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Hooked on golfing
By ANDREW MACKE
Sunday, March 23, 2014 12:27 AM
I got someone hooked on golf, I think, and I am not too sure how I feel about it.
On one hand, golf is a great game and a great way to spend time with friends and to get away for a few hours.
On the other hand, it is an infuriating game that can take over all your thoughts, whether you are playing or not.
I guess I will just have to wait and see what I did to the poor guy.
My victim was fellow Index-Journal sports writer Jordan Anders. Like I was about a year ago, Jordan is not a golfer. He said he hit a few golf balls one time at least five years ago but had not even touched a club since. For some reason, though, he wanted to play some golf.
He said to me a few weeks ago it would be really fun to get out there and just hammer golf balls on the golf range. He thought it would be a really good way to get out some frustrations.
Logically, that does sound accurate. Everyone wants to hit something as hard as they can when they are upset or mad or frustrated, and a golf ball is a pretty good target. Realistically, though, that is not exactly the case. Sure, golf is fun and it can be relaxing. But, as I mentioned earlier, it is infuriating and can cause just as much frustration as you relieve.
But even though I passed that info along, Jordan still wanted to go to the Deer Creek driving range to try his hand at golf. So, Friday afternoon before we both dedicated our nights to the Index-Journal, we headed out to Deer Creek.
Not surprisingly, Jordan did not exactly turn any heads. Like any new golfer, he hit a few pretty good shots, drilling the ball straight ahead a good distance. But, he also hit a lot of bad shots, spraying balls left, right and nearly straight into the ground.
I did not really fare too much better. Like I've done nearly every time I've played in the calendar year of 2014, I hit a couple really good shots, a lot of mediocre shots and several dreadful shots.
I think my biggest problem right now is that I'm not playing consistently enough. I barely play once a week, and most of the time, I probably only play once every couple weeks due to weather and my poor time management.
Whenever I do get on the course or the range, my first several shots feel pretty foreign. The golf swing has yet to feel like a really natural movement to me, probably since I picked up the game so late. So as I mentioned, my first few swings merely get me used to swinging a club again. I do hit some good shots in that phase, but I'm so sporadic and inconsistent.
Eventually, I start to feel my body doing things wrong. I dip my back shoulder. I don't shift my weight to my front foot. I don't stay down on the ball, or cover the ball like Zach Calhoun tells me. Or I swing too much with my arms and don't turn my hips through my swing. I spend my next few shots tweaking and adjusting things.
Then, by the time I start to really feel like I know what I'm doing, I've been out there long enough that I'm starting to get tired.
Not only is my body getting worn out, but my brain is not quite focused, at least on the driving range. I am not wholly focused, so I end up doing all the things wrong I'm trying to correct.
Finally, I hit the last of my golf balls, usually being forced to end on a bad shot, which I hate. But, no matter what, I always feel pretty good. I feel like I have an idea of what I need to do, I just need to put in the time to fix it, which is a far better feeling than I had during my first few months of playing, which was, "What in the world am I doing?"
Anyway, back to Jordan. Just like with any golfer at any level, the good shots really motivated him to keep hitting balls. That feeling of hitting a good shot feels too good. The bad shots motivated him to keep swinging, hoping for that good-shot feeling again.
Geez, golf kind of sounds like a drug when you put it that way.
Anyway, at one point as we neared the bottom of our extra-large bucket, Jordan looked over at me and said something along the lines of, "We should do this more often now that it's getting warmer."
Later, he added, "I could definitely see how this would be pretty relaxing, being out here hitting balls by yourself."
See what I'm talking about? I think I got him hooked.
Macke is the a sports writer at the Index-Journal. Contact him at 864-223-1814; email email@example.com. You can follow him on Twitter @IJANDREWMACKE. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.
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