On the first day of our Oxfordshire trip, Willow and I headed off to a golf lesson courtesy of Golf Communications Ltd. The lesson was taking place at Whittlebury Park Golf Club, and to say it was beautiful is an understatement. We walked through a sea of Porsches, McLarens, and even a Lamborghini before reaching the inviting doorway into the golfing world!
As Willow and I were eagerly waiting for our instructor, we admired the neatly cut grass and golf buggies that looked extremely fun to drive… Although I think I would be too nervous in case I wheel span and turfed up the landscape! Before we knew it, Marc Wheeler - our teacher for the afternoon - arrived! We walked to collect our golf balls that were placed at the driving range. This is where we expected our lesson to take place, but no. On this special occasion, we were taken onto the course where there was lots of open space to test our golfing ability, if we weren’t too distracted by the gorgeous setting and orange sun.
Firstly, we learnt how to do long shots. Marc wanted to see how we hit the ball without any teaching. It is fair to say we had quite a few “air shots” where we missed the ball. We were shown how to stand; our feet hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent, and for me - a lefty - my weight on my right foot, as well as my arms leaning to the right. Marc placed two tees where our feet should be placed so it became second nature. At the beginning I had no clue there was a correct way to hold a club. It turns out there is a lot to remember, but once you have done this a few times, it doesn’t feel comfortable holding it any other way! Having the correct grip meant that this aided the ideal movement through the swing. I was stunned by the distance I was able to hit the ball once I knew the technique required. The sound of the club hitting the golf ball perfectly is indescribable and addictive! Next it was onto the finish. Once you have swung you twist your leg and foot, which is the furthest from the direction you are hitting, so your knee is also facing the direction of the hit. This not only makes you look like a pro, but makes you turn your shoulders with the club, so you follow through. Marc had a software on his phone which enabled him to record and take pictures of our performance before and after his training and the difference, as you can see, is remarkable! The comparison stills enabled us to see our technique as he was, making it easier to change and improve. We were then able to go onto a Par 3 golf hole! I had never played on a course before or even knew what Par meant, so this was very exciting. With cameras coming from all angles, I amazed myself by my first hit going two thirds, if not further, towards the hole located under the red flag!
Next, we moved onto putting - as it’s no use being able to hit the ball long-distance if you can’t complete the job! Marc showed us the different clubs and how we know which one should be selected for putting. Willow and I began by hitting the ball with too much force as we underestimated how much the ball rolls on the smooth surface of the putting green. After this, we progressed onto hitting the golf ball out of a bunker. This was the most difficult task yet, due to the sand and extremely high bank! We were informed that this was in fact the practice bunker and was the lowest bank... I still chose not to believe this. After choosing a club which was suitable for the sand we began. I remember the club had an S on the bottom, whether this stands for sand or not I don’t know but it helped us remember! The techniques for hitting the ball up and over the bank were slightly different to the normal long shots, but it wasn’t long before I hit it into the sky and back onto the putting green. Sadly for Willow, once she did get it into the air and (what appeared to be) over the bank, it rolled straight back to her feet! This was very amusing.
To our disappointment, the lesson came to an end, and Marc informed us of how we can go away and practice by doing drills we performed in the private lesson. I speak on behalf of Willow and myself when I say we had a fantastic time. Marc was a great instructor and really pushed us to be the best golfers we could be in the limited time we had.
Thank you to Golf Communications Ltd and of course Marc Wheeler for a brilliant experience! I will definitely be golfing again soon!
Mark Wheeler's details:
Facebook: marc wheeler golf
Instagram : marcwheeler3259