I used to roll my eyes at the slightest mention of GOLF. When I was young, it was not considered a cool sport. As I grew up, it was an activity for the retired. At work, it was the game for the boys and where we were told important networking was done. If golf was a sport, I wondered why so many golfers had paunches. If they were swinging a club for the duration of 18 holes, why didn’t they look more fit? And golf clothes. Don’t get me started. It’s a terribly expensive sport, time consuming and last but not least, a hard sport to learn.
Unless you start putting at the age of three, everyone needs golf lessons to learn to synchronize the body from head to toe, right to left, in order to smack that golf ball into fairway heaven. Don’t move, feet parallel, knees bent, proper grip, eyes at all times on the ball, arm straight, pivot hips and ring the bell as you swing down and follow through. Stray away from one of these rules and the golf ball goes kaput.
So why did I pick up golf three years ago?
My husband plays golf, and, to complicate things, he LOVES golf. Sometimes he and his buddies play 18 holes plus nine – or how about two rounds of 18 holes when the competition gets them going? Anyone who has a partner who plays golf knows that means they are gone for the entire day.
When we first courted, I indulged him with some initial lessons and even invested in a set of golf clubs. Like I said, golf is not easy. It is a sport that’s learned and needs constant practice to master. It is a humiliating sport even for the pros; so for amateurs, it’s really bad on the golf course when we play badly. I was able to retreat from golf when my career took off and when my child was born. Who has time for golf when working or raising a family?
Then, two years ago, my son left for school abroad. Work was suddenly manageable and time surfaced. My husband was golfing… a lot. And we were seeing each other very little. We scheduled dinners, movies and trips; but I knew it would make him so happy if I picked up the “sport”. So I did.
I made the effort to take lessons, practice weekly, walk – not use the electric cart – 18 holes and subject myself to the first two years of frustrating, demoralizing scorecards. But we were spending quality time together, walking off the calories in beautiful green settings at golf courses throughout our travels. And by the third year, I had a decent game. In fact, I discovered the declic to make the swing happen, improve my putting and work on my short game. When it works, I tell you, all you want to do is tee up at the next hole to see if you can do it again.
I don’t have any tips on how to become a good golf player but I can share with you some advice on the reality of golf:
- Golf is learned; it is not a natural sport. You need lessons and you need to practice.
- Golf is a humbling experience. Everyone plays lousy when they are starting and even when you get better, you can play badly. That’s golf.
- When people tell you that you are doing something wrong, it’s true. You just think you had your eye on the ball, or that you pivoted or didn’t swing too fast. Everyone can see your mistakes accept yourself.
- To play golf properly, turn the phone off and stop thinking about work or what hasn’t been done.
- Only play golf if you can spare the time and the budget.
I chose to play golf so I could spend time with my partner doing something he loves. In return, I get my foot massage after 18 holes; and if I’m really wiped, he’ll cook dinner too, cause he’s had such a great day.
So golf is not your game? All this to say, find a sport or a project to do together. It will do wonders for your relationship; and who knows, you just might love the new interest!
To help get your game started, watch out for INSPIRELLE‘s list of public golf courses in and around Paris for lessons and practice ranges.