Someone on our staff here at Visit Spokane had the brilliant idea: let's have Tim take a golf lesson! At first, I thought I was being made fun of. Ridiculed. Set up for a big fall. And, while that may all be true, the fact is...after taking my lesson, I loved it!
It helps if your teacher is a great person like Mr. Bob Scott, Head Pro at Meadowwood Golf Course. I think Bob has the personality of a talk show host. He's charming, funny, deferential: and, best of all for a beginner like me, Bob demystifies golf. He made it much less intimidating than I'd built it up to be.
My tailor-made lesson was 90-minutes. The main reason I took the lesson -- the reason my colleagues had the idea in the first place -- was to show how, a) easy and approachable it is; or; b) hard it is. I golfed a few times when I was a kid but, other than that, I am definitely a non-golfer.
So we told Bob: we want to make a video showing the golf basics a beginner needs to know. After a little discussion, Bob broke it down into the Putt, the Chip, the Pitch and the Drive. For each section, Bob would simply point out the main...points...then he'd show how to do the moves. After that, it was my turn.
For me, the Drive was the toughest. I think there's a lot more going on with the body when you're driving. Don't bend your elbow but break your wrist. Turn your back to the target as you rare back. Keep your head still -- your spine straight, as Dr. Bob put it. Let the club naturally come around as you follow through. Whew. The Drive was -- I'll say it -- the Drive was hard.
The Pitch was a little easier, but because it's almost a "full swing" (like the Drive), it is also higher on the difficulty scale. The Chip and the Putt: they were easy. Relatively speaking. I think they're easier because you don't do anything with your hands or wrists: it's all in the pendulum-like swing of the shoulders. I didn't necessarily chip or putt well, but I did feel that those parts of the game are easiest.
In the end, I decided I'd compare learning to golf with cooking. If you just waltz into the kitchen and start cooking, you might end up with something inedible. Or, you might get lucky and it'll taste okay. But if you use a recipe, the odds are waaaay in your favor that it'll be good. Same thing with golfing: if you just try to get out there and do it yourself, chances are you're going to be frustrated. But if you take a lesson -- if you follow the recipe, as it were -- it makes things way easier and a lot more fun.