Is learning Golf like learning to drive a car?

Having recently watched my daughter learn to drive, it occurred to me there are striking similarities between learning to drive and learning to play the game of golf, for instance:    

  • Learning the language is a must.  Personal I’ve never quite grasped my ‘near side’ from my ‘off side’ but in the case of golf you’re not creditable unless you know it’s called a club and not a stick, remember it’s a bunker and not a sandpit and when someone says they have a bogey, you don’t offer them a hankie.    

  • Safety is paramount when driving and on the golf course.  At some stage, there’s the sudden realisation the equipment you’re handling has the potential to be a lethal weapon - have you ever watched a complete hacker let loose with a One Wood on the first tee?    

  • The need to multi-task seems impossible when you first start out.    In the case of golf, the average Golf Professional will have your derrière sticking out, your fingers inelegantly and awkwardly wrapped around the club and a swing plane that defies every part of your anatomy.    

  • When you get it wrong driving a car you can end up crashing the gears whereas in golf you can crash the ball into the undergrowth, never to be seen again    

  • The equivalent of the ‘Sunday Driver’ chugging along in the slow lane, naively causing chaos behind them, is usually the Corporate Golfer, zig zagging around in their buggy.   ALL THE GEAR BUT NO IDEA!    

  • Road Hogs are also found on the fairway in the form of golfers hard on your heels, desperate to overtake even though they rarely get very far because of the traffic ahead    

  • Drinking and driving in a car, or on the course, should be avoided.   Many a good score card has been ruined by a large Pimms at the halfway house    

  • Good eyesight is essential.  Okay there aren’t many signs to read on a golf course but knowing which direction your ball went is a basic requirement    

  • A calm temperament is imperative to avoid Road Rage - in the case of golfing, a cool approach to bad shots helps to avoid a ’spontaneous earth beating ceremony’    

  • If a friend or partner bravely volunteers to give you lessons then be wary.   Apart from the likihood of cross words, you’ve no idea what dreadful habits they’re transferring.  They might look like a crack golfer, but launching a ball 250 yards off in the rough isn’t something you want to include in your repertoire of shots.     

  • The golfing etiquette and rules are the equivalent of the Highway Code and as one of our members once said “learning them is actually harder than playing the game”   Do something wrong in a car you are likely to be ‘beeped’ but get it wrong on the golf course then you can bet some ‘old timer’ will ‘bark’ at you.    

  • Your golf gear equates to the car you drive.    Having an all singing and dancing, remote controlled electric golf trolley is the equivalent of driving a big, juicy, luxury car. Whereas if you push a trolley you’ve ‘gone green’ and reduced your carbon footprint    

  With a few lessons and a bit of practice you could soon be driving your golf in the right direction.   Meanwhile, thank goodness there’s no test before stepping out on a golf course, which is just as well otherwise half the golfers today probably wouldn’t be allowed to play!     

Good Golfing, Claire  

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