Conquering Fairways and Fears
09.22.09 · Ashley Bowen Cook
I’ve been a beginner golfer now for about seven years (since I married a director of golf instruction). I’ve always enjoyed the sport as a spectator, but didn’t want to take it up seriously until recently. Not too long ago, I was only willing to go to the driving range or course with my husband/instructor in tow; I was completely intimidated by what others would think of me.
Then one day it hit me: it’s just a game.
When the opportunity to play in the Young Professionals of Wichita scramble golf tournament came up, I decided to go for it. How can I get any better if I don’t jump in and try? So I convinced one of my girlfriends to form a team.
Gearing Up For Game Day
Tournament rules stated that each member of the four-member team had to select the same three clubs to play with the entire round. She and I agreed would be a good idea to have a couple of men on our team to assist with the longer shots. Scramble format means all team members tee off and the best ball is selected. Then everyone hits from that spot and the best ball is selected again. This repeats until you get to the green and everyone putts in.
When my alarm went off at 6 o’clock on Saturday morning I seriously questioned my sanity. Then I arrived at the executive course (featuring only par 3 and 4 holes) to find the rest of the field was 95% men. I made the conscious decision to ignore the rest of the field and focus on having fun. While the round started out a little rough, I was on a roll about six holes in. I started hitting the ball exactly like I do when my husband is there instructing me. My team even used a few of my drives and putts.
By the time we finished 18 holes, I wondered why I’d waited so long to get out and play on my own. It was a good reminder that I shouldn’t let my lack of confidence hold me back from taking chances.