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Boavista Golf puts a total novice to the test

By Tom Henshaw

features@algarveresident.com

In the first of a series of monthly articles, The Resident Group sales representative Tom Henshaw will share with readers how he managed to dispel the fear of golf by taking up lessons with Boavista’s golf Pro Luís Espadinha.

… Or in my case: Lost ball, Tom!

Yes, Boavista offers an opportunity to show that golf can be a great game to learn at anytime in life.

The well-known golf club suggested that I accepted lessons from their professional golfer, Luís Espadinha, to show that golf is not the feared game that I thought it was, and therein lay the challenge.

I have truly never been interested in playing. When I tried on two or three occasions I either could not hit the ball or could not see where, in my furious ‘shots’, the ball had landed.

Well, I have now had five lessons and I am going to write a monthly report of my improvements – or lack of them!

I am not a good learner, as I am both impulsive and want fast results and I can see that neither of these dubious ‘qualities’ help to become a golfer.

So I have had to accept that to play this at all, one needs the basic rules firmly imprinted in one’s brain.

To be honest, Luís is so patient that I felt that the least I could do was follow his sensible disciplines.

The very basic rules are 1) aim 2) grip 3) posture 4) alignment … and lots of patience.

That took most of my first lesson but believe me, those rules start to enter the old grey matter.

The second lesson consisted of chipping and putting on the golf academy’s excellent facilities and then learning to handle the club in more of a wrist action and placing my feet at 11 o’clock, my shoulders at 12 o’clock and the club at 1 o’clock.

This all sounds very confusing but when one is there with a professional like Luís, it all starts to make sense – and of course it makes sure, well more or less, that you get the ball to go where it should be.

My third lesson was working in the bunker. It’s all so easy on television but reality for a dumb character like me is very different.

However, with the patience of several saints, Luís really got me in and out of that bunker and boy I have to say I got the message.

A similar stance to putting on the green, again with my feet at 11 o’clock, my shoulders at 12 o’clock and the wedge at 1 o’clock, my feet firm in the bunker sand, I was ready.

Now this is the only place where you don’t try and hit the ball but approximately two inches behind it and hit the sand and making a full swing to get the ball out of the sand – and in the end I got it!

My fourth lesson was again spent in the bunker – it is a slow process, this – reminding me that my feet were firm and not moving in that sand (apparently it is easier if the sand is wet), managing my swing.

To sum up my first four lessons, I would have to say that without a professional, I just would not have any idea how anyone could become a player as the basics, as I mentioned at the beginning, are just so vital that if you do not get them then, it must mean that you are learning bad game habits from day one.

I hope to continue to pass on my progress so that many more like me may learn to enjoy what I have always felt was a scary pastime.

Call Boavista Golf & Spa Resort at 282 000 111 to make a start