Many years ago, I used to play golf socially. A bit of a hit and giggle for me and joined The Women’s Golf Network which put on 9- and 18-hole rounds every week at the courses around Melbourne. I loved being part of the network mainly because of the social element plus weekends away which were always a lot of fun.
My girlfriend Caroline recently found out that the Woodlands Golf Course, a private member club wanted to build up its membership of females and created an Introductory Program for Women to take up the sport. She asked if I wanted to register and naturally, I agreed.
(For those living outside Australia, there are MANY golf courses in our country both public and private. You can play golf any time of the year and it’s a popular sport. You can join clubs associated with the courses – some affordable, some not so. Golf is not an exclusive sport here as it is in other countries where it may not be as popular or courses as prevalent as it’s open to anyone, male, female and all ages with many programs to get people into the sport).
Anyway, I’ve always wanted to build up skills in different areas and focus on those as I age. These primary skills will be ones I can get to intermediate or advanced levels. Maybe to the point of teaching it like knitting, or even finding part time or casual work with it. So they are:
A sport Skill: Golf (Secondary: Lawn Bowls – maybe)
A craft interest: Knitting (Secondary: Crochet & Pottery)
A music interest: Ukulele
A language: French (Secondary: German)
A Community Service: Returned Services League (RSL) (Secondary: Red Cross)
A meditation: QiGong
My secondary skills above are interests that have been at the back of my mind to do in future through courses, programs or general interest. For example, all things going well in Europe, the German language will be through an immersion program in country where I can stay for months on end in a city (hopefully Munich).
I will be a complete beginner with my secondary skills – except pottery as some years ago I was into ceramics in a BIG way). They will be my “add on/fun” that I can do without worrying about progress.
With all the above, I’ll have my retirement all planned out and integrated with lots of social activity – as well as keeping my mind and body active. I feel it’ll be important to at last have some of the above to do as the pressures will change from those being about work to those being about looking after ageing parents.
Anyway, I digress again.
Caroline and I signed up for the Introductory Women’s Golf Program at the club which includes membership for the period of the program (about 3 months) and this includes all the privileges that members get, 1 hour golf clinics for about 6 weeks to go through basics of swing, putting, pitching and chipping. It also includes 2 hour on course golf clinics. We all have a member number that over time, we can get a handicap once we start to play, also learning about how to use the various apps and club site plus golf etiquette.
Next week we are each assigned a mentor too. You see? It’s a serious golf program!!
The club is swanky and admittedly, I do enjoy having a cheeky drink afterwards (although today I had a cappuccino instead).
People and the golf pros here are all excellent, welcoming and friendly. As part of the program, we can use all the facilities so I’ve been going out there to hit balls on the range or out practising pitching and chipping.
I went out there and spent an hour hitting balls with my various clubs. We also had a lesson on using sand wedges and getting out of bunkers.
I was surprised at myself today. I was hitting them really well. There’s nothing nicer to hear the sound of a great shot. I cleared 200m with my 3-wood nice and straight a few times until I was asked, “you’ve played a lot haven’t you?”
“Umm no! I haven’t touched a club for close to 10 years,” I replied.
I’m someone who writes with her right hand but plays bat and ball sports with her left. It feels weird for me to hit a ball right handed. Left handed is far more natural to me. I was asked by a golf pro if I had tried playing right handed but no, it just doesn’t feel comfortable.
My pitching today was good too. (I was surprised at myself as it was just one of those ‘good golfing days’. I must have been on a roll getting the balls elevated from the rough and general vicinity of the pin. One of them even hit the pin!
(As someone who struggled with sports as a kid in a sport crazy country, there’s something nice to see that there’s a sport I can get into which doesn’t make me feel bad that I’m letting the team down as there is no team!!!)
However my bunker shots were difficult. Out of about 30 balls I hit, only 3 made it out of the bunker. 🤣 Oh well. I’ll go back this weekend and practice more.
Overall a great half day spent at the Woodlands Golf Club and looking forward to more of it.
Tomorrow? The Moorabbin Air Museum awaits.