Little MMI's Golf Diaries

Little MMI's Golf Diaries

Page 1 of 2
My First 9 Holes at Randpark

Oh Golf Journal

Today I attended my first 9 Holes on a real golf course and I arrived not quite sure what was to be expected besides balls flying in bunkers. I thought it would be just my coach and I tackling the greens but I was thrown into the deep end of the duck pond… I would be playing with another three ladies. Eeekkk!

We packed the golf cart for the morning and I pondered if the golf course management ever thought about making medical kits standard on their mini 4 wheeler green rovers? Anything could happen out there… I could be attacked by a vicious duck or worse become a moving target for a golfing enthusiast who only aims at moving objects!

I arrived at the first tee off and introduced myself to the ladies in waiting who immediately delved into my previous golfing experience as to gauge the level of competition. I played down my incredible bunker magnetising capabilities and not forgetting my ‘Chip and Run’ Far Away skills, women can be very competitive on a golf course.

My first tee off was over a ditch the size of a mini canyon and I slowly walked towards the area where my tee would meet the grass. All the ladies stared at my every move… evaluating my gestures, ball on tee placement and I’m sure my trendy golf sneakers with revolutionized spikes.

Randpark Golf Course Ducks

At that very moment everything became silent- the wind paused, the ducks entered a ‘Matrix’ time warp and there was this silence that would only be broken by the swing of my club and the contact it would make on the white ball. I said a little prayer, took a deep breath and controlled the swing into a backwards motion and following through into a perfect little statue holding for 3 seconds. The ball responded with gratitude and flew over the canyon… over the other ladies balls that met their fate and straight towards the fairway. Of course at this point my playing down golf skills became evident and I was then questioned on how long I really had been playing. Obviously I knew perfectly well that the drive I just completed was pure ‘Beginners Luck’ (refers to as a beginner accomplishing a desired response within a circumstance without intentionally aiming for the much wanted triumph).

Randpark Golf Course
Little MMI at Randpark Golf Course

From there on we took on those 9 holes and slowly I got to know the amazing women who gave me the giggles with every hole. It was so exhilarating to be in the company of others who too had a passion for the sport I was only getting to know.

Putting at Randpark Golf Course
Little MMI watching Ladies
Little MMI Driving

After finishing the game, the ladies invited me to tea and further invited me to join their ‘Bunnies’ team on a Friday which was a privilege for me to say the least. I enjoyed listening to how these women loved and treasured golf, it was really inspiring to me.

Later I noticed a strange gadget sitting in the ground near the halfway house and when I investigated a little further, it came to my attention that I was staring at a shoe cleaner of some sorts. Why had I never been introduced to such an amazing invention before? I slowly slipped into a world where I had one of these devices installed at every door leading into my home… what an advantage it would be!

Shoe Cleaner

The day was truly remarkable and I have no words to describe being out on a golf course so early in the morning and watching the sunrise.

I have found my retreat from my daily demands ;)

Little MMI

Swimming Pool and Balls Alert

Dearest Golfing Beginners

It has come to my attention recently that air balls are in fact quite bad for swimming pools. Result: Swimming pool going suddenly green resembling a koi pond and pump not wanting to work after 3 hours of trying to figure out what’s wrong with it! Evidence: Little white air ball stuck in filter. Conclusion: Getting pool specialists in to blow the ball out of the pump to resume my creepy on its cleaning mission. Moral of Story: Fish out all floating balls from pool after each practise session.

I’ve now just saved you 3 hours and a call out fee;)

Little MMI

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle Randpark Golf Course Whitcher Pro Shop Air Balls

Graceful- How?

Digital Journal

It’s only been a few weeks since my first golfing lesson and I’m already noticing such a huge difference in my ability to hit a ball. To be very honest I didn’t think it possible but every step I learn becomes imbedded into my technique. I think what has made such a huge difference is having a coach who is not rushing me into learning and is teaching me baby steps with regards to technique and advice. That and my attitude of wanting to become better!

This week I have practiced daily and I was about to see if all that hard work would pay off. Once again I stepped onto the green mat... did a little wiggle, getting my legs all comfy when ~swoooosh~ down came that club and smacked that ball up, up towards the stratosphere (over exaggeration). The point is, it got lift and not only that it was consistently straight... hoopaa! I felt so in control... like the club and I finally made friends. Yipppeee! The game has slightly changed for me as I no longer worry about how far I'm hitting the ball but rather how straight it rocketeers.

There is a word that I’ve been associating with my lessons so far and it’s a word that I always thought myself as... ‘graceful’! Most girls grow up thinking they’re ballerinas or princesses with silky pink slippers floating on air wherever they walk. I always thought myself to be graceful until I started playing golf. It's like all the frustration I had built up over the week was being taken out on the innocent little white ball and I noticed that the harder I hit it, the more the ball didn’t want to give me distance. I think golf balls have feelings and the gentler you are on hitting the ball... the more it will do what you want it to do- fly! I don’t think I have ever told myself so many times to be graceful. I’m pondering about joining an ‘Anger Management on Golf Course’ class;)

Whilst swinging away I noticed a block of cluster homes on the right side of the driving range and I spotted a little child running from the house through the garden... next thing a lady was running out of the house after the child. What a bizarre occurrence and for some reason I just got the giggles. I couldn’t get the picture of this woman chasing this screaming child out of my head and everytime I took a swing, sounds of ‘giggle giggle’ came streaming out of my tummy. Darren called my co-learner and I aside to discuss some interesting angles to swing a ball and the visuals of mother and child kept flashing before me. I started giggling at him as if something he was describing was hilarious! Alas I felt embarrassed... silly random mind visual! I’m sure that scene was paid by a fellow competitor to sidetrack my mind from learning mode to the plain giggle approach.

It was such a fun and useful lesson I had today and it seriously gave me allot to think about. I think this week I’m going to practise my short back swings and of course keeping my arms straighter.

Gotta love golf!

Until next week!

Little MMI

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle Whitcher Pro Shop Randpark Golf

Chip and Run

Dear Diary

I arrived at the driving range with the thoughts of how I felt when I hit that straight and narrow shot to the 125m mark and I was seriously feeling like the golfing world was my mussel. After the warm ups I stepped onto the green platform and hit a ball that kind of resembled someone throwing a stone into a lake and it does this little hop jump thingy along the water’s surface. My ball hopped along the ground and then hopped some more. Why didn’t it do what I wanted it to do? Thank goodness my frustration was quickly diverted to the fact that we were making our way down to the chipping green to hit some chip shots into a hole. Just when I was getting comfortable with all the dos and don’ts of hitting with an iron, now I had to chip balls towards a hole which meant I was entering short game mode. This mode is very unlike the long game... one needs to have a short back swing and really brush the grass to give the ball lift onto the green and head towards the hole. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get it into the hole as long as it’s close enough to putt in.

I pulled out my Sandwich (notice how the jargon here closely resembles kitchen objects... iron... sandwich- perhaps men secretly like cleaning and being in the kitchen- just saying) and stood by the ball near the green. I could just imagine how some professional golfers must feel being in a very pressurized situation chipping a ball that could result in winning massive tournaments. Everything determines how that ball will makes it way to the hole... your angle of club on ball impact, your swing path, the texture and gradient of the green and even any natural adversities that could be potentially obstructing your path like twigs and leaf matter. For my first attempt at chipping I did surprisingly rather well and hit the pin a.k.a. flag pole a few times. Then came the dreaded 8 iron... the iron of all irons... or otherwise known to me as Mega Iron! This was used for more further chipping shots when you would want the ball to roll more of a longer distance. This technique is known as ‘Chip and Run’ and after trying a few times I finally understood why. Everytime I tried to chip, it made me wanna run away as the ball was completely magnetised towards the bunker on the right. What is with balls and bunkers anyways? I’m more than convinced someone buries magnets under the sand and installs a magnet in the ball making sure that no matter how I swing that iron... the ball will always divert towards the bunker or it could be due to the fact that I was actually hitting it towards the bunker.

This was my first lesson in patience which I clearly had little of. I started realising that it takes time, patience and perseverance when it comes to golf.

I walked away from my chipping disaster annoyed at myself but then I took a look around me. I was surrounded by one of the most beautiful golf courses in Johannesburg and I belonged to a fantastic golfing academy! Point was, I was outdoors! Sure I don’t feel I did well with the 8 Iron but that didn’t matter in the big scheme of things. Having the privilege actually being there was rewarding and I realised how more ladies should be aware of playing golf. It’s such a great way to get out and relax. Even if you never get to play 18 holes... just driving with a few friends and having a few drinks at the club afterwards is a great way to unwind. Think I need to get a few more ladies on course;)

Until Next Time

Little MMI

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle Whitcher Pro Shop Randpark Golf Sandwich

Golf Fashion Alert

My Golfing Recorder

Today I located a beautiful ladies ‘Addidas’ belt at the ‘Martin Whitcher Pro Shop’! I love the thin waistline strap with silver buckle thingy! No more pants almost falling down... can I hear a whoop whoop?

Little MMI

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle Whitcher Pro Shop Randpark Golf Addidas Belt

Golfing Moment- 125m!

Dear Diary

You hear of moments when a golfer individual accomplishes a certain goal... either it’s a hole in one, hitting a straight shot down the fairway whilst getting the distance or finishing a hole with a Birdie or Eagle. It takes a while for a beginner such as I to become accustomed to the jargon of golf... so many words means so many things and here is a few I’ve figured out... well sort of:

  • Hole in One
  • - Refers to actually hitting the ball with one swing and getting it in the hole! Also refers to you now becoming broke because you have to buy a round of drinks for everyone in the club house. I know... its almost contradicting... to get the hole in one or not to buy drinks for everyone?

  • Par
  • - Refers to the amount of shots you have on a hole to break even and not to be under.

  • Birdie
  • - Scoring one under Par! Also refers to bird said by a 3 year old toddler! Golf is a very big bird supporter for all those bird watching fanatics!

  • Bogey
  • - Bad... terrible... not a good play! I think the word derives from its golfing ancestral times when man would make mistake and friends would shout the words, “Boo” at the player or guy therefore resulting in ‘Bogey’ or pronounced ‘Boo-guy’.

  • Eagle
  • - A Birdy on a Birdie.... a.k.a. A Double Birdie!

  • Albatross
  • - A Birdy on an Eagle... a.k.a. A Triple Birdie! Wonder why this stuff doesn’t feature on ‘Animal Planet’?

  • Handicap
  • - Generally a question asked in a business meeting referring to numbers that I’m still unsure about. Golf has its own secret communicational language that I’m still to decipher and decode.

Today I had a golfing moment... I took everything Darren taught me so far into account and I did the unthinkable in my blogs. I swung a ball that went about 125m! 125m! Once again the girliness overcame my mature manner and I started jumping like a mini kangaroo, freaking out at Darren as if I just achieved something beyond my wildest adventures. I told him that this one was going to be posted on ‘Facebook’! I swung another ball and it headed towards the same path coordinates and landed in the 125m zone once again. This was too much to handle and the jumping quickly progressed to sprinting leaps in the air. Darren mentioned, “I bet you that’s going on ‘Facebook’” to which I replied, “No way, that one’s going on Twitter”. It was like I had a remote control and I was directing the balls where to go and land. Finally all these uncomfortable stances were making sense and I realised that there is allot of truth into what I was being taught as it had a direct effect of where and how I wanted that ball to fly.

Darren once mentioned that being able to swing correctly doesn’t just come with learning the basics in playing golf but in putting in the hours and practicing your long and short game. He explained to me how to use my front door mat as a surface to swing off as to not re-landscape my garden and there were even practice garden balls available for beginners like me. Air Balls! It almost sounds like something out of a basketball movie and in the background a track plays with ‘R-Kelly’ singing about balls having lift and flying away! Air balls are a beginner’s accessory to prevent any glass breakages such as the neighbours windows or glass lanterns that are decoratively placed on your outdoor patio table. Not like I actually tried to hit a golf ball giving it reason to smash through a glass lantern and proceeding to fly towards a glass bar door. Who would be that silly? ~blush~

I walked out of this lesson feeling a little more confident and really wanting to put hours into practicing in my back yard.

Until Next Week

Little MMI

PS: Golfing Tip 2.0- I got home realising that I had my socks on the wrong feet- explains why I might have also hit the ball so far. Note to Self: Always swap the left and right socks! Perhaps it’s a sneaky secret that the men don’t reveal to the women competitors!

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle Whitcher Pro Shop Randpark Driving Range

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle Whitcher Pro Shop Randpark Golf Socks

Becoming a Little Professional- Golf Style Wise

Dear Didgeri- You

I woke up this morning with the sun beaming its rays through my white draped curtains and it suddenly dawned on me... why don’t I make my way into a golf shop and work on my sporty wardrobe? I needed to be prepared and equipped with some sort of women’s golfing attire knowledge and so I stepped onto the World Wide Web and researched what ladies actually wear whilst playing golf as to familiarize myself with the accessories allowing me to walk into the shop at least knowing something. ~breathe~

Arriving at this massive store I quickly figured out that this shop wasn’t so much targeted at women but rather the male species population. It was like walking into an environment taking me back to the days where men were the hunters and leaders whilst women gathered and sat quietly reading a book on how to be a better wives to their husbands. The men’s apparel took about 90% of the store whilst the women’s garments were neatly packed in a corner like something that was placed there just to make a lady feel like she had been acknowledged. I must say amongst the little they had, there were some really stunning outfits and then I saw it. It was the most incredible golfing accessory I had ever seen... a white and pink glove! I tried on the glove and it fit snug and warm on my hand and at that moment I knew that the glove would join my golfing journey. No more would my hand hurt from slamming the club into the ground... no more would I develop blisters. The glove and I against the bunkers!

I loved figuring out the women’s golfing fashion and it also sparked in me a desire to change it up a little. Even though some of the items were really stylish, it seemed like a male mind was behind some of the designs. It’s almost like some of the clothes were created to accentuate a few of my flaws instead of sneakily hiding them. I realised that this was a mission for Little MMI and that I would need to start some new trends in working those sleeveless tops and bright white see- through pants.

I walked out a little closer into transforming and becoming a little professional and my new blingy white golf shoes were going to help do the trick.

Little MMI

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle Randpark Golf Course Whitcher Pro Shop Nike Pink and White Glove

Advice Against Bruised Buttocks

Oh Journal

Just to advise any golfing enthusiasts who have been equipped with the green rope to practice at home... DO NOT wrap rope around a movable object and lean back hoping the rope will hold you. Failure to do so will result in falling on buttocks and object almost landing on top of you! Epic fail!

Regards Bruised Buttocks

Week 2- The Mexican Wave

Dearest Diary

It’s week 2 of my ambitious golfing lessons and I got to meet my lady co-learner who walked towards me looking so professional and intimidating with her golfing attire. You can see she had experienced the green, green grass of a course. Her hair was neatly tucked in a peaked cap (Note to Self: purchase peak cap), she wore long golfing pants and her shoes had these little spiky things on the bottom that closely resembled the end of a meat tenderizer. She looked like the real deal whilst I stood there in my professional tracksuit with my sneakers that had a flat foot resembling a shoe. I always thought woman golfers were hard and mean but she was so delightful and pleasant with the wittiest British humour.

I moved towards my golfing zone and took a few practice swing shots which went pleasingly well until my coach said the dreaded consecutive word... “Pam, Pam, Pam”! Now here is a little learner tip, if your name is conveyed once then it’s a thumbs up, you’ve done something right. Should your name be mentioned approximately three times translates to “Silly, silly, silly” followed by a “Let me show you what you did wrong and help you correct your error”. I was told that I shouldn’t dip and lift myself when swinging. I had a tendency to start with the correct posture and end up following through (notice the golf jargon being used) straightening my legs as if joining a Mexican wave. Learning a new technique was something uncommon for me. It was like stepping out of my comfort zone into a world of multitasking. Women are known to multitask but this was a whole new level thinking about a whole bunch of things at once. Slightly bend the legs, hold club like this, stare at the ball, follow your swing through and now don’t straighten legs during swing. Darren told me to stand aside so he could show me how one should keep their posture slightly bent over and I was completely astonished. He stood on the designated spot and after I expected him to bring out technological gadgets to determine his path location, speed at which the ball should fly as well as the pressure and angle at which the club should hit the ball, came this elegant, effortless swing like he was floating on air molecules with extra fairy dust. It seemed like the ball was going to break the sound barrier, well it broke my sound barrier whilst my jaw stood wide open and it almost seemed like he was this robot that had loads of golf input and had been wired to do every swing perfectly and consistently. At that moment I too needed golfing input and I also wanted to swing a ball closely resembling that. I was determined... new mission- swing and hit ball like fairy!

To accomplish some of my swinging techniques, I was given a green rope that I needed to use to practice swinging right to left. The idea was to wrap the rope around a pole and hold both ends in my hands pulling one hand in towards me whilst the other hand naturally pulled away from my body. This would teach me how to use my posture and complete my swing in statue pose of knees joined together and right heel of foot lifted. This was such a puzzling posture for me as I quickly realised that I must have seemed like someone needing the loo and trying to hold it in. The person who ever thought of this posture was a golfing mastermind. ‘He’ must have needed the loo allot playing 18 holes and not being near a relieving facility and without wanting to look silly whilst trying to hold it in, developed the ‘Champion’s Pose or Foot’ as to blend in with other golfers. Why be the odd one out when you can get everyone to join you... almost like a subliminal golfers flash mob!

I was told to keep practicing at home with the green rope and that was another lesson over! ~sigh~

Good news is no one was injured during the lesson and my patient coach seems to be not giving up on me.

Little MMI

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle Randpark Golf Course Whitcher Pro Shop Demonstration

First Lesson and it Snows!

Dear Digi- You

Of all the 365 days in a year... of all the days in history that it could have possibly snowed and the clouds decide to bless me today... the first day of my golf lesson? I arrived at the driving range feeling excited and a little nervous to begin my lesson and something didn’t seem right. My car windscreen was covered in ice and the temp gauge was reading minus temperatures. The clouds covered Johannesburg like a thick, dark blanket and strangely enough there were very few people at the golf club. Where were all the peak capped individuals?

I was hoping deep down in my belly that no other ladies would pitch due to weather conditions so that I could at least learn some basics before I made myself to look completely like an amateur. Trying to learn the fundamentals reading ‘Golf for Dummies’ is one thing but being out in the open attempting some of the very skilled moves, in reality is another.

My coach arrived looking all excited and doing this little jumpy thing that people tend to do when feeling a little cold and all I could focus on was me actually being there attempting this sport. What was I thinking? He handed over the club and proceeded to get me to do some warm ups... “Touch your toes” he said politely and I touched my toes. (~deserved applause~) “Now twist your arms left and right” and so I did that accordingly. After a few warm-ups he said, “Now take the club and lets swing”... ummm huh? At that very moment everything went into slow motion... I realised it was just me and that club. We would have to form a partnership like no other... kinda like forming an alliance. Both with the same objective... minds as one... mission- hit the ball in a forward motion and don’t harm any trees! I stepped towards the little green mat and stood on the designated area for takeoff. The club was gripped in my hand; I swung back almost hitting my coach and put every bit of power and muscle strength into smacking the ball. At that very instant my mind was calculating the degree of my swing and the forward motion I would need to obtain flying results. “It’s just like we practiced on ‘Tiger Woods Playstation’ Pam... forward, back and push the power button”. I put everything into that swing and then I looked up to see my achievement and let’s just say the ball decided to activate its magnetism field and stuck to the ground. In my head I could hear crickets chirping and a silence only interrupted by the wind howling through the upper deck.

Thank goodness at that moment white stuff started falling from the heavens distracting my coach from my swinging error... it started snowing. After assuming my day had started with horrible weather turned into my first golfer’s picturesque moment watching the snow falling on the course. Suddenly it happened... the one thing you don’t want to happen when in any golfing situation. This little girl inside of me started coming out and all of a sudden I was all giddy and freaking out by the fact that I was actually seeing snow for the first time. I can just see my future in golf... everytime something awesome happens I’m going to be jumping and skipping and pulling out ‘Gangnam Style’ dance moves. Best I start a new trend in golf;)

I learnt how to hold a club properly and stand with my feet slightly apart to get the perfect distance between myself and the white ball. “Brush the grass”... “Brush the grass”... apparently I need to brush the grass to give the ball lift and keeping my eye on the ball helps to actually get the ball off its stationary position in the first place. Fascinating! I had some amazing shots which I didn’t even think I could achieve and all thanks to the freezing weather that kept my arms automatically straight. I think I may have unlocked my first golfing theory... when arms keep bending apply ice to environment to achieve a no bending arm stance. Genius! They should invent ice rooms on the course just like the smoking rooms at airports!

I left my lesson feeling so invigorated... I always thought of golf being rigid, clicky and a sport that was completely out of my league. I was wrong! Golf, I feel is something I can become passionate about and my time where I can leave the world behind and just be! I really want to learn how to play and I think I better purchase my coach a suit of armour to protect him from my swinging hazards. I’ve been so fortunate to have a great coach with such patience and it makes such a difference being taught by someone who too is passionate about the game.

Until Next Week!

Little MMI

PS: I heard missing the ball is referred to as ‘Fresh Air’... perhaps it’s because golf balls are dirty and them flying in the air adds to pollution in the area?

LittleMMI Pamela Buckle Randpark Golf Course Whitcher Pro Shop Snow

Page 1 of 2