My cousin, J, has arrived from Canada. Well, actually he arrived from Hong Kong but he is from Canada.
Coincidentally, my friend, J (potential confusion alert) who is an ardent businessman, and therefore golfer, has been trying to convince me for some time that Golf is a better game than Samuel Langhorne Clemens makes it out to be. J called and invited me to the local driving range - ostensibly to see if there was any chance that I could get to grips with the game. J, who has played before, also willingly agreed to go so indeed we did.
I was relieved to find that my rather plain attire wasn't completely out of place (I always feel that I don't have many clothes that are suitably garish enough for a proper golf course). It was pretty humid and even a bit foggy. Not that that bothered me but J's drives were just vanishing into the mist.
J spent some time showing me how to 'shake hands' with the club, stand and make the shot. After the first real attempt to hit the ball, I realised the error of not twisting my body after the shot as it left me with terrible pain in my left wrist. Worse, I only clipped the ball so it thudded into the ball-dispenser with a loud thump and only slight chuckling from J and J. Things did pick up though after the first 50 balls or so and some of the shots actually went where I expected them to go.
It got more challenging when the little tractor that picks up the balls came onto the range - I'm told the objective at this point is always to hit the tractor if possible. Even after some more pointers from J my shots (with a 7 iron) weren't particularly accurate and could just make 150 yards and the tractor eluded me (I thought I had him but he turned and my ball missed him).
I felt a lot better about my standard of playing when someone else (down the other end, thankfully) managed to lose hold of their club whilst playing so it crashed into the ceiling and club and bits of fluorescent tube fell noisily to the ground. I might have hooked, sliced and mis-hit loads (not to mention hitting the carpet or thin air on a number of occasions) but nothing that embarrassing!
You know, this golf thing might just have something to it. I'm looking forward to going again, even if 24 hours later my fingers don't work and my arms feel like lead! Hopefully after a few goes I might get somewhere near the range of the 7-year-old kid who was playing when we arrived!