Getting into the ‘Swing’ of Things: All Things Golf

golfI used to say that golf was a dumb sport and that I just couldn’t see the point of chasing around a little white ball. It certainly wasn’t a sport that I would waste MY time on. And I didn’t, for many years. Yet my negativity towards golf could also be attributed to an event that happened when I was in grade seven. Back (and I do mean way back!) when I was in grade seven we had an event called Bonus Week, where you signed up for different activities all week. Choices included riverboat cruises, horseback riding, camping – the opportunities were plentiful! My friend and I decided that we were going to learn to play golf, so we signed up for that activity on one of the days it was offered.  As it turned out we were the only two students who signed up for golf, and neither of us had ever golfed in our lives!  The day of golfing we showed up at Kildonan Park, keen and excited to get some instruction from the teacher who was assigned to the golfing event. Well, the teacher didn’t show up (I guess having two students sign up didn’t warrant him attending!) and, instead of just going home and enjoying a day off, we decided that we should probably go ahead and golf 18 holes on our own, with no clue as to how to golf. It took us six hours to muddle through all 18 holes and I’m sure we frustrated many golfers in the process. Yes, we finished, but I was done with golf after that day. I pretty much agreed with Mark Twain who stated that “golf is a good walk spoiled”.

Fast forward to many years later. A friend decides to take golfing lessons, and coursesmyself and a few other friends decided to take lessons with her. I discover that this golf thing, when you have a bit of an idea of what you’re supposed to do, isn’t so bad. In fact, I find myself kind of enjoying it! Golf lessons evolve into weekly outings at the golf course with three other friends, and I find that I’m excited about golf nights and excited when I occasionally make a half-decent shot.  I also find that I’m actually buying golf books and borrowing them from the library!  Whether you’re a beginning golfer, you’ve never golfed before, or you just like watching golf, the library has a wealth of materials for you.  1,001 Golf Holes You Must Play Before You Die has pictures and descriptions of many world-wide golf courses for anyone thinking of planning a fantasy golf trip. Fantastic photos for golf aficionados to enjoy!

Looking to improve your game?  The library has golf tips and other instructional golf books, golf magazines, and even DVDs such as David Leadbetter’s set of instructional golf DVDs.  There are books specifically for women golfers and even some great titles on teaching children to golf.  A few recommended titles are the DVD Better Golf for Kids and a book entitled Golf: From the Tee to  Green.

triThere are also great biographies about golfers.  A fairly recent title is The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods about the six tumultuous years Hank Haney spent coaching Woods.  An engrossing book about being a caddie is John Dunn’s Loopers: A Caddie’s Twenty-Year Golf Odyssey.  Another title of note is American Triumvirate: Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan and the Modern Age of Golf  – an interesting non-fiction read about how these three golfers made golf the popular game it is today.

The library also has some great golf movies.  One of my all-time favorites is Caddyshack, and Happy Gilmore with Adam Sandler has some laughs too.  The library also carries a Disney movie entitled The Greatest Game Ever Played, about an amateur player golfing in a big tournament.  Another biographical golf movie is Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, starring Jim Caviezel.

Even though the only hole-in-ones I’m going to get are at the miniature golf course, I’m glad that I’ve discovered the game of golf.  There’s nothing better than making a shot with perfect loft, or making par on a hole, or just enjoying the scenery while chatting with friends along the course.  If you haven’t tried golfing before, give it a try.  You just might find that you like it too!


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