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First time golfer

POSTED July 9, 2013 10:39 p.m.

I tried golf for the first time in my life in June, expecting it would be as easy as when I played miniature golf. But when I got to Stevinson Ranch to meet Chris Christensen for a three hour personal lesson I quickly realized that I was wrong.

Tiger Woods is the only professional golfer I've ever heard of. I've never sat down to watch a golf game on television or in person. Growing up, I was never exposed to golf. I played football, soccer and ran track and field. None of my friends growing up in Salinas were golf fans.

I never imagined my attitude towards golf would drastically change overnight, but it did.

I went into the day thinking it would be a simple lesson with a few swings or whacks at a golf ball off a tee, sort of like T-ball. However, what actually transpired was way more technical.

I learned from Chris that hitting or swinging the club harder or faster is not necessarily going to drive the ball further, but  will actually make you lose your balance and the majority of the time and ensure  you miss the ball by more than a mile. The professionals make it look easier than it actually is he said.

Chris mentioned that soft hands were a key part to the success of hitting the ball right. If someone grabs your hand with a firm shake, you should bet all your money against them, Chris said, but if it's soft, then keep your money in your pockets.

Also, the knees should be bent. With the knees bent, your weight should be evenly distributed on the balls of your feet. I learned that my baseball background would help me with my golf swing.

With Chris’ hefty resume and professional golf insight, he was more than helpful with all aspects of the game. He even game me newbie tips, like arriving at least 15 minutes before your tee time to ensure enough preparation time to get equipment together and secure a golf cart. Once tee time hits, it is time to roll, as golfers schedule outings sometimes a year ahead of time at Stevinson.

Personal lessons with Chris include launch monitor technology for full swing analysis as well as TOMI performance putting. Your video is emailed to you same day. You should never pay for a lesson that does not allow you to see your swing and be able to review what you learned at home, said Chris.

Golf is far more fun and entertaining than I could ever imagine. My game is that of a beginner, but I feel like I have found a secret treasure and hobby which I can play regardless of age or experience.

If someone told me one month ago that I would be a fan of golf, I would have laughed  and said “it is not for me.” Things change when we take the time to try new things. This was the case for me, as I finally decided to pick up a golf club and give it a shot myself.

If you see me on the links the summer, give a wave and then duck, because my golf swing still needs a lot of work.

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