A little nervous about starting, no clubs that I own, and zero idea about even how to hold the grip is how I entered my first golf lesson. I realized that many people that we teach are in the same boat. Everyone has to start somewhere.
I took my first lesson from Kathleen Strandberg, one of our teaching professionals. Kathleen recently graduated from NC State and had a decorated playing career. She has been a student of Precision for most her junior golf years and recently came to be an instructor. I’m really excited to have her here. The two of us have to balance out the testosterone in the company.
I felt comfortable taking my first lesson from her. The only female among our golf instructors, I knew however bad I was that first day and whatever things I broke, she would smile and show me how to do it correctly. And that’s exactly what happened. I swung and missed, I hit a ball in the one spot that broke a display, and I left with blisters. Professional athlete turned into uncoordinated crazy swinging lady…gotta love golf. I was also correct about Kathleen. She smiled, continuously helped me, and never let the embarrassment affect my next shot.
We started with a pitching wedge. Of course, saying that really doesn’t mean anything to me. I think the only thing I really would have thought was weird is if we started with a putter. It occurred to me later that she started me on the shortest club because I am much shorter than her (and I was using her clubs!). The shortest club in her bag was just my size!
The grip was the first thing to learn. Compared to tennis, your grip in golf dictates everything. Your grip can affect your take back, follow through, and everything in between. It was essential that I get that correct. The second thing to learn was the “L” swing. My background in tennis really screws me up on this one. The first thing I do is cock my wrist to take the club back. I caught myself doing it incorrectly nearly every time. By the end of the lesson, I had gotten a couple correct and felt the glorious feeling of a solid shot.
In my opinion the key to a good lesson is giving the person a few things to take away and not filling their mind with 20 different ways to improve their swing. Kathleen gave me three helpful hints: always start with the correct grip, keep my posture and stay tall, and use the flow of the “L” shaped swing to bring my club back instead of forcing it back.
I look forward to practicing my new skills and the next lesson!