My golf story of the day…a lesson in not practicing

I thought I’d share some of my experiences from my golf lesson today, which I went to with the full knowledge that I had not picked up a golf club all week.

I started out by calling my pro yesterday, in somewhat of a guilty panic, to ask if he had any later time slots, so I might hit the driving range for some last-minute practice before my lesson. I, by the way, have approached my golf instruction with the intent of developing (first) a real golf swing and (hopefully) a real golf game (someday), so I approach the lesson not just as an opportunity to enjoy the companionship of an observer to my practicing, but actually to acquire progressively more skill and insight between each lesson. Unfortunately there were no later time slots, and I had to face the reality of walking into my lesson with no new insights to share or show.

The fear and guilt were, of course, all self-inflicted, because my pro has no expectations for what work I do outside of our lessons. I was mostly afraid that I would have lost so much ground from that week without practice that it would be like starting again.

The reality was that I had retained some things – mostly the things that I had acquired and solidified to the point that they had been reproducible for several weeks. The new things that were covered in the last lesson (5 iron and 5 wood) were completely lost, because they had never been acquired in the first place….so no surprise, although the disappointment was definitely still there.

Mercifully, my pro had decided on his own to cover something new this week – chipping – and I was gracefully left off the hook of exposing the “un-fruits” of the time that had passed since our last lesson. We had fun, and I had expanded my repertoire in theory.

However, now I know that I have to use the coming week to try to cover chipping (which is fresh in my muscle memory from today) and also try to recover my 5 iron and 5 wood shots if I am to really gain any ground. At the end of the day, I am of course only a “recreational” golfer, but as a case study in the process of learning, I am living some of the daily challenges of what my students and their parents must be experiencing in their quest to gain ground with violin skills.

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