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Why Did You Start Playing Golf?


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  • 3 weeks later...

I played for a number of years as a young kid, we lived close to a golf course, and it was just entertainment for me to keep myself busy and be outdoors, and on occassion to hang out with my dad and the adults for a day.

 

This went through Junior high, but then I got really into mountain biking and the golf clubs never came out again.

 

I worked at a very high end golf club in college, pulled out my clubs and played on a day employees were allowed on, and I sliced every shot, lost 4 balls and stopped. DUMB sport, I was over it.

 

After college a few friends who I didn't even know knew each other started hanging out, and doing so without me!! I called them out on it and found out there were playing golf together. One guy had asked if I wanted to play and I'd said no, it's a stupid stuck up rich white man's sport.

 

Within a month, someone handed me their old clubs, I stepped on the course, drank a beer and smoked a cigar and realized the sport didn't matter, I had an excuse to drink and smoke with my buddies during the day.

 

Give it another 6 months and I was completely obsessed and realized if I didn't drink and smoke, I played better!!!! Suddenly I cared about getting better.

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Guest Electric Pig

Unlike it seems everyone else, I started off without any family involvement. In fact, my father hated the game.

 

One year, the local course put on a clinic and a game over the school holidays, and the hook was well and truly in. I ended up working in the pro shop buffing clubs after school, which let me buy clubs, a bag, some lessons, my junior membership, etc. Someone noticed my ability, and the club paid for me to see Billy McWilliam. Mr McWilliam our Harvey Penick, in that he was always there for you, you didn't pay for lessons too often, was getting on and he kept it simple. His greatest lesson was to instill a passion for the game in his students, a passion that we all shared.

 

His pupils weren't always superstars, but included names like Norman, Devlin, Crampton, Hutton, Woodward and current LPGA player Sarah Kemp. I was also lucky enough to get to know a few of his more famous students- no, friends.

 

The only time Mr McWilliam ever had a bad thing to say to me was when he saw a packet of cigarettes in my bag. "It is your choice to smoke" he said, "And my choice to continue to teach you." I was 28 years old at the time, but boy, it was enough to make me stop!

 

A few years later the state golf association sent me to see Alex Mercer (Steve Elkington's coach) who was the state program coach. He took one look at me and said "You're one of Billy's, aren't you... Don't ever change a thing."

 

My father died without ever acknowledging to me the value of the game and what I was capable of. I like to think that I am making up for that more than double when I teach, where everyone is treated equal- and special, no matter who you are.

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Unlike it seems everyone else, I started off without any family involvement. In fact, my father hated the game.

 

One year, the local course put on a clinic and a game over the school holidays, and the hook was well and truly in. I ended up working in the pro shop buffing clubs after school, which let me buy clubs, a bag, some lessons, my junior membership, etc. Someone noticed my ability, and the club paid for me to see Billy McWilliam. Mr McWilliam our Harvey Penick, in that he was always there for you, you didn't pay for lessons too often, was getting on and he kept it simple. His greatest lesson was to instill a passion for the game in his students, a passion that we all shared.

 

His pupils weren't always superstars, but included names like Norman, Devlin, Crampton, Hutton, Woodward and current LPGA player Sarah Kemp. I was also lucky enough to get to know a few of his more famous students- no, friends.

 

The only time Mr McWilliam ever had a bad thing to say to me was when he saw a packet of cigarettes in my bag. "It is your choice to smoke" he said, "And my choice to continue to teach you." I was 28 years old at the time, but boy, it was enough to make me stop!

 

A few years later the state golf association sent me to see Alex Mercer (Steve Elkington's coach) who was the state program coach. He took one look at me and said "You're one of Billy's, aren't you... Don't ever change a thing."

 

My father died without ever acknowledging to me the value of the game and what I was capable of. I like to think that I am making up for that more than double when I teach, where everyone is treated equal- and special, no matter who you are.

 

Mr. McWilliam sounds likes a great teacher! Great story, thanks for sharing.

Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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