Sexton Chronicles: Golf Tales From a Left-handed Hack

I’m a terrible golfer, but folks like to play golf with me. Unlike a lot of golfers, I never, ever get mad on the golf course. It’s just not worth it. I laugh a lot on the golf course, and so do the people lucky enough to play with me.

It started with a company team golf outing

There were fourteen of us on the staff and the boss wanted to have a nice staff team building day on the golf course. I’d never played the game before, but I like green things, and lawns other people mow, so I looked forward to the outing. I went out and bought Golf for Dummies, and read it cover to cover.

I rented a set of left-handed clubs, and one of those two-wheeled pull carts. Running through the mental list of notes from Golf for Dummies (my copy was in the car), I took my very first swing. I connected with the ball–which was, in and of itself, a miracle–and it soared. Soared! High in the air! Made a beautiful arc and went a lot farther than I ever thought my 120-lb frame could hurl anything.

Where the hell that ball landed, no one ever knew. I’m pretty sure some neighbor found it with the lawnmower.

I was hooked.

Golf Lessons

I needed professional help. From a golf pro. Oh, what the hell. I needed professional help, but turned to a golf pro instead…

My friend and I signed up for golf lessons from the same pro at the same time at an indoor driving range. It was winter and we were in Michigan, so an indoor range was one of our brightest ideas of all time. By then I had a starter set of clubs. They were from K-Mart. They were cheap, but the heads were titanium, and I thought that sounded pretty sexy. Tough and sexy. Titanium. Tougher than steel. That’s what I thought, anyway.

Coming up on my toes was easy. Stopping…not so much

“Follow through when you swing,” the pro said. “Come up on your toes when you finish.”

He demonstrated what he meant. He had me practice it without a ball for several swings. When he thought I was ready, he put a ball on top of the white rubber stopper on top of the fake grass.

I was all the way over on the right-hand side of the golf dome, the indoor driving range. It was a big, white, plastic dome built atop a network of girders. Golfers could whack to their heart’s content. I pulled the club back, I took a swing. I followed through.

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