I visited Albert Park Driving Range for the first time last week. I didn’t know what to expect, as I am not a particularly sports-oriented person by nature. But I love golf. It’s strange how much I love golf, yet the most I have played is a number of rounds at Studley Park Golf Course (par 3 pitch & putt). Still, I have this sense of certainty that I have a natural ability at golf. I, just as many people have done before me, first started playing Tiger Woods on Playstation and recently ended up with an Obi-Wan Kenobi sense of knowing that I could play in the Ladies’ Masters in 2008. All this without doing more than a couple of practice shots in the park and hitting a few putting strokes on the kitchen linoleum.
So when I arrived at Albert Park Driving Range I expected to be sitting back watching my partner hit 100 balls, acting out my role as a “Butch Harmon” type figure, pointing out diversions from the swing plane and the like. I have watched many golf videos by Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman, and consider myself to be a combination of caddy / coach and professional motivator, only without the requisite golf playing ability necessary to facilitate such a role.
So it caught be particularly off guard when he turned around and said “do you want a go?” I didn’t even stop to consider anything, I just jumped up and said “yeah!”
Not realising that this “yeah” conveyed no actual underlying idea of what I was going to do when I got to the tee. Without thinking I grabbed the 1-wood, did the grip (I know that much at least!) and whacked the ball. To my amazement, it went up and straight towards one of the yellow flag markers. My partner was equally amazed, and encouraging. “Hit a few more!” he said. So I did, and to my surprise I actually got some good ones. Later on when I started thinking about it too much, I topped the ball, sending a 150 metre worm-burner down through the thick sea of other balls dotting the landscape.
Then I did what I am pretty sure has never been done in the Ladies’ Masters, nor any other professional tournament. I hit the ball down and into the tee, sending it sproinging back like a boomerang 3 metres behind me and rolling rather pathetically towards my partner’s feet. He stood there open-mouthed for a moment, trying to take in the situation, then burst into fits of giggles. Red faced I walked the longest 3 metres I have walked in my life, picked up the offending ball of shame and muttered “I’ll just try that again.”
Overally, I was pretty happy with the shots I made, aside from that backwards shot, the worm-burners (there were more than one of these!) and my spectacular sideways shot hit directly into the tightly-packed foliage of a conifer tree, never to be seen again. The range will have to strike that ball off their inventory until a strong gale is forecast.
Value for money was good: –
$7.70 for 50 balls
$14.30 for 100 balls
I will be back “fore” more. Haahahahaha! So sorry about that one, it’s just that I was trying to type “for” and I did “fore” as a typo. So I thought I’d keep it in. I know. Even my typos do bad jokes.