Jeannine, Barb,  Jess and I get a golf lesson.

Jeannine, Barb, Jess and I get a golf lesson.

Golf is a good walk spoiled. –Mark Twain

Apparently Mark Twain never had a golf lesson, because it has become clear to me that knowing how to golf makes all the difference.  This summer the PE staff took a lesson with Mike Vitale at Stanley Golf Course in New Britain.

As a Pilates instructor it should come as no surprise to me that learning how to do something makes it easier and more fun.  I had been to a range before and repeatedly pegged the ball into the ground, and much like Twain drew the conclusion that I didn’t really like golf.

It wasn’t the lesson I doubted as much as myself.  I presumed I was a little hopeless—a former field hockey player in a decade when they eliminated air balls now attempting to swing a long stick to put a ball in the air instead of send it rolling along the ground.

Next time I won't wear a skirt.  I guess I wanted a call-back to my kilted field hockey days!

Next time I won’t wear a skirt. I guess I wanted a call-back to my kilted field hockey days!

Mike started with how to hold the club, stance, and posture.  There were five points we were supposed to remember but I’d need a few more lessons in order to recall them all.  When he set us free to hit the balls on the driving range, I had some success with a golf club for the first time.  When you connect with that ball and watch it go into the sky and land on the green it’s a wonderful feeling.   Physically, it feels like you’ve won the lottery in your body.  Everything just comes together.  Lately, I’m personally fascinated by the body’s ability to spring and recoil.  When you wind up to hit the ball and then release there is this sensation of the whole body working together effortlessly.  I still need practice because I never hit the ball in the air three times in a row, but man when you connect there is a superb feeling of release.  Golf is a lengthy game, and I don’t think I’m ready to take it up as a regular past time, but I can see stopping by a driving range to whack some balls.  As an added bonus, the setting is beautiful—manicured lush, green lawns with towering evergreens.

I love the PE get-togethers because our team gets to see each other, which is rare and because it reminds me what all our new clients are dealing with when they first start a class.  They are trying to do so many things at the same time and the best way to make it all work is not to think so hard—a near impossibility for a beginner.  It’s a reminder of the process of learning a new movement.  There is so much to take in.  We are all going to mess it up sometimes.  I had a couple woofers.  We may look silly in the beginning.  It may appear we have no clue what we are doing.  But when you get it right, it is rewarding and feels so good.

If you’re looking for a good lesson, I thought Mike was a great instructor.  I’d recommend a class at Stanley.  And go with friends.  It’s always easier to try something new with a good support network.