Friday, June 8, 2012

Left arm locked

Yesterday Torsten and I went golfing for the first time in our lives. I mean, it's not like we played 18 holes. But Torsten had a couple of colleagues ask if he wanted to go for a round of golf with them, and he had to decline because he had no idea how to play, and when he was telling me this I told him that I'd always wanted to learn (though I stupidly did not take the beginning golf class my college offered), so we decided to do it. We both like sports and are reasonably athletic, and it might be a good thing work-wise down the line too.

Our next-door neighbor is an avid golfer, so yesterday he took us to the driving range. I don't know how it works in other cities, but Denver has a bunch of public golf courses that don't charge a membership fee or anything, so since our neighbor has a few spare sets of clubs that we were able to borrow, all we had to pay was a couple dollars for a basket of golf balls. The driving range is set out over a pond with distance markers in it, and you hit the balls into the pond, where they float and are later collected.

Turns out golf is hard! Not that I was expecting anything less, but there are just so many different things to think about when you're swinging a club. Overlap grip, knees bent, arms and wrists out and locked in a V formation, head down, eye on the ball, backswing speed, keeping your left arm locked while you swing, holding your lower body still rather than swiveling, following through, turning slightly on your feet but not too much... and a lot more that I've already forgotten. Oh right, the hardest part of all... actually hitting the club against the ball rather than swinging over it entirely (me) or ramming the club into the grass before you get to the ball (Torsten).

However, it was surprisingly fun. We hit way more bad shots than good, but we each got a few good shots in and the feeling is awesome. And by the end of the two hours we were both feeling a lot more confident and hitting a higher ratio of decent shots. We will definitely go back... and once we've gotten OK at driving, we will need to work on chipping, putting, and probably a million other things I have no idea about. There are an awful lot of clubs in a set, after all, and I only know what three of them are used for.

Also, today I'm sore. My arms hurt from stretching and swinging them so many times. And I have blisters on my hands. Torsten has blisters on his hands too, but they're in all different places. That probably means that we're both holding the club totally wrong, but in entirely different ways. Oh well.


  1. I actually did take a class in college and all I got out of it was a boyfriend! (I wound up dating the graduate student instructor - one of the prouder moments my parents had of me - hahaha.) Any sport that takes most people a lifetime trying to get better is HARD, for sure!

  2. Kevin, who is super into golf, has been trying to get me to take lessons forever! I think golf is fun, but I'm not sure I'm ready for that commitment.

    There are some good par 3 (short) courses around Denver -- we always played the ones at Harvard Gulch and one on like 72nd and Wadsworth, I think it's called Indian Tree? They're easy and great for beginners, and you don't need a cart or anything. Check 'em out!

  3. Fun! I've only golfed maybe 6 times in my life, and I'd be fine if all I had to do was drive and putt. It's the in-between stuff I'm horrible at.

    I did find that slowling my swing down (rather than trying to hit the crap out of the ball) means less whiffing and more actual contact.

  4. there's this awesome place by us called "top golf" where they basically make a driving range into a multi-player scored game (sort of like bowling, actually) which is THE ONLY way i find golf at all tolerable :)

  5. I took the introduction to golf class in college and it didn’t help much. The instructor was good, and informative, but there were 20 people and one instructor. He did go around helping each person, but I don’t have a natural talent for golf and probably need a lot of one-on-one instruction before I could actually play. All the instructions made sense and I would think I was following them…but I really, really suck at golf.

  6. How fun! I have several friends who golf and all seem to love it; it's always been kind of intimidating to me. My husband is really looking forward to getting back into it now that his shoulder is healed from surgery. Maybe I'll have him take me out!