Did I ever talk about the time I picked golf as my sport for PE? No? Well, I guess I'll tell you about it now.
Golf had never been particularly interesting to me as a sport - if it had been, I certainly would've pestered my parents to let me have golf lessons at one of the local courses. (There is, in fact, a golf course within easy walking distance of my house.) My dad, on the other hand, was itching to play golf after watching it for so many years and would occasionally ask me to please consider taking golf classes so that he could accompany me and learn to play. (I always thought it was ridiculous; go learn yourself! Are you embarrassed that you're so old and are a total newbie? Why can't you leave me out of it?)
It just seemed like the most boring thing ever. Some guy wearing a cap and polo shirt (though sometimes there are some pretty scary looking outfits, like a bright orange shirt and pants... *shudder* ) stands there shuffling his feet and pretending to swing. It probably takes longer for them to get ready for the shot than to actually do it. I always thought it was pretty simple and didn't understand why they needed to take so long. Maybe they wanted to make extra sure that they swung perfectly and ended up in this position. The sport is so slow, in fact, that oftentimes the cameramen will film ducks, blimps, or frogs instead of golf players. Of course, I like to see the animals, but this is not Animal Planet or the Discovery Channel...
Still, I figured it was more appealing than the other options for sports that time. There was street hockey, but I intended to save that for last, and I certainly wasn't going to swim (too much hassle) or join any sport that involved throwing things (believe me, I am terrible at football, and frisbee is the stuff of nightmares). So off to golf I went.
I ended up with my usual PE teacher for golf, and he began the first class by naming some golfers and asking how many of us had heard of them. Of course everyone knew Tigers, and a handful of people were familiar with Michelle Wie, but I was pretty much the only one who recognized the name of a rather old golfer. (Hey! Not my fault I've been looking at my dad's Fantasy PGA Tour picks for nearly half my childhood.) I realize later I probably shouldn't have raised my hand because I bet the teacher expected me to be some golf pro. He would soon find out the opposite.
I must say now that I greatly underestimated what it takes to hit a golf ball, not only in the right direction but also with the right amount of power...I'd say, though, the hardest part was actually figuring out how to hit the ball. Us students were taught to hold the club a certain way and do some wimpy half-swings to get used to hitting the balls. I missed the ball a lot or ended up taking out chunks of grass in the process. Eventually I kind of got the hang of it, but even then it was rather up-and-down at times. Some days I was practically a pro and had been asked if I'd played golf before; other times I was messing up even on easy holes. And of course, when we were playing golf in teams, there was much shock and dismay when I missed the putt that they were all counting on me to do. So it is indeed a tricky game - even your choice of golf club can make a big difference in your golf skills, as I learned the hard way. In some ways it's a mind game too; when my concentration was off, my golf suffered as well. At the end of the golf unit I was still not much good at golf, but at least now I understood why people came out in hordes to watch funnily-dressed men swing sticks. It is indeed a sport to be admired.