It’s a whole new ball game when you are in the Swing Zone
As Daniel Zeqiri found out, every little tip helps when you are trying to master this maddening game
Iwas armed with the usual excuses: not played very much, not my clubs and too many beer-induced takeaways during a week away at the Open Championship. They were not going to wash with Denise Hastings however, PGA professional from Bedfordshire Golf Club, who took me to task at the ‘Swing Zone’ – one of the many attractions keeping fans entertained at Royal Birkdale yesterday.
Parents and children mingle with the occasional, struggling golfer looking for a magic bullet, as they queue for a free 15-minute lesson with a teaching pro, inspired by watching the world’s best on Southport links.
My presence probably denied one of these poor youngsters a chance, but it’s best to introduce budding golfers to habitual disappointment as early as possible so they can get used to it.
With an alignment stick over my left shoulder and Denise’s hand on my head, we worked on staying centred over the ball and keeping my right shoulder low through impact. Who knows if it will work, but there is renewed hope that my next round could be better than the last: the definition of the ‘golfing bug’.
The Swing Zone is fully booked every day, and across the way children are navigating their way around the ‘Links Challenge’ – crazy golf comprised of miniature versions of famous holes on the Open rota.
For those who cannot face a Saturday morning without some retail therapy, the on-course shop was a sanctuary. ‘Shop’ does not do it justice: it is the size of an air-hanger, containing the best of Lyle&Scott and Hugo Boss as well as dozens of ‘146th Open Championship’
Centre point: Denise Hastings tries to keep Daniel in line during yesterday’s lesson and picking up tips on the green (right)