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Get Golf Ready

My Get Golf Ready Experience

Angela Schmelzer, PGA
Matt Sullivan and fellow Get Golf Ready classmates in April 2014
Matthew Sullivan

Series: Get Golf Ready

Published: Sunday, September 28, 2014 | 9:22 p.m.

As a beginning or novice golfer, picking up the game can be downright terrifying. In my experience, my insecurities take over anytime I am on the range or on the course. I can’t shake the feeling that everyone is watching – worse, judging – me as I forcefully whiff or top the ball. It’s difficult not to feel discouraged or embarrassed.

These perceived fears had kept me from seeking out a local PGA or LPGA Professional for help. It didn’t take long to realize, however, that in order for me to overcome my fears and improve, I needed the help of others in a welcoming, non-intimidating environment.

For me, Get Golf Ready was the stepping stone I needed to finally get into golf. These five, one-hour session lessons hosted by PGA and LPGA Professionals, not only offered instruction to help me improve, but also built relationships and camaraderie with students facing similar challenges. Importantly, Get Golf Ready provided me the opportunity to build my confidence on the golf course.

Get Golf Ready built my confidence by breaking down the game into individual fundamental skillsets: from putting on the green, to chipping and pitching, and finally working our way back to the tee for driving.

For each skill there were different drills and techniques that my PGA Professional reviewed, including my setup posture, stance, weight distribution and swing. This guidance demonstrated to me those things I was doing correctly and provided me with feedback on areas for improvement. However, it wasn’t just the physical instruction that helped me really gain confidence.

The best advice I received during Get Golf Ready is that “it’s OK.”

Now when I say “it’s OK,” I promise it’s not a personal condolence for when I slice the ball into the woods or dive-bomb a shot into the water hazard. When I was told “it’s OK,” it meant that it was ok to have the mindset to do things that were different or that didn’t necessarily conform to every rule of the game in order to better myself and have more fun playing golf.

“It’s OK” meant not being so hard on myself when I made mistakes and to take advantage of helpful suggestions in order to improve, giving me a more enjoyable experience on the course. For instance, if I needed to play from the forward tees or if I needed to use a certain club in a non-traditional situation, it was ok for the sake of having fun with the game and using the opportunity to play better.

With the amazing instruction I was provided and with the mindset I developed, I had a chance to revel in my accomplishments and not take myself so seriously during my golfing follies. Get Golf Ready gave me the chance to take part in sun soaked afternoons filled with laughter, excitement, and practice. It showed me that golf success is attainable to even the newest and most inexperienced of players. It truly showed me what a fun experience anyone can have in golf and proved to be a rewarding, comfortable way to learn the game.