Monday, June 16, 2014

Golfing and kayaking

Learning to swing a golf club is a very mysterious thing. Golf club swinging reminds me of learning to roll-up a kayak. Both of these things, "golf club swinging" and "rolling up a kayak" are very difficult to understand.

Learning to roll kayaks
Back in 1978, my son David and I were learning how to kayak in the rivers of the Sierra Nevada. In order to safely kayak, we had to learn how to remain in a capsized kayak and roll the kayak back up into a vertical position. In order to learn "rolling up", we went to the Sierra Club classes that were given in a swimming pool in the City of Cupertino by the Loma Prieta Paddlers, part of the Sierra Club [link].

Both my son David and I were not able to easily grasp what was going on when we tipped our kayak over and attempted to get our paddle in position to roll up. We spent hours at home on our backs on the floor, trying to figure out how "rolling-up" was supposed to be done. Finally, we both learned how to roll our kayaks. Then, we spent many years exploring the rivers of the west.

It takes time
I understand that learning how to swing a golf club properly is going to take me quite a bit of time. At the encouragement of my friend John, I've enrolled in a beginning golf class sponsored by the Grossmont Adult School. This class starts in July. I am very much looking forward to it.

Also, John has arranged for a private lesson by the instructor of that golf class. John, his wife Mimi and I will receive that private instruction this coming Thursday. Very exciting!

In the meantime, I've been spending considerable time watching a video on YouTube in order to learn the "One plane backswing" [link].


  1. Go for it George you will enjoy learning the game of golf

  2. Love your enthusiasm George!

  3. So happy you are taking a class - if I ever take up golf, that's the first thing I'll do. I have friends who are good golfers, and they occasionally spend some time with a "pro" to get rid of bad habits. The teachers have a good eye, and will see the little things you are doing to wreck your game and help you correct them. It seems like the easiest way to have a decent game. Have fun! (I'm a little envious - some day I'd like to learn how to play golf, too.) :)

  4. You go for it, George. I've decided that my "trying -to-learn-to-play-golf days" have expired!
    A couple of personal stories:
    I first tried to learn back in the early 60s, during a six week period when my golfer husband was in New York at IBM sales school. I decided to take 3 lessons a week for 6 weeks (without his knowing) and surprise him upon his return. I took all the lessons and on the last day, we actually played a round of golf. Disastrous! Teeing off on hole #5, my ball was way off and actually hit a gardner on his upper arm. He yelled at me, "Why didn't you call out "Fore?"" I yelled back that I was sorry but I was on the 5th hole!!!!!! Not a good first round!
    The following day, when my husband returned from New York, I couldn't wait to tell him about how I'd learned to play golf - but before I had a chance to surprise him, he said that during his absence from playing golf, he'd decided he really didn't want to play anymore!
    No more golf for me for many many years. In the mid-90s I again took golf lessons (a beginner again!) at the request of a gentleman I was dating. So, I applied myself once more and did fairly well in the lessons. However, the first time we played 9 holes was at a beautiful private course in the California wine country. I don't remember what hole it was; but I'd hit the ball off in the rough along the fairway. When I went to look for it I saw a gaggle of geese - Mr. Goose was not happy that I was invading his territory and chased me about 200 yards and scared the h*** out of me! I just thing golf is not my game. Hope you have better luck!!

  5. George,
    Don't forget to master the grip first. It won't feel natural but it will work.

  6. Learning how to play golf by watching videos is just like learning how to swim by watching videos. The best way is to take a few lessons and then get out as much as you can and start playing. Have fun.