We were born a block apart in Brockton, Mass. It was the shoe capital of America back then…but it peaked by the late 60’s and our families eventually moved. However, we remained forever connected….a phone call, a visit, or a sleepover away. For 5 decades we’ve been #BFFs.
We’ve always cherished our sleepovers. We travelled on a camp bus cross country, shared summer houses, hiked, biked, and spent hours on the beach. We love nothing better than piling on the bed and talking late into the night. We’ve always got plenty to talk about. We are lucky to still have our moms, and we each have sons…no daughters, even our husbands are friends.
The most recent addition to our shared activities is golf. Over the last few years we added this grueling game to our sandbox …and now spend precious hours chipping, putting, oohing and ahhhing at our big drives on the course. It has become our new favorite way to spend time together.
So when planning a birthday getaway this year, we decided to up the investment in our playtime and signed on for golf school!
Golf school sounded like the perfect way to celebrate US and invest in our what’s next together. The sport is bordering on an obsession with each of us and we are committed to getting better.
Once our calendars were cleared, we did some serious research and discovered David Leadbetter Golf Academy in Palm Beach Gardens. We signed on for the 3-day mini school.
We were assigned a coach we all adored: Bob Hite. He’s been teaching at Leadbetter for years and really knows his stuff. He’s got the perfect blend of personality, energy and skills and was really fun to work with. For 3 mornings from 9 until noon we worked on drills, were videoed, received one on one feedback and kept swinging until it felt right.
In addition to our great coach, this trip had all the elements of success:
- We could sleep in one cottage. Tucked into our beds we could still talk late into the night.
- Personal attention. The group maxed out at 4 people and Day One the 4th person didn’t show. We got lots of one-on-one time.
- Mind expanding. We were in school and that meant we were in learning mode. Whatever this program was going to teach us, we were optimistic that we would have more tools in our golfers tool box to get out of trouble.
- Bubble of friendship. We had no one but us to think about. Our golf, each other’s golf, and where we would eat dinner.
- The price was right. Golf is expensive and golf school isn’t cheap but we knew what we were getting into. Lodging and lessons were included; so we weren’t shelling out money the whole time!
- Expanding our sandbox. We were playing together, just like when we were kids, but this time we were listening to our camp counselor instead of getting into trouble.
- We watched videos of each other, listened to Coach Bob give each of us feedback and now have an intimate understanding of each other’s swings. So, out on the course after lessons, we had more reason to support each other when we executed what we’d learned that morning.
- Superstars in Our Own Minds. We had our moments of glory. We lost a ton of balls but the winners were the ones that provided the shots of adrenaline keeping us in the game. Somehow just when we thought we couldn’t sink a putt, an impossible chip dribbled into the hole. Miracles abounded. The last day on the 17th hole, a par 3 at the Champion golf course at PGA, we stepped up shakily to this iconic hole surrounded by water, appropriately called the “Bear Trap” redesigned by the Golden Bear Jack Nicklaus. Miraculously, we each drove our ball over the water onto the small green. As each drive flew over the water and stuck onto the green, we jumped and cheered and howled. We were shocked and awed by ourselves and couldn’t stop laughing. The construction workers who were disassembling the bleachers from the Honda Classic clapped and cheered.
- We left wanting more! Never enough time. When it was time to leave we weren’t done. One more “round,” one more meal, more hangout time… our calendars were out and we committed to 3 tournaments in the hopes of landing some good swag.
There’s no guarantee we will remember how to use our new skills when the weather warms up — but we have so much new stuff to work with — it’s on us at this point to get better. We’re counting on muscle memory and each other’s memories to remind us when we start swinging in the spring.
Here was one of our favorite Coach Bob drills.