Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Speaking of bargains - FORE!

Speaking of bargains....


Speaking of cool bargains, both our boys have become very interested in the wonderful world of golf. After all, aren’t most professional hockey player’s golfers in the off season? snicker

Our local golf course offered golf programs for children last summer HERE which most of ours became part of. Not all were eager to return to the sport right away, though three expressed a sincere desire to attempt the game more seriously this year.

So far, our youngest daughter joins her brothers upon occasion, shooting balls and trying to see how many balls she can sink into the holes on the putting green. Sometimes too she has kept her daddy company in a golf cart when they haul the boy’s golf bags for them as the two of them play from hole to hole during their games. A refreshing dip into the pool concludes their efforts sometimes, mostly as a wee bonus for the day and to cool off from the intensity of the summer sun.

Once the three determined golf wannabees owned their own clubs, we purchased punch cards for golf ball buckets and knew the driving range and putting areas were where they should hang out the most at first, plenty of practice to keep them accelerating from “wannabee” to “newbie”, before entering the world of “rookie” at the very least.

Curiously I consulted one of the golf pros in the shop, inquiring into the fee for a junior golf membership. I was surprised when he decided to prorate the yearly fees claiming the golfing season so much shorter here than in the west. Yes, it’s true. Golf courses around here close their doors for three months at the very minimum, closing mid November for the winter.

Anyway, back to my story here...

He offered me a deal. Yes, a deal! Just as my son was smitten with his deal in THIS POST, I too was offered a deal with a prorated junior membership fee, the cost not even the total of four lessons for a non-member, and a smidgen of a fraction for yearly fees known of back in the west.

SOLD! – heehee

Both boys were registered directly on the spot as members but the deal of the century was when all the additional benefits were verbally reviewed at the same time.

He is just plain ole' happy beating his own score,
never mind serious competition for him.

The boys were placed into two age group divisions and each week they hit the golf course for a three hour time block where all the professionals from the club gave them golf lessons, and a full lunch afterwards. They were awarded prizes each time, given stashes of golf balls for practice games, and a hat with a logo representing the golf course on the front of it.

Not only have they met plenty of game buddies with similar skills thus far, this week they will both be fortunate enough to take part in their very first professionally led *Junior Golf tournament*. Both are quite nervous about the unknown of their outcomes, but how else does a player advance in his skills than to play a more serious game. They have officially advanced to the “Rookie” stage now, woot, woot!

Along with their membership, the boys often are found on the golf range shooting a game together, or concentrating deeply on the driving range and putting areas. Buckets of balls are free for members, and lots of tokens are offered to keep them practising well for several hours at a time. Our back property is also a shooting range, but bird feeders beware of these guys!

I didn’t get to take a photo of the two of them the other day when they manned their first golf cart driving alone to play a round of nine holes, big brother are the wheel, both looking mighty proud. Yes, that was a good day to rent a golf cart because our older son was involved in an evening hockey conditioning camp with grueling dry land workouts and two hours of ice time drills in full gear. Need I mention how well he slept afterwards?

Bucket after bucket, practicing a lot lately

With his continued desire to get out and practise on the golf course, preparing for this week’s tournament, the whole idea of walking that particular day wasn’t appealing for him. He was sore. His muscles were screaming back at him. And wow, did he ever love being behind the wheel of that golf cart for the first time, not having to walk the course pushing his bag in a borrowed golf cart. Our other son though, he had his very own cart to push around...snicker.

Back to my story again...

She's hitting the ball better and farther all the time

Jumping in on the bandwagon, little sister still gets absorbed in her own bucket of balls on my punch card and the new golf tees we pick up at the local dollar store to keep her stash filled. It was a surprise when our older daughter’s friends got into the act after being invited to shoot balls and play a short game one day with mutual friends, so guess who decided she also should get over to the golf course and practice up in case she had the opportunity to accompany the group of friends during their next game together?

Yep, this would be her below.... the one who said she wasn’t very interested in continuing with the game, but it was okay last year to try.

Acting up for the camera, she's on the golf bandwagon

This is the one who didn’t want her own clubs and this is the one who always thought her brothers had lost their marbles for their growing love of the game. How though can she contest those same feelings when all of their mutual friends haul around their golf clubs and join her brothers on the golf course? When in doubt, hop on the bandwagon folks, and she has.

He's got the collared golf shirt, read on to find out more

I have one last funny thing to share with you here about golfing. Our young son (the golf cart deal finder) sincerely desired a golf glove, you know, the kind with Velcro at the wrist to allow for a good fit to keep a good hold and grip on his club when shooting and to also assist in preventing blisters. He has had his share of blisters this summer, and after all many of the junior players were battling the same dilemma.

This past week mother trodded up to the pro shop with him where the staff sadly declared to be sold out of junior sized gloves. Off we went to town next time we were up there on errands, stopping into a store to see what sizes they carried and prices of course. Imagine being told a man’s small leather glove (ONE glove!) was 25.00 plus taxes! I about fell to the ground and bluntly told our son that was overkill. I suppose as I left the scene I muttered something about finding a cheaper one. When he came running to me a few moments later, waving another glove in the air, I started to giggle and listened intently to his squeal about finding one just his size for only 7.00, a Wilson smaller brand name yet (I guess he knows brands now?? hmmmm).

All prepared and ready to head to the golf course the next morning, he walked past me in the kitchen announcing; “See mom! This is how professional golfer carries their glove, in their back pocket like this, the hand part is supposed to be tucked in and the fingers hang down and flap in the wind when you don't need to wear it.”

“Oh”, I said , struggling for words as I bit my lip and halted the hearty exploding mound of laughter beginning to roll up my throat.

Before commencing his game that day, he proudly exclaimed he resembled a professional with that glove on, and later when they were finished, he credited that new glove for producing his best golfing scores to date.

The infamous (one) golf glove that made him golf like a pro :-)

Oh boy! This is such a déjà vu for me, an oozing joyful exuberance and a passion for a new sport he finds incredibly fun to participate in with his brother, his buddy, his friend.

And when they can, their sisters like to tag along to join their fun, getting the hang of it all slowly but surely.