Happy Sunday everyone! It’s that time of the week again when I talk to you about my home when I was an expat, which I still miss so much! Am I the only one who’s moved home and still has post-expat blues 6 months later?? Gosh I hope not…
Anyhow, about a year ago exactly I was taking golf lessons in St Andrews. I learned how to golf! I know it’s crazy! I mean I was pretty terrible: I missed the ball so many times, I ate lots of sand in the sand bunkers and tried to remember where my talent for mini putt was hiding.
I have mentioned before that St Andrews is viewed as the home of golf. It is estimated that the activity (I have trouble saying the words sport and golf in the same sentence) was invented in the middle ages and although lots of findings make people believe the origins of golf can be traced to the Dutch, what we know as ‘golf’ nowadays was invented in Scotland.
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is one of the oldest golf clubs in the world. I have mentioned before that it is renown as having a male-only membership policy but will apparently be voting in September as to whether they will start allowing women to apply for membership – did I wake up and we went back to the 20th century?
Anyhow, St Andrews is one of the hosts of the British Open (once every four years I believe) and also hosts, every autumn, the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship which, from what I gather, partners professionals with famous amateurs (i.e. Bill Murray, Hugh Grant, Michael Phelps, etc.). My flatmate and I headed there to check it out – but mainly to try and spot someone famous haha
So back to the golfing lessons…
T and I, as we were doing everything together by that point of the year, decided to take golf lessons offered by the university in conjunction with the St Andrews Links and their academy. We were very lucky because by the time we decided to take lessons, the last lesson of the year was offered a week later. We signed up for the week long intensive course! We were also very lucky because we had great weather to be at the academy and on the driving range.
At the first lesson, we arrived and met the four other people who joined us in the lesson and our instructor. He was nice and definitely had a dry sense of humour that took me aback but that made these lessons pretty hilarious in my opinion because he was always kind of laughing at us, but not overtly.
Note: If there is one thing you need to know about my friendship with T, it is that we love dirty jokes and can probably see dirty stuff in anything. It’s needless to say that we found the golf lessons hilarious. The minute the instructor mentioned the ‘shaft’ and ‘wood’ we both glanced at each other and tried to contain our childish giggles.
The first lesson was a bit of a failure. After working on our 9 iron swing, it was time for the video shaming. We were filmed and then our instructor analysed our swings and hits frame by frame. We were all terrible…. Then we headed outside to try and handle the pitching wedge (to get the ball from the fairway to the green). After trying our hand at it for a while, the instructor told us to line up and that the person who got the ball closest to the hole would win. None of us even got it on the green! It was a pretty hilarious fail.
During the second lesson, we continued to work with the 9 iron, and then learned to swing with the driver. The driver was probably my favourite one! And also possibly the one I was best at swinging! I found it difficult to get at first, but when I did, it became effortless. I find it beautiful and graceful to use! After some more camera shaming, we headed to the green to learn putting. I thought I was good at mini golf, but my putting skills were far from good.
Finally, at our third and final class, we brought together all of our learned skills (!) and had to use all the different kind of clubs. I was definitely leaning very heavily on my use of the driver. Then the final hour was spent in the sand bunkers. Terrible terrible last hour. The correct use of the sand wedge is still a mystery to me. I hit a few balls to no avail, ate sand and got sand in my eyes. Pretty sure T was the only one who got a ball out of the bunker though!
In conclusion, by learning to play golf I mean I learned to hit the ball…most of the time! Before that, I knew golf took specific skills, but in reality it takes SO MUCH skills! Seriously, I have so much respect for golfers now that I’ve tried it. It was a really fun experience and I’m glad I took it while I was in St Andrews. I never really thought of learning to play golf but what better place than the home of golf!
Have you ever tried golf? Were you terrible when you started? xx