GOLF IS GOOD:

AN­DREW DADDO

Golf Australia - - NEWS - 130 |

AH, to squir­rel in­side the head of the golf tragic, to see the dreams and fan­tasies we all have from time to time. Do you imag­ine a world where not only you play golf, but your chil­dren love the game as well. It’s prob­a­bly be­cause you read to them from Golf Aus­tralia magazine as they tod­dled off to sleep. You kept your back copies in the toi­let so they’d have some­thing good to read when caught short.

And of course, they’ve grown up, see­ing that halo-like glow around you when you come home from golf. They’ve heard the sto­ries, imag­ined the shots and spent hours won­der­ing how good it must be to be the golf­ing you. So imag­ine my joy when not one, but two of my chil­dren agreed to come to the driving range. Even bet­ter, my wife wanted to come. That’s four out of five Dad­dos on one range at the same time. I pinched my­self! When ev­ery­one asked for their own bucket of 100 balls, I knew this was ac­tu­ally hap­pen­ing.

As the lady tal­lied the bill for the drinks and choco­late bars, the gloves and tees they’d never use, the plan came into fo­cus. I’d hold a short but fas­ci­nat­ing clinic for them. “Go find four bays to­gether, or­right?” I said to my daugh­ters. “Bet­ter get some sports drinks, too,” I added. “This’ll be in­tense.”

The clinic’d be just the ba­sics: grip, stance, back­swing, fol­low-through.

That’d be stacks. I’d have to be dis­ci­plined, not wan­der off into swing plane ter­ri­tory which could be a bridge too far. Still, if they’ve got half a golf­ing brain, they’d ask about it, any­way.

I cer­tainly would have if I’d been given a golden op­por­tu­nity like this when I was right in the guts of the for­ma­tive golf­ing years. I would’ve lapped it up like a labrador into a din­ner plate.

Af­ter the ba­sics, I’d give them a quick demon­stra­tion to give them some­thing to as­pire to. Truth be told, I also wanted them to watch me and go “wow!” It’s a Dad thing, it’s why we al­ways tell ev­ery­one when we’ve mown the lawn. Tonight, to­mor­row, and 20 years from now they’d be able to retell the story. “Re­mem­ber, Dad? Re­mem­ber? You hit it out of the driving range!” “Did I, re­ally?” I’ll chuckle. We started with the grip, talked about cre­at­ing the V, why you want to see which knuck­les where and a bit about the in­ter­lock. I even told them about hang­ing on tight enough to hold a lit­tle bird with­out stran­gling it. Who was I kid­ding? They couldn’t give a shit about any of it. The girls just wanted to beat the hell out of golf balls as fast and as far as pos­si­ble. My wife was amaz­ing. For the record, she has a swing, as does my bal­let daugh­ter, Bibi. They are nat­u­ral ball-beat­ers, lots of style but lack­ing power. Our youngest, on the other hand, the supremely gifted 13-year-old Jasper, looked as if she was try­ing to split logs of wood. Where the other two swung, she hit. When Jac and Bibs con­nected, balls took flight. Jasper sent those grubby range balls off as if wounded. She was a mon­ster! If there was a way to con­nect her fol­low-through with the back­swing of the oth­ers, I could truly be onto some­thing. But of course, it’s hard enough to get kids to share couch space, let alone a golf swing. I begged them to watch me, which they du­ti­fully did, but only when they were out of balls. In­stead of go­ing “wow,” they went “wah!” As in, “Wah can’t we get more balls, “Daaahd? Wah?”

I must have had 50 balls left to their com­bined three hun­dred that had been bat­tered vary­ing dis­tances onto the range. “Give us a few, would you, honey?” my wife said. “I need some help with my driver.”

“Ah,” I said, like a freshly squeezed sucker. “Can I help you?” I al­ready knew she needed to get more weight for­ward. To fol­low-through, you know? I was all ready to show her, when she said, “No, I’ll be right. I just have to re­mem­ber my se­cret.”

“What’s that?” I said. “You have a se­cret? You’ve played about five times and you al­ready have a se­cret.”

“Yep.” she replied. “Breathe out on the back­swing. It re­laxes me. You should try it, you might re­lax, too.”

That was it for me, af­ter they drilled the rest of my balls, I’m guess­ing it was it for them, as well. Next time, I’ll have a proper plan, not just some silly made up clinic. I’m go­ing to write it down and lam­i­nate it so they know it’s se­ri­ous. Like golf.

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