Friday, January 21, 2011

why golf

I come from a family filled with golfing passion. As a kiddie I remember spending many a Saturday hanging around the clubhouse or caddying for my grandparents on holiday. While this meant that I could have as many smoked beef Simba chips and lemonade’s as I wanted – I remember being quite bored. So as a teen I gave it a go and hated every frustrating minute of it.

As a 20-something I decided to give it another try. I went to bash some balls at the River Club in Observatory (www.riverclub.co.za).

It’s inexpensive and they do breakfast deals on the weekends. The thing I love about walking into a place like that – with a newly bought glove on your hand and a hand-me-down golf bag with bits and pieces of second-hand clubs – is that everyone that’s there has been there once before, just starting out. As golf is generally quite an expensive sport (and the equipment even more so) I was not going to fork out thousands of Rands on a potential hobby I once hated.

While I still suck at getting my little white ball to connect to the sweet spot on the club head, the one time it does happen out of 30 attempts just makes it all worth it.

Prices and times: Golf course hours:

Mon: 11am – 8pm (summer), 7pm (winter)
Tue – Sat: 8am – 8pm (summer), 7pm (winter)
Sun: 8am – 7pm (summer), 6pm (winter)

Prices:

R 25.00 – 50 balls
R 45.00 – 100 balls
R 10.00 – golf club hire per club
R35.00 – rental of complete mashie set (Bag / Gap Wedge / Lob Wedge / Putter)

Once you’re brave enough to venture out, the River Club Mashie course is a blast. A mashie course means that the holes are all Par 3’s (short) and therefore you don’t feel like you are hitting the ball 50 times to get it near the green. It’s still tricky and involves skilful shots (most of them chipping), but once you have completed your nine holes (and only lost 2 balls), you feel ecstatic.

Prices and hours for the mashie course: Golf course hours:

Mon: 11am – 8pm (summer), 7pm (winter)
Tue – Sat: 8am – 8pm (summer), 7pm (winter)
Sun: 8am – 7pm (summer), 6pm (winter)

Prices:

R50 – 9 Holes
R35 – 2nd 9 Holes

The main thing is to not take it too seriously – even the pros have dismal days where they lose balls, hit trees or knock out other players. It’s just such a fun different thing to do and I very much look forward to visiting the river course again.

At the end of the day, going to the driving range with a couple friends (make sure they are equally useless) is that it's a fun couple of hours spent outdoors, exercising and having a laugh - Just try it! The bug might bite you ;-)

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