Saturday, October 10, 2009

Driving Range

If you've never been to the driving range before, prepare yourself. If you go regularly, you'll have to think back to when you very first started golfing. I haven't been to the driving range in several months before this adventure. I don't even remember when it was so it was definitely a while ago. Well, after going to the driving range and swinging some clubs for an hour or so, you will get tired. I mean, you use muscles that you aren't really use to using so a day or two afterward you can feel it. It's not necessarily painful but you might feel a slight ache that you don't recognize. Well, after not going for a few months, I was concerned about this phenomenon. I was expecting it. I wasn't disappointed. Ouch!

I am left-handed in most everything except sports. I started learning to golf a couple years ago as a left-hander but found every book I read and every instructor that I met were use to talking to and for the right-handed player so everything for me was backward. And, clubs and gloves are hard to find for the left-hand dominant player. So, I decided to switch and learn to play as a normal righty. It made things much easier. It's not the first thing I have learned to do to fit into the right-hand society and probably not the last. Don't ever accuse me of being inflexible. :)

Okay, so here's how I typically do it. Yes, I have a method to my driving range practice sessions. Deal with it! I grab a bucket of balls. I find a stall away from those people that think they just have the awesomest clubs and swings ever that just must be in the first couple stalls where everyone can see just how awesome they are in all their awesomeness. I hate those people. Get some self esteem...Losers! Anyway...I find a stall somewhere away from those grunting idiots. I set up just like all normal people. The first club I pull is my 8 iron. It's my happy club. When I'm feeling inadequate or stressed out, I know I can hit some good shots with my 8. It's good for me to start off with. I swing a few times. Actually, I like to hit 3 perfect shots in a row with my happy club before I decide to move up. To me, moving up in my clubs means less loft. So, once I get a few good hits on my 8i, I move to my 6 or 7 iron. They're still easy swingers but give me a bit more distance so I can get a good feel for distance and consistency. When I hit 3 perfect shots with one or the other or both sometimes, I move up to my hybrids and woods.

I still have a Prince starter set that I bought a few years ago when I was taking my very first lessons ever. Last year I said I would buy some good clubs this year if I play as much as I did last year. That didn't happen so I still have my starters. Well, my starters came with the normal wedge, 9,8,7,6 irons, putter of course, and my woods which consist of 1,3,5,7,9. Yes, I have a few hybrids. So anyway, after hitting my irons, I'll grab my 7 wood and swing it a couple times. I don't put much stock on it though because it is my nemesis. I hate my 7 wood. Or maybe it hates me. I just don't know. Our relationship has been blurred over the past couple years. As a matter of fact, last year, a golf pro friend of mine gave me a new Callaway 7 wood for a birthday present because he knew just how much my relationship with my Prince 7 was strained. It's a lovely Callaway. Sweet. When I can make it sing, it's beautiful. The problem with my new 7wood though is that it's for normal sized women. I'm 5' tall though so I need short girl clubs and my beautiful Callaway 7w is just too damn long for me. When I choke up, it's lovely but I feel like I'm abusing it when I do that. Well, now I have two 7woods that aren't so good for me. As if one wasn't enough. So, I typically end up feeling not so happy after hitting one or both of my 7woods. But, I do my best to get 3 good swings in. Then I'll pull my 5w. Now my 5w is a trusty companion. It's like a booty-call, friend with benefits. You don't really have a deep relationship but when you need it, it comes for you. When I'm not sure about my distance and accuracy, somewhere 120+ yards out from the green, I can pull my 5w and it usually delivers a warm fuzzy feeling in my toes. I love my 5w. A few practice balls with my 5w is a good recovery from the disaster of my now multiple 7woods. Then, I pull my 3w and eventually hit a few with the big dog. I don't really like to practice my drives though. I usually choke on them at the driving range which makes me feel inadequate when I get to the tee box for real. I find that if I just tee up and go for it, I'm good to go without practicing the failure at the driving range. Works for me. Then I'll pull out my wedge and practice accuracy for pitching and chipping. I always feel like I'm wasting my balls and money at the driving range for chipping practice though so I tend to limit my practice there with that club.

This particular trip to the driving range was especially good though. My friend who has never been golfing before decided to join me with her boyfriend and my husband. We all decided to give her our individual tips for proper grip and stance and many tidbits of advice for perfecting her underdeveloped golf practice. You never know how someone is going to take 3 different conflicting suggestions from 3 different people but I was pleasantly surprised. She handled herself very well. :) The boyfriend was probably the most interesting of the 3 of us though. I have decided to refer to him as the golf whisperer now. His voice so soothing in her ear, his touch so light and loving upon her grip, his direction so sensitive. He may be more likely to put a new golfer to sleep than to teach them to golf but hey...whatever works right. Whatever we told her though...WORKED. She started smacking the shit out of some balls, making us all look bad of course. I love it when that happens. She was doing very well which was exciting because it built her confidence enough to agree to go to an actual golf course with me. Stay tuned for that story. :)

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