By Cyril Roy
Elitist, bourgeois, inaccessible… There are many adjectives around golf. Rightly or wrongly, it is a practice that seems reserved for a circle of doctors or businessmen. Thus, by taking charge of a club on the occasion of the free initiations offered by the municipal golf course ofEvreux (Eure), I swallowed my stereotypes.
Thanks to his smile, his simplicity and his very pedagogical tone, the person who is training us this Sunday, May 22, 2022, Timothy Reece, has helped us a lot to see things from another angle. With a small vocabulary point to start. “Arrival is the green. It is a very fast surface”, presents our manager. This is where we will take our first steps.
From the green to the driving range
Just like in miniature golf, the goal is to get the ball into the hole with as few strokes as possible. It is equipped with a laze, one of the two essential clubs among the fourteen that can make up a bag, which we launched. “Its surface is flat so that the ball can roll on it. green says Timothy Reece.
Following the instructions of the coach, we placed ourselves in groups of three per hole to each try our turn. Feet apart parallel to the ball, eyes just above, I make a slight pendulum movement… And the shot goes! A little too strong. I heard right, but practice is harder and the green it is actually very fast.
The second attempt is more correct: the ball goes a little far, but I manage to get it into the hole, which is three or four meters away, in four strokes. Marjorie and Marc, who complete the small group, manage to do it with two shots on their second try. It is a little jealous that he tries a third ball, under the gaze of the coach. And she comes right back. After my victory dance (in all sobriety), we are all ready to exchange our laze against an iron that allows us to send the ball further.
Adopt the correct gestures
Because we start at the end. But before reaching the green and to cover the last meters that separate it from the hole, the ball must leave its starting point, which can be more than 100 meters away. This is the case of hole number 18, for example, whose course consists of a water point to fly over or go around and a bunker (sand trap) to avoid. Not to mention the trees and tall grass. If the experience is tempting, we will practice on an easier hole.
“You shouldn’t squeeze the stick too hard. Pressure should be three out of ten. His arms and hands should be relaxed. »
But first, we have to learn to hit the ball a reasonable distance. Equipped with a bucket of about forty balls and a iron 9 (allowing in theory to send a ball up to 110 m for a good player), we go to practice (training ground). In line, each one in his little green square, we listen to the safety instructions (it is better to keep your distance from the neighbors or you risk being hit by the club) and follow the advice. “You shouldn’t squeeze the stick too hard. Pressure should be three out of ten. Your arms and hands should be relaxed,” says Timothy Reece.
The beginnings are quite timid, but the first ball that takes off to reach 70-80 meters gives some satisfaction. The gesture is not difficult to master, you just have to follow the instructions of the coach to avoid falling into a bad habit. Of course, there were some misses among the forty balls, but the result is more than honorable.
One hole in two shots
To finish the initiation, we went to hole number 3 of the nine-hole course. We will try to get the ball in as a team. Each one in turn, under the urgent but benevolent gaze of the others, we send the ball towards the red flag that materializes the hole. Of the fifteen members of the group, I am the one who came closest to the goal (second victory dance).
We changed clubs again to end the game with a laze. Less bright, I only manage to get slightly closer to the hole. But a young woman hits the perfect shot, allowing us to get a birdie (hole in two strokes). It’s easier when we play as a team, but our coach congratulates us on our great performance.
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