One Hundred Five. Driving Range.
July 13, 2011 § 2 Comments
In anticipation of my second golf lesson the following day, I headed to the driving range as a new activity on Day One Hundred Five.
I was able to borrow a nine iron from the nice pros at the Georgia Trail. I bought a large bucket of balls (at the recommendation of Ned, my golf pro) and headed down to the driving range.
A large bucket of balls is a lot of balls. I teed up with the scrap of a discarded wooden remnant I found along the path and tried to remember everything I had learned in the past class. My grip seemed to be a learned activity by then, so it was mostly a matter of remembering to keep my arm(s) straight and left leg planted firmly on the ground as I swung back. And then the whole hip-pivot-facing-the-target thing at the follow through.
I missed the first ball. The club sailed right past it. I mean, I was really just practicing my swing. Yeah, that’s it. Regardless, I looked around embarrassed, but fortunately no one was looking at the sweaty girl with the bad swing. I reset my stance and tried again. Contact.
And from there on out it was hit or miss (pun intended). I did manage to make decent contact with twenty-three balls in a row right before a nice older gent came over to give me some tips about aiming. He described the technique of seeing your target and tracing an invisible line back to the ball. Along that angle you found a leaf, or distinguished blade of grass, and squared up parallel to that line. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that simply making with the golf ball was my main goal. That and following all of the specific motions coach Ned had set before me.
I used his line technique and managed to sail the ball in the general direction of a specific point. It was something.
By this time I had gotten through about two-thirds of the balls. I was sore from shoulder to hip and regretted purchasing the extra-large basket. Maybe small would have been more my speed, and I could have spaced out the strokes further apart. I had been whacking the little white globes mostly to get through the bucket of balls, and I knew taking more time to set up was paramount to improving my game. I looked around for anyone who would like my remaining complimentary driving range balls to practice with, but the sole soul around was a golf attire clad man at the far end of the range. I buckled down and set to making good contact with my remaining wards.
Once I had finished with the basket, I gathered my club and headed back to the pro shop to return the nine iron. Blisters bloomed on my right un-gloved hand. I had been gripping the club too tightly. I was half proud of my practice. While I had blatantly missed on several swings, I had made fantastic contact on others and watched the small sphere go sailing into the range. Remembering those hits made me understand both the frustration and exhilaration of this weird sport.