Friday, July 20, 2012

Surprising Activity

This past Sunday, I woke up very sore.  At first, I thought I was just suffering a bit from having done over 8 miles on the treadmill plus having spent 2 hours playing golf the previous day.  (Well, not actually playing golf, per se.  1 hour of golf lesson in the morning plus 1 hour of putting practice in the evening.)  But as the day wore on, I became more exhausted, got a headache, got a fever, got a stomach ache, and generally felt hammered.  Although I was sick for a couple of days, it was strangely comforting to realize that I was just ill and not in fact so generally wimpy that a day with a bit of extra exercise knocked me out.  So while I recovered, I didn't play golf or use my treadmill; instead I spent time mostly kicking Robert's ass at Tri-ominoes. (Oh, and also watching a bunch of the first season of Glee, which is a crazily addictive show.  Getting me hooked on Glee is perhaps my mom's revenge for getting her hooked on Buffy.)

So what's up with the golf, right?  Well, in April, Robert took a series of beginner golf lessons and he's been playing at a 9 hole course not very far from our apartment.  It sounded like fun, so I decided to take this set of lessons this month (and Robert is retaking them with me).  We had our first lesson last week, on putting, and tomorrow we will learn chipping (whatever that is).  There is a practice green at the course where we can bring balls and practice putting and chipping for free, which is nice.

One thing I like about this golf thing so far is that because it is totally new, and I have no expectations of being "good" at it, I am able to experience it in a relatively non-evaluative way.  It's somewhat unusual in my life right now to engage in an activity where I just experience/enjoy it without having to think about whether I'm doing well at it.  Don't get me wrong -- when we did the moderate length putts in class, and I made two of them (while most people made none), I was pretty excited about it.  But I'm mostly only interested in monitoring my performance to calibrate what I'm doing.  For example, when I was practicing putting from an awkward position (relative to the slopes of the green near the whole), I didn't care if it took me 5 tries to make the putt because I was enjoying the experience, and part of that enjoyment was trying new things (e.g., what happens if I hit the ball harder and at this different angle?).

You know how on TV it looks like putting should be easy -- I mean, it's hitting a ball a short distance on a flat surface, right?  Um, yeah, no.  What seems "flat" when you're walking or riding your bicycle across it is most definitely not flat when you are trying to roll a ball across it.  Also, it's a relief to figure out that hitting the ball yourself is approximately 1.29 million times more interesting than watching Tiger Woods do it on TV.  Of course, it's possible that with enough experience, a person can look at a situation on TV and be able to see how difficult the shot is, but I kind of doubt it.  I suspect that the perspective you get from TV is weird and screwy and does not at all well give you the sense of what the golfer is facing.  But given that a lot of people watch golf on TV, I'm not sure about that.  (Note: even if I do keep playing golf in some capacity after these lessons are over, I do not plan to become a person who watches golf on TV so I will probably never know the answer to this question.)

1 comment:

mom said...

Wouldn't it be funny if you ended up being a natural at golf, considering that you've never played before? Have fun with it and enjoy!