OK, Golf, You Suckered Me In

There’s a first for me this weekend: my workout plans include golf.

No, I do not know how to play.

Yes, I’m 55.

Are the two linked?

Golfers enjoying Austin's Butler Park Pitch and Putt on a pretty winter day
How can a nature girl like me not love spending an afternoon outside doing this? Photo Credit: Leah Nyfeler

When You Love Being Outdoors, Golf Makes Sense

Looking at Austin skyline from tree marked #5 Tee at Butler Park Pitch and Putt.It was a beautiful, balmy Friday afternoon in February when my husband surprised me by coming home early. “Let’s go out to lunch and then do something different,” he said with a sly smile. “I want to take you to the Pitch and Putt.”

Essentially, he lured me with queso for my first round of “golf.”

I use quotation marks because, as mentioned before, I don’t know how to play, and the Butler Park Pitch and Putt is pretty much “golf lite.” The beautiful park-like oasis is nestled between Barton Springs Road, the Long Center, and Lady Bird Lake. The course consists of nine par-3 holes, and they even have clubs to use (I got a wedge and an iron. I think).

The tiny clubhouse with its whirring fan had me channeling all the best “Caddyshack” moments.

Since the Pitch and Putt opened in 1949, everyone from the famous–Ben Crenshaw, Tom Kite–to little kids (like our son, when Dad was encouraging his 9-year-old golf enthusiasm) has dropped in.

Sooner or later, every true Austinite will take a swing at this historic space.

I was due.

Golfers enjoying Austin's Butler Park Pitch and Putt on a pretty winter day
How can a nature girl like me not love spending an afternoon outside doing this? I can’t wait until the trees leaf out. Photo Credit: Leah Nyfeler

My biggest worry? Just how wild my balls would go. It didn’t help that the day was gorgeous and groups of guys (and a girl or two) were enjoying a beer while leisurely practicing their game ahead and behind our twosome. The sum total of my previous experience consisted of many a childhood game of Putt Putt and one party out at Topgolf  (which, surprisingly, I really enjoyed).

But my husband was gently appropriate with his guidance, the day was gorgeous, I’m naturally competitive (though keeping score was really not the point), and the outing was a blast.

Score 1 for Golf.

I’m In It For the Friends

In 2014, I wrote a golf story for Austin Fit Magazine ( “Austin’s Lions Municipal is Home to Women’s Golf Association”) and in the course of research, I tagged along one morning while the ladies played a round. It was the first time I truly saw the appeal of the sport. The women were playing serious golf yet still having fun; everyone was walking; and the peace and beautiful of that early winter morning was breathtaking. I later told my friend Ginny Rohlich, who was one of the golfers, that one day, I would like to learn to play golf.

Ginny has a great memory. When she saw my husband’s Facebook post documenting our little foray to Pitch and Putt, she pounced on the opening, pointing out a free all-levels women’s golf clinic on the upcoming weekend. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Woman golfing at Butler Park Pitch and Putt in Austin, TX.
I got some helpful tips on form from Facebook buddies after James posted this.

It is a fact that I will go to any workout with a friend. So, yes, I will happily learn to drive from 9 to 12 this Saturday. And I’ve invited my friend, Barbara, to join me. She’s been looking for a newbie to play with, “someone fun who’s worse at golf than I am.”

I suspect Barbara is being modest but, hey, I am certainly worse than everybody right now.

And eager to spend time getting better.

Fore!

Wanna golf in Austin? Check out these links:

Diagram of holes at Butler Park Pitch and Putt in Austin
Check out Butler Park Pitch and Putt before you go. This image was pulled from their website (click the link).

Butler Park Pitch and Putt

Topgolf

Free Ladies’ Golf Clinic: “Driving School”

Looking at Austin skyline from tree marked #5 Tee at Butler Park Pitch and Putt.
Beautiful photo options abound on a pretty golf course, like this view of downtown Austin. Photo Credit: Leah Nyfeler

Published by Leah Nyfeler

I’m a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I’ve come to learn it. In addition to my blog “Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life” at www.leahruns100.com, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *