Monday, January 16, 2006

My Golf set

The first set that I played with was the one borrowed from the club. When one of my friends was making a trip to the south east, I asked him to pick up a set for me. The problem? He had no clue of what golf and golf clubs are all about. He picked up a set alright, and the reason why he picked that particular one was, frankly, quite simple. ‘I liked the bag’, he says!!! The name of the brand is ‘Fairway’. I had never heard of it before, nor does the internet throw up any results!! Actually, the only problem with the set is that the iron heads are made of soft alloy and not stainless steel. Now the result is that there are a lot chips that come off from the clubhead, if you play on a hard course or bump against a pebble or stone when taking your shot. Otherwise the set plays alright, but I think its time for a serious upgrade.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Initial days and courses…

I started on the driving range with a couple of clubs borrowed form the clubhouse. Maybe because of playing so many games, the basic instinct was always present, and was able to reasonable connect the ball. I also did employ a coach for a few lessons, but that bloke was not really doing his job. I can say now after having self learnt most of my present game. I know I can straight away point out obvious faults, so I do not understand why that chap did not tell me. Maybe he just wanted to prolong the coaching sessions and earn more money!!! For almost one full year (interrupted by my ACL surgery and monsoons!) I spent whatever time I could spare on the driving range. But that was the time that I was not really focussed, and not really ‘thinking golf’ while practicing. The bloke of a coach also did not help. Result was that all my practice really did not reflect in the improvement in my game. I did not have the confidence neither the handicap to play the full course. I have a transferable job, so I moved out and found myself in a place with enough courses, but only one close by. Now that course, of which I became a member, had a water retention problem. Immediately after the monsoons the course used to dry up. And how! By Jan, large cracks would appear on the fairway which would swallow balls by the dozen. Being a hard, bald and stony course (more like a links course) preferred lie was allowed all through. But even that did not prevent the clubs from getting damaged. My game steady improved, and I was playing the course more. But I really like to practice. I enjoy spending time on the driving range, hitting ball after ball. It is actually not as boring as it might seem!!! Try it!!

My initiation to Golf

Now the place where I grew up also had a golf course! But that was one game that I never played as a kid. I remember that as I used to make my way to the squash and tennis courts via a shortcut, I used to cross what now I know as a ‘brown’. Every other time, my friends and I would stop, look around if anyone was watching, and then fill up the cup with sand!! I now realise how irritating it must have been for the players. So sincere apologies!!!
When satellite TV started beaming in India in the early 90s, I have vivid recollections of the golf telecasts on star sports. Though at that time I never spent more than a minute on it, I do remember wondering as to how the players would spot the ball once they have hit it!! I know that is still a problem with some of us today, but at least the appreciation has improved!!!
It was only in 2001 when an office mate of mine, who was a keen golfer, almost forced me on to the course. By then, my interest in the game has also been generated to an extent that I did not mind making at least an attempt . Well, that was the last time that someone had to cajole me to go and play golf!!! Today, I just need the slightest of openings to slip away for a game!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A lil about me…

I have always been inclined towards sports all my life. I was fortunate to be brought up in a place that had almost all the sports facilities. However, up to my late teens, I was more of a ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’!! I then started concentrating on one single game, no not golf, Squash!! That was, undoubtedly, my favourite game, and to some extent it still is. After about two years of self teaching, my game had reached a plateau, when suddenly, like a messiah, my squash coach appeared. For the sake of anonymity, I would refrain from naming people and specific places. Anyway, in just two months, my game was taken to an altogether different level!! I just cannot overemphasise the difference that a good coach makes to your game. I was now playing and competing with players that I hadn’t even dreamt of! However, as luck would have it, in one of the tournaments, I slipped on some sweat on the floor, twisted my knee badly, resulting in an ACL tear. The knee had to be operated upon for reconstruction surgery, and that was the end of my squash. Though I have recovered to quite a satisfactory level, the time spent in the hospital and the recovery period totally removed any slightest of thoughts that I had to return to competitive squash. It was a very emotional time for me, since I was very firmly on the road to playing my best squash, and had the confidence in myself to achieve my goals. Anyways, one of my beliefs in life is that generally everything happens for the better!! And in this case too, I can see a couple of brighter sides to it. For one, I was now able to devote much more time to my golf!!!
How I was initiated to golf, is a story in itself, which I will cover in my next post.

Mundane Musings!!

This blog will attempt to capture some of my mundane musing with regard to the game that i so love!!