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May 8 - A Lesson on Lessons

I know the weather is not cooperating but the golf season is here and it is time to swing off the rust!  I
could not resist.  On Friday morning April 29th I had the bright idea of going to the range for a quick
bucket.  I asked my buddy to go with me and he agreed.  I struck the ball so poorly that my buddy, who
will remain nameless to protect the innocent, walked into the pro shop at Eisenhower Park and
purchased me a golf lesson.  

At first I was like I do not need any help with my game.  It is just the rust melting off from the long-cold
winter.  Plus the morning we met at the range it was chilly and I was wearing too many sweaters to
really concentrate on my swing.  After he surprised me with the gift certificate, we went inside and set up
a lesson for Tuesday morning at 9.  All weekend long I was muttering to myself I do not need the
lesson.  I will be alright.  

Boy was I wrong!

Monday afternoon at the Media Day for the HSBC Women’s World Match Play Championship at
Hamilton Farm Golf Club, which will take place the week of June 27th through July 3rd and feature the
top 62 players in the world plus two sponsors exemptions, I played horribly.  After working the press
conference and doing my on-camera’s for my story for WLNY-TV 55’s “News 55 Live at 11” program, I
hustled to van, put on my golf shoes,and ran to the first tee which for me was the gorgeous 11th hole a
par 5 that has a generous landing area.  I proceeded to top my tee shot into the gully which prompted
my response, “Lunch Ball”.  

I finished with a, well just click on this link and you will see my stats from
my scorecard (provided by
egolfscore.com).  I enjoyed one great stretch from the 5th through the 10th holes in which I finished 2
over with 4 pars and 2 bogeys.  Other than that, my scorecard was an utter disaster.  

I felt like I did not even know how to swing the club, topping ball off the team and pulling my golf ball into
the trees.  I was so awful that I had no confidence on the ride back to the studio and the following
morning on the drive to the range at Eisenhower Park.

But a funny thing happened at the range the next morning.   I started stroking the ball off the practice tee.  
I felt good and loose and was starting to believe that I was over my golf slump.  My lesson begins and I
tell the pro what my problems are and he says he could see them while I was warming up.  In my head I
was like I’m killing the ball what is he talking about!  I was wrong again.  He was right on the money.

I learned that the golf swing is just like tossing a ball underhanded.  Feel the weight shift from your right
side, if you are a righty golfer, and move easily to the left side.  I had been starting my downswing with
my arms and slide laterally which is why I was topping the ball and pulling the ball.  In the half hour
lesson I turned it around.  My confidence was up and I understood what I was doing wrong and more
importantly,  I understood how to correct it.  I am not writing that I am ready for the PGA Tour, but on
Thursday I played at Harbor Links Golf Course in Port Washington and carded an 89 which is a heck of
a lot better than what you saw on the scorecard.  My putting was the real culprit as opposed to bad
driving.  For amateurs like you and me, the drive is the most important shot.  Work on the tee shot
because if sets up the entire hole.  

As for my competition that Thursday morning with my buddy who bought me the golf lesson, he beat
me.  I lost a few dollars.  But it was money well spent!  I choked on the 18th hole, but not from my drive
which was dead center perfect.  I hit a cruddy 9-iron chip and instead of making par I settle for double
bogey.  The lesson here - TAKE A LESSON with a PGA Pro and let him or her help you with your game
because it works!