One Hundred Six. Putting and Chipping.
July 14, 2011 § 1 Comment
On Day One-Oh-Six I had my second golf lesson. My driving range experience the day before had raised a couple of blisters on my non-gloved right hand, and my body was quite sore from hitting all of the balls from the large basket. I was secretly hoping for a thunderstorm to cancel my lesson, but the weather held until after my class.
I began with the 9 iron again and proudly proclaimed that I had practiced. Ned gave me more tips and I tried to remember them all. Handle of the club angled toward my left thigh. Shoulders slanted to align with the club. Head slightly behind the ball. Keep the left arm straight. Follow through and hold. The memory of hitting twenty something balls in a row the day before quickly vanished as I swung and missed the first ball. Maybe the second as well.
Once I had mastered the club enough to progress, we moved to a driver- the three wood. Although I missed a few times, I did manage to get in a few good hits (is it called hits in golf or just baseball?) and felt good about myself. Then it was onto the chipping and putting.
We headed to the little putting area at the side of the driving range. Actually, we drove there. Because according to the Groupon I purchased for the lessons, the second class involved riding in a golf cart. We only traveled a total of a couple hundred yards in the thing, but I suppose they added the rental into the value of the deal. The journey saved us about a minute total.
Once we got to the green Ned asked my to pull out the pitching wedge to practice chipping. He set the ball down in the small amount of rough at the side of the smooth grass and demonstrated how to chip. Ball aligned with your right foot and swing down, to send the ball up into the air. My first attempt sent the ball high into the air and well over the destination hole. It landed near a girl practicing her putting. The next couple did the same and I think Ned was getting a little annoyed at having to run after the fly away balls. I stifled a giggle which he did not find amusing. After a few more swings I managed to lead the ball where I wanted, so we moved on to putting.
My only experience with this stroke was on putt-putt golf courses as a child, but those were pretty fun so I mistakingly assumed that putting would be a breeze. Apparently people take lessons solely on sinking the ball in the hole from the smooth green, as Ned informed me. I swung way too hard on the first several balls and the instructor begrudgingly had to retrieve the little white sphere from near the teenager practicing. The next few came up short.
I never really mastered the putt, only being able to sink the ball from less than a foot away. But the lesson ended and I headed off, excited about playing golf with my father that weekend. Maybe outside of the lesson environment my skills would improve.