Fiz: Thwack! How good it was to finally connect my golf club with the ball and see it soar towards the green—not far, but a start in the right direction. I was mainly crap but occasionally I did something right and I experienced the satisfaction you golfers must feel.
Naz and I were both golf novices but we were eager to check it out because half the Sunny Coast seems to be golfers. But how to go about it. Fortunately, friends offered to loan us clubs and Lin, who is a seasoned golfer, took compassion on us and offered to shepherd us around. She recommended Noosa Par 3 Golf Course for us beginners and that nine holes would be the way to start. We arranged to meet her there at 9 am on Monday.
What to wear? Naz and I had a quick discussion and decided that cropped pants and polo shirts would be the go. We had the pants (somewhere in our wardrobes) but not the polo shirts. We would just have to improvise re tops but at least we had suitable pants. Only later did I read on the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) website that ‘BLUE JEANS ARE NEVER ALLOWED ON A GOLF COURSE—No Exceptions!’ You guessed it: both of us wore blue cropped jeans. Fortunately, the Par 3 Course is rather casual with hardly anyone around, and the only staff member in the club house was an affable older bloke who didn’t look as though he was too bothered about dress code. Besides, Lin looked so much the part that we just blended in behind her.
Par 3 is an attractive golf course—ponds, bridges, stands of trees— and the wildlife seemed to like it too, judging by the gaggle of geese who had made themselves at home on one of the greens. But no standing around chatting for us, we were there to golf. Lin directed us to where we would tee off and passed on a few golf facts. The first was that golf is an acronym for Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden. She quickly clarified that this was a furphy: just wishful thinking by a few intimidated men in a bygone era. We moved on to golf’s origins. Apparently, Scotland can take credit for developing the game but it had its origins in Holland … so my Scottish ancestry wasn’t going to be as helpful as I had been thinking.
Over the course of our game, Lin shared the meaning of quite a few golf expressions. Many of them just a little naughty—but always apt!
We started off fairly well and we even scored for the first hole and then we realised just how much there is to this game. Nevertheless, we still had fun and felt so pleased with ourselves when a swing or a putt received Lin’s praise. Lin was terrific, giving us tips and encouraging us (ok, me) when I yet again didn’t connect. She was also quite unfazed when I lost two balls in the pond on the ninth hole. Owe you Lin.
And, yes, I can see what the attraction is—being out in nature with a group of friends, having to coordinate body and brain, exercising, the thrill of achieving, and the desire to improve. Let’s hope I get more thwacks next time!
Naz: Thwack…that is such a perfect word to describe a perfect connect between an odd shaped piece of steel and a little white dimpled ball. It appears the degree of thwack determines the height and distance which subsequently determines the number of times it takes to get the ball on the green. A crisp clear thwack has oomph. A thwuck or a thwock or worse still a thwick means you will be searching in the bush if you are lucky, stirring sand in a bunker if not so lucky and if it really isn’t your day, fishing for anything white amongst reeds and weeds in the water. It seems bush, bunkers and ponds are magnets to a ball tee’ed off i.e. launched from a little plastic colourful thing (tee) speared into the ground behind an imaginary line between two white markers. It really is fascinating.
It’s obvious now that golf is a game needing physical endurance, skill, a positive mind-set and in some cases the ability to drink as you play—and people, that’s not water! Celebrating is encouraged and I believe sometimes obligatory after a long, straight shot or an accurate putt i.e. getting the little white dimpled thing in a hole in the ground which is surrounded by pristine and precisely manicured lawn. This time, we kept to high fives and cheering camaraderie.
There is so much to learn—knowing the best club for the distance and the favourite club; the one to rely on when things get hairy. Then there is the wind factor, and once on the green, its slope and the coarseness of the grass. Lin reassured us that with time and lots of practise we could play ok.
And when finally on the ninth hole I managed to get a good clean thwack with the ball making the green in one shot—the chance of a birdie (got to get used to the language too), I got excited. My excitement quickly turned to disappointment as a birdie disappeared forever with the next putt, ending in not even close to par.
I at least managed a wholesome THWACK and I was happy.