Yesterday I finished my third lesson in a series of five of the Get Golf Ready program at Bear Dance Golf Club. A little bit of background of my golf game: I’ve picked up golf clubs now four times in my life. My goal? To each day want to come back and play again. So far so good!

Flickr cc by DieselDemon

Flickr cc by DieselDemon

My first lesson at Bear Dance was last Friday on a blustery day. Seven players came out to learn a bit about chipping. I was the only student who had never played before. I even had to ask the stupid question: “When do we do this chipping thingy?” As it turns out, chipping was a great way to start learning about the club, how it swings, how to contact with the ball and my follow through stroke. Since I was only aiming ten feet in front of me, I learned that it doesn’t take strength or force to move the ball. Quite the opposite. For me, it took relaxation. This is a hard state of mind for me. Come on, my name is Hurricane for heaven’s sake! I do everything fast and furious. Surely this is a sport I need to whack the hell out of the ball?!?

“No, no.” my instructor Cody explains. “You’ll never see a professional use strength or force against the ball.” He suggested to focus on relaxing my grip. Oh, and also don’t force the down swing, follow through naturally, don’t hold my breath etc. etc. I think I can simplify this: “Don’t think too much.”

Yeah. That works much better. 

My lesson Tuesday, I passed with flying colors. That is, if it was a test. Question: If it is pissing down rain and lightning is your only method of seeing the ball when said lightning flashes, you should definitely take the swing. Hmm, I offer option B: I’ll pass on that experience and refill my vodka tonic at the club house bar.

Yesterday’s lesson built on the foundation of our ‘chipping’ technique and we moved on to the actual course. You can imagine my excitement. I’m actually allowed to play with the big kids! Seriously though, it felt like a big step leaving toddler room, or what they call the putting green, chipping green and driving range. This is what it’s all about, getting out for a game!

So my theories consist thus far of: Relaxation, Turn My Brain Off.

Man, if I can accomplish this and learn to play well, I hope I can translate the technique to the rest of my life!