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My Golf Experience

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

- Political Social Healing

While watching a little bit of the PGA and a special on Jack Nicklaus and listening to him talk about swings, clubs and adjustments, the thought came to me that hitting some golf balls over at the Encinitas Ranch driving range and trying to duplicate some of what he said and especially applying his high level of concentration would be fun.  So I headed over there around 3 o'clock.  As I drove into the shaded parking lot, I'm thinking this is going to be fun.

I don't know why, but every time I walk into a golf shop I kind of feel out of place and awkward.  But today I confidently went in as if I were Jack Nicklaus.  I told the very business-like lady that I wanted to hit some golf balls.  She gave me a look that said, "What other kind would you hit knucklehead."

But she said 36, 72 or 108?  I said 36 please.  That will be $5.  I gave her my card and then handed it back with my receipt.  I stared and said, "What do I do now?"  All her movements stopped as she had been dealing with several customers simultaneously.  She pointed over my shoulder and out the window and said, "Do you see that kiosk out there?  You hang a basket, punch in the number at the bottom of your receipt and balls will come out."

"Ok.  Great," I said, "Where are the clubs?"  Now everyone has stopped and are staring at me.  Before getting summarily escorted out, I was saved by another lady who came over and said, "We don't normally provide clubs, but I have a few lost and found ones in the back."

"Fantastic." I said smiling at everyone as if this is just normal operation.  She handed me a 7 iron and a wedge and asked me for my name and phone number.  I felt like the guy at the front desk of the Ritz Carlton without any luggage.

At the kiosk, I stared at the machine trying to figure it out.  Ah, lets see, push the button that says small, then enter the number and hit enter.  All of a sudden, I hear this rumbling sound and see balls pouring out the shoot and on to the ground.  Holy heck, I forgot to hang the basket.

I finally got over to the launch pad and set up with the wedge and, to my surprise, I popped most of the balls on to the green about 40 yards away.  The first 5 or so I hit along the ground.  But I figured out that I needed to hit more under the ball.  But the ball would fly too far over the flag.  Then I figured to approach the ball with the wedge blade at a flatter angle and there you go.  

I finished up the balls, put back the basket and returned the clubs to the same lady who took them without ceremony.  Thanks I said, I had a blast.  As I got into the car and settled in, I thought this was a hoot.  The whole thing lasted less than thirty minutes.  Then I was home working on seeding my grass.

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