Our 8 handicap columnist has taken her friend and newbie golfer under her wing, and following a recent trip to an indoor golf range, is delighted that she has got the golf bug!
I made a new friend a few weeks ago, something I do more rarely as I get older. A fabulous woman named Kirsty. A sassy, smart and fun lady, mother of two young boys and wife of a sporty and charming man.
We were chatting over dinner when the subject of golf inevitably came up.
As I explained (read: bored her) about why I loved the game and that everyone should give it a go, to my surprise, Kirsty said she would be willing to if I would help her.
Within 24 hours a date was booked to take Kirsty to a driving range. By chance, someone told me about a new indoor golf facility opening in the middle of Manchester - aptly named, ‘The Range’ - which is trying to bring golf to those who could love it, but don’t have the time to travel out of town to play, or don’t want to be part of a stuffy environment which so many people associate with golf clubs. I promptly booked us in for a look around and a taster golf session.
I had forgotten what was involved in taking up golf. Kirsty had no idea what to wear, were jeans or trainers acceptable? What else did she need? We both wore gym gear as I said the priority was to be comfortable.
Bang in the middle of the thriving restaurant and business district of Manchester we found ourselves in a building which was slick, polished and new. Nothing about it screamed golf to me so I was intrigued. There was a separate bar and the only allusion to golf was a snazzy, yet subtle, piece of ceiling art made up of golf balls, otherwise it was a regular city-style drinking place.
As Kirsty was asked a series of questions by her coach Sam, I remembered how much there is to golf before you pick up a club. Any physical ailments? How flexible, sporty, strong you are, whether you are right or left-handed, how patient you are, which of your eyes is dominant when you take aim. All of this goes into making up our swing - each one being unique and a reflection of our personalities.
Funnily enough, as I was hitting balls in an adjacent bay to Kirsty, I enjoyed the technology but I missed grass, and seeing what the wind was doing to my actual ball, not just accepting the virtual interpretation. That surprised me; I may be a bit of a traditionalist after all.
However, I can absolutely see why all different types of facilities should be on offer. Golf’s image needs to advance and can only do that by attracting new people who think differently too.
Anyway, my work here is done - I converted another person to golf - and she loved it!
The above is an extract from the latest issue of Women & Golf magazine, on sale Friday 8th December Never miss an issue click here to subscribe and enjoy W&G delivered to your door.