There are times in life when you suddenly decide you need a change. I have times like that all the time. So, last week I decided that I needed to pick up a sport. This was in addition to plans to learn a new language, join Zumba classes, cover all the Theme Parks in the next few free weekends (do not see one in sight for another few but I'm sure there will be one), preparing for my Martial Arts grading, etc.
It must be easy enough to pick a sport, right? You like something, you find a play area and go for it. Yeah, right! Not in my life! After much thought, golf won the day. Next thing was to find out where I could get a few lessons. There is a little voice in my head that is screaming, "Do you know how expensive golf is? And lessons? Are you out of your mind? Did you win a lottery or something?". I tried hard to ignore it and almost succeeded. But you know how life is a bitch and all that? We had a day out at work and guess where we went? Victoria Golf Club. I decided it was Fate. I was meant to play golf. "Yeah sure, why not"
We headed to the driving range first. Suffice to say that at the end of an hour and half, I had managed to touch the 100 mark a couple of times, the 75 mark a few times and try as I might, I could not make the smiley at 150. It stood there, a large smiley face, eluding me like the times in school when everyone gets a smiley for their homework and you grow old waiting. Two buckets of balls later, it was time for Putt Putt Golf.
You might think (if you are a non-golfer like me, you would) that the driving range was a practice session for the real golf (er... Putt Putt Golf). I arrived at the location, brimming with confidence. I knew how to hold the driver and I could swing now. Well, better than the start of the day, right?
Surprise!!! These clubs looked nothing like the ones I had just practised with! Apparently, those were drivers, these are putters. Well, they were shorter than the earlier ones and hence might be easier to handle. That is what I thought, anyway. First things first. How do I hold this one? Fortunately for me, a friend was kind enough to show me the stance and the action.
I wonder if the Oz army has 'hot' as a criteria for selecting personnel. Or maybe just the ones with a certain name starting with T?
Hmmm. Where was I? Yes, Putt Putt Golf. ND and I started teeing off, took a couple of shots and decided we had no clue what we were up to. He wanted to go home. Poor baby, I know the feeling.
Instead, we went over to where some of the others were playing. PF asked me if I was done playing and I told him I did not know how to play the game. "You can have my game", GJ came running to me. Tell me again why I think he is a nice guy? AL looked up from his mobile phone, put it in his pocket and said, "Go for it, it's simple" and started following us. I gulped. I could not play for the life of me and here was my boss' boss and his boss watching me. A mental thanks to TS for showing me how to hold the driver. Another one to JM for explaining what I need to do.
My first shot and off into the hole. Yay! LM wanted to know the score. Score? What score? There was no shortage of surprises in this day, was there? We were playing for scores? How do you score? Someone explained it to me. Supposedly, I had played well. One shot. Good. Suddenly, my confidence was soaring.
It was not long before I realized that golf was not my cup of tea. Beginners' luck and things like that started making sense. It was fun, so I will not mention the skin that peeled off and had to be hidden under a band-aid, the calluses on my palms that were black beyond recognition and other little bruises. No pain, no gain. Right?
I am not sure I understand why someone would go through so much pain, spend an entire day (or half, maybe) doing this weekend after weekend. I cannot see myself doing that. I can see learning golf slyly being pushed behind some other sport on my list. I'm not ready to give up yet, so that little voice can stuff it!
I'm not sure what the other sport is but I'm sure it will be less dangerous than this one. In my defence, getting injured while playing makes golf a dangerous sport!
Ah, you heard that little voice too, did you? Annoying, right? I know!