Getting Into the Swing of Things

  1. I have yet to meet my mentor
  2. I will be doing that very shortly

Emails have been sent again and currently we are trying to find a date that works for us both. We will be meeting very soon however and I will be posting and updating the moment we are finished.

Now, just because I haven’t met with my mentor yet, doesn’t mean I’ve been simply waiting for a date to be set up. I haven’t been just sitting on the floor, counting my toes all day, wondering when to possibly start my project. I went out to the range and hit some balls. I went to my basement and pulled out my putter. I went to Google and learned a bit more on the history on golf and how it has become what it is in everyday and modern culture. Yes, I have been doing things.

I went to the driving range to go break in my clubs a bit. I haven’t really played golf in a number of months so I was not expecting much from myself. All I was asking was to at least hit the ball. So 60 balls later I felt I had regained some of my old golfing chops and was ready to begin improving my game.

Here are some videos (filmed courtesy of my dad who also found out his phone has a slo-mo function) showing my first real swings at the game again. In the descriptions of the videos, there is a short description of what was good and what was less-so.

I have improved greatly in the distance of my shot since the first time I went out this year (no video footage for that). My swing has all around improved and I’m always looking to improve further. With my dad’s help, I recalled some of my prior golf pointers and applied them to my shot. Currently I am experimenting a lot with my shots to see what works and what doesn’t. As well, I got some of my clubs re-gripped so hopefully that will help my shot too.

I’m looking forward to soon finally meting with my mentor, as well as going to the actual course to apply my shooting skills to the course.

To Find a Mentor

My finding of  mentor has been a struggle. At first I wasn’t even doing golf for my in-depth, then I went to Mr. Unger, then to a golf instructor at Eaglequest. It was a scramble trying to set up dates, think about if this person was really the right mentor, and criminal record checks. Finally, I looked to a well-known Vancouver musician and golfer Tom Shorthouse. It has taken quite a while to secure a mentor and for him to get back to me, and in the few days since it was confirmed we have both been too busy to really set up a meeting date.

Tom Shorthouse is currently the principal trumpet in the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and has been since 1995. He is also a well-known jazz trumpeter, and is in fact coming to perform at this year’s Jazz Gala. He was also principal trumpet in the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan for six years, and speaks fluent Mandarin. As well, he teaches trumpet at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Vancouver Community College.

And yes, my in-depth project is on golf.

Tom Shorthouse is also an avid golfer. He has caddied for a professional golfer and I hear many golfing stories about him.

He has been golfing for quite a while, just as one would have to be to become good enough to caddie for a pro. He gained his experience from learning the game from his mentors, whether it be teachers, coaches and the like. He also gained experience from learning to play the game. Because golf is such a personal game, there is a lot of experimentation involved in improving your swing, seeing the course, and looking at how to attack the hole.

I have yet to meet with him and have only emailed him a few times for the purpose of trying to get him to be my mentor. When I finally do meet with him, I will be sure to ask him these questions to be answered in more detail than it is now, as well as ask him other things about golf itself.

During my time with Tom Shorthouse, I will be doing some playing on the course so he can help both my long and short-game. This is going to be a huge help because golf isn’t all about swinging the hardest and making that tiny white ball go really far. It’s about looking at the hole as a whole and being able to improvise yourself out of a bad situation, which I will most inevitably find myself in. He will also offer me insights and tips on how to be a better golfer and how to have a better mindset about it. As well, I will be emailing him video clips of myself for when we can’t meet. Videos such as this.

I will also be meeting occasionally with an instructor from Eaglequest, Gerry Chatelain. He has been a CPGA professional for over 50 years and I have taken lessons with him before. In the times I am with him, I will mostly be working on my swing, but also I will ask for some insight that he has on the game, after playing for such a long time.

I will be back soon with more information on both of my mentors and with more information on my learning so far.