Many years have passed while I have been looking for a sport activity that I can partake in that won’t hinder my lumbar fusion as well as something I can be reasonably good at. I have been quite dedicated to the things I have done in the past, even when I was younger, I took the sport I did very seriously and I think because of that, it might have been the reason why it affected me so much when I wasn’t able to do any sport anymore.
I often wondered if golf would have been something worth doing but I just never had the motivation to really take the first step and go and hit a few balls at the range. Golf was an expensive sport, even more so today with all the expensive equipment and state of the art drivers and simulators, it often takes some investment if you are serious about it, which seems to be a bit unfair as only those who can afford it can participate in the sport.
During December 2019, something kept on making me think about golf, I started watching some videos about Tiger Woods as most wannabe golfers do, and I thought to myself, this looks like something that I might enjoy doing, besides, it looks so easy, if they can do it, so can I.
I have been pondering about it for that whole December and finally decided to make golf one of my new year’s resolutions. January the 1st, 2020, I bought my very own set of clubs. As most experienced golfers would tell you, you need to get fitted, I did exactly the opposite and I bought clubs that looked nice as supposed to something that would fit my swing, not that I had a swing at the time.
To give some context, I bought a left-handed box set. The assumption I had at the time was that because I was right-handed, but I played cricket left-handed, I needed left-handed golf clubs. I know what you are thinking, worst mistake ever, but at the time it made sense. Well, it happened nonetheless and so I went to the golf range for the first time ever and it was awful. For some reason everyone knew it was my first time, it wasn’t like I spoke to anyone, but they were all staring at me and my box golf set, I wasn’t sure if it was the outfit that attracted so much attention.
My wife borrowed right-handed clubs from her brother, she was entertaining the idea to play golf too so she went out with me to hit some balls. Since she hit her first ball, she was basically a natural, I was struggling excessively and got extremely frustrated with my left-handed clubs, so much so that I almost broke them after the first few sessions at the range and I couldn’t bear the thought that my wife could hit a golf ball much better than I could and she wasn’t even really trying.
The one day I took one of her right-handed clubs and practiced with it a bit, I struck the ball so nicely, it was the best shot I have had out of all my left-handed shots. As it turned out, it was a big mistake on my part buying left-handed clubs, I wasn’t a lefty after all. I traded in my lefty clubs the very next week and bought a right-handed set of Callaway Edge clubs. For beginner golfers, those who have had a beginner Callaway box set will know that they are not bad at all.
From that moment on, things started getting better. I wasn’t nearly ready to take on any golf course at that stage, but I saw a little bit of progress week after week, so I kept going and I put in the time. I got obsessed with watching YouTube video’s about swings while I was trying to figure out my own, trying to imitate other player’s swings, but it never felt like my swing, so I changed it regularly to try and find something more suited to me.
When you try so many different techniques as YouTube suggest, you find that hardly any of it really works for you which was the case for me. I tried so many things, I just couldn’t move past the barrier to the next level no matter what I tried. It often felt like only a hand full of people in the world held the secrets to golf and they are all on the PGA tour, them never really giving any obvious tips that might help you in one way or another, instead they just make things look so easy which often left me so aggravated because surely if they can do it, so can I.
It’s often easier to be a spectator that can cheer and criticize to their heart’s content rather than being the athlete that need to perform while everyone else is watching. It is very different when you transition from a spectator to doing the actual sport yourself, it is extremely hard and during this transition you develop an astonishing amount of respect for the players on tour because you now have a glimpse of what preparation they go through each day to make it look so easy, and sometimes they don’t event get it exactly right.
In that moment I came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t be able to be proficient in the sport doing it on my own and that I needed some serious help. I wanted to compete in golf, but I also didn’t want to look like a fool thinking that I am good when I am actually not, I decided to put the word out on social media to see if there are any PGA golf instructors close enough to where I stay for me to go and speak to, just to get an idea of what I needed to do to get a plan in place based on what my goals were and what coaching we can start on that would have the most impact at the time on my game…