Getting Our Golf On!
For several years, TWC has supported the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce and the Hill Country University Center. Both hold golf tournaments each year to raise funds, and this means that a couple of us at TWC have spent a fair amount of time on golf courses in the past three or four years. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that both TWC Director of Operations Beth and I have spent more time on golf courses in these recent years than we have in our entire lives.
But now, we’re changing things up. You see, we’ve spent our “TWC golf time” in carts driving around courses to check on players and sell raffle tickets or sitting at holes passing out wine tastings and snacks. But in two days, that’s all going to change.
It all started with an ad on Facebook’s Fredericksburg Garage Sale. A friend was selling a set of golf clubs, bag included, for $10. “Such a steal!” I thought. Never mind that I’ve never really played golf…unless you count putt-putt (which it turns out “real” golfers don’t). Beth and I agreed that we should buy the clubs, and we offered $5. We paid $10.
The bag and its contents were covered in cobwebs and dust, and we marveled at how strong golfers must be to lug around all that weight. We called a golf-loving friend of ours to help us clean up and go through the bag. He immediately got rid of the three and four clubs (“You’ll never use them. Keep them in your garage to hit intruders.”) and threw out a couple of very nasty towels and about 1,000 tees and tiny pencils.
At this point, both Beth and I ran out and bought golf skirts because, you know, we needed to look the part. Beth even bought gloves for each of us and got a pair of golf shoes for herself. Her husband bought her a putter. Mine was more skeptical about the longevity of our golf careers.
With our somewhat cleaner bag and no idea what we were doing, we hit the driving range at Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course. This required us to first figure out how to purchase a basket of balls. When you select the basket size you want, it’s really important to hold the basket under the chute. Just some expert advice.
As we approached the driving range, here’s just some of what we didn’t know:
- How to place our golf bag on the stand
- Whether we needed to give other golfers a certain amount of space
- If there’s an appropriate volume at which to speak (this is important to know when you’re anywhere with Beth)
- Which club to use
- Tee or no tee?
- Whether or not it’s OK to pick up a ball if you only hit it three feet but it went over the “line”
- What to do about divots
We should probably have thanked the gentleman who tried really hard not to laugh at us and offered this gem: “If you don’t plan to be good at golf, you’ll probably enjoy it.” (Note: We have now heard this MANY times)
Following an only slightly successful first outing to the driving range, we determined that we needed a lesson, so we coerced TWC’s own Martin into playing nine holes with us. Let’s just say that several people played through us (check out my use of golf terminology!) and that Martin may never play with us again.
Beth and I weren’t ready to give up just yet, though. After all, we had golf skirts. So, when others at TWC weren’t available to represent us in this Friday’s Chamber of Commerce golf tournament, Beth did the least logical thing possible: She signed the two of us up. This was two weeks ago.
That brings us to our first real golf lesson with Chris, the General Manager at the Lady Bird course and, in my opinion, a saint (who was probably talked into giving us lessons by his wife who is a friend of mine…but huge kudos to him for showing up).
When we met Chris at the driving range, this was our first conversation:
Him: Let me grab those clubs from you.
Me: (panting) Thanks.
Him: Are you storing rocks in here?
Me: Oh, it’s heavy? Well, we only paid $10 for the whole thing.
Him: I think you may have overpaid.
It was uphill from there. Over the course of two lessons, Chris taught us the names of the clubs (turns out the driver is not called “the big one”) and when to use them. He taught us how to hold a club and how high to set the tee (which actually depends on the club you’re using). He taught us how far away to stand from the ball and how to complete a full swing. He taught us what a “scramble” means and gave us tips on strategy for our big tournament. And most important, he’s loaning us clubs that are not from the early 90’s for our big debut.
To be sure, Beth and I have a VERY LONG way to go before we’ll let anyone shoot any video of us playing, but given that this Friday’s tournament promises to provide ample wine and beer, we’re ready to go public with our new skills and golf skirts. It’s very likely most of the other players won’t remember what they’ve seen anyway. So, if you’ve got some free time on Friday, come on out to Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course in Fredericksburg to support our local Chamber of Commerce and get some hearty chuckles. I promise you won’t be disappointed.