As I write this in the late afternoon of Sunday, the fourth of May, I am confident to say I am now a golfer.
I wasn't comfortable calling myself a golfer last Saturday, after purchasing golf clubs. Definitely not in the week leading up to that purchase, as I decided to use my Government funded Stimulus Package for the clubs and recruited two friends to help me select a modestly priced set of sticks.
In the week following the club purchase - I searched the websites of nearly every park district in the surrounding areas looking for group lessons. Many phone calls and a credit card number later - I was finally enrolled in a golf class. Sadly others cancelled their class involvement - leaving me with money in the hole and no existing class.
Thankfully, in a great bargain, I was able to parlay that debt into "private lessons." My first lesson was yesterday, and I aptly whiffed on my first taught swing. But I think the instructor knows what he's doing - and more importantly knows what I'm doing wrong. I felt significant improvement and had saw that great shot finally fly off my club. The kind of ball flight that makes you want to come back. The next swing saw a horrible shot, the one that makes you want to hit it again.
Now I'm really feeling like I'm getting there. Time to get my "trademark" item. Last night I found my "golf hat" online.
But today I finally feel like a golfer. It was shortly after I registered at Des Plaines Golf Center, and gotten a range card. I had hit less than ten golf balls when a realized a man carrying a huge bag of golf clubs had stopped in his path to watch me.
It was getting creepy, I had to acknowledge his presence. He offered his name and a handshake. Don't ask me why I offered mine and shook his hand.
"You a baseball player?"
I wonder if he felt it was okay to approach me because he was wearing a St. Louis Cardinals ball cap, and I was wearing my classic royal blue Kansas City Royals ball cap. Did he find common ground in an apparent out of town MLB fandom?
I said, "yeah." Which wasn't really true (unless you count Little League 18 years ago or my company softball team), but I wanted him to get to his point.
He continued, "Well, I'm just a hacker - but you've got a baseball swing. Fast back swing and all arms. It's really in the hips and wrists - not like in baseball... You want to really see how to do it... (he pauses) look at these Koreans, they're machines."
I politely said "Thank you" while stepping away from him, returning to my task at hand.
He left saying, "Hey, thank you. People don't usually listen to me!"
The really sad thing is that I actually started concentrating on my wrists. And I hit another one of those shots that's going to make me get back out there again. I can't wait until my next golf lesson. I'm going to share that story and get a good chuckle out of my instructor. Then ask HIM about my wrists.