I’m always fascinated to hear how people got into the game of golf and the answers usually have some interesting stories. What inspired you to give the game a go?
I owe my love of golf to my Grandfather. When I was a lad, I was packed off in the summer to spend a few weeks at my Grandparent’s bungalow just outside the seaside town of Weston-Super-Mare on the Somerset coastline. I remember walking up the hill to Worlebury Golf Club and peering over the stone walls at the undulating closely clipped grass and perfect felt greens of the Harry Vardon designed hilltop course. Now and again I would see people hitting a tiny white ball into the air as they walked on the huge lawn. It looked like fun. I was hooked. “I want to do that. Can I? Can I Grandad? Please?”
It started with a putt
For an unknown reason, the junior section of the Worlebury Golf Club was closed to impatient nagging 6 year old boys that year, so my Grandfather took me on the double decker bus (top deck, front seats and imaginary steering wheel) to the local park and the municipal 9 hole putting course with real grass. Golfing heaven and much more realistic than the Crazy Golf on the sea front promenade – fewer windmills and comedy hole positions.
Fading baggy trousers
A trip to the mobile library followed, selecting a hefty book on golf, featuring pages of small text I struggled to comprehend and sets of black and white photos illustrating the time-lapsed swings of the golfing greats – Hogan, Snead, Palmer, Player and, my favourite looking swing, Jack Nicklaus. Equipped with my Grandad’s crook handled walking stick and a tennis ball on a freshly cut front lawn, I tried to copy the shape of Jack’s swing in the reflection of the living room window. This explains everything about my current swing shape, natural fade and checked baggy trousers.
Pitch and putt
Having mastered my Grandad’s walking iron I progressed to the next level – the pitch and putt course for grown-ups. I can only imagine how frightened my Grandad must have been, standing on the first mat next to a small ginger boy armed with a real metal club and a dangerously hard well-used golf ball with civilians in range. I will be forever grateful for his bravery, patience, library card and No.9 walking stick.
Do let us know how you came to take up the game and the golfing hero that inspired your swing shape.
Enjoy your game
Do tell us how you started playing golf. Email your golfing stories to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll mention some of the most interesting in our monthly newsletter.
Paul Hart is a founding director of PuttBANDIT Ltd, co-inventor of the PuttBANDIT Ball Marker and enthusiastic improver. Paul currently plays off a handicap index of 11.9 and with a signature Jack Nicklaus fade.