the carts out to a couple different holes. Jamie explained where each of the tees (where you start hitting the ball) are located. She taught us how to read the score cards and even explained a few fun games that we could play making it a more fair game when we are beginners (like Heather and I are) playing against a pro (like Jamie).
We tee’d off and each got to hit. It was fun to put all the lessons into practice. Jamie reminded us that it is all about having fun and she used her typical “in theory” statement when she talked about how we “should” hit – because some days you may hit well and other days not as well. I won’t embarrass myself (or Heather) telling you how well we hit on that hole. Suffice it to say we agreed that we would figure out a time and come play this fun game together. A whole game. (Highlands Ranch Golf Course had a fun Saturday afternoon offer posted on the carts – will we see you there one Saturday)?
I have definitely waked away with a new hobby. I will plan a time next summer to send my daughter to learn as well. I’m excited to play this as a family! My son even played with his dad last Saturday and said he had a good time – with the stuff that he learned from the class (even though he only joined us for one lesson). Guess what I’ve asked for for my birthday this year? YEP! My own set of clubs! Thanks to Get Ready Golf for hosting.