Katrina Gosling, 62, always has a bucket- list of new things she would love to try – and learning golf had long been on there.
After retiring she finally got round to taking lessons – attracted by its combination of fresh air, lush green surroundings and its potential as a sport she could play with her husband Francis.
“I joined in with some beginner’s group lessons at London Central Golf Centre. There were about 10 of us and the atmosphere was relaxed and wonderfully encouraging. I loved it from the start and could tell it was the perfect sport for me.
“The instructor Gary was brilliant and talked us through grip, posture and how to build a powerful swing.
“Trying to co-ordinate my hands, arms and legs was a challenge and at first I couldn’t even hit the ball. But Gary kept saying ‘relax’ and it was only when I actually listened and forgot my surroundings that I managed to send the ball soaring in a straight line just the way it should – and it felt incredible.
“After two hours I thought ‘I want more!’ and so I carried on joining in with the weekly drop-in lessons offered by Gary at the club as well as practising on my own.
Within a few weeks I was better and more confident and I now play with Francis or with people I’ve met on the beginners’ course. It’s a sport Francis and I can do together with plenty of time for conversation. We’ve played tennis together in the past but he always ends up telling me what I should be doing and it’s not as much fun.
It’s different with golf because it’s easier to play together even though we are at different levels of experience. Francis has played longer than me and has a handicap of 19 so we don’t play together competitively but we do play for fun and try to help each other. Sometimes he will still try to tell me how to do something like he does in tennis – and then miss his own shot!
Although Francis can hit the ball further, I always beat him hands down when it comes to putting on the green. He’ll often say ‘wow, well done’ and I can’t help but feel a little bit smug when I share some of my tricks with him.
It feels wonderful to be able to share a passion with Francis and we laugh together more than we ever have.
I’ll definitely continue with golf whatever else new I try because it has brought me a real sense of accomplishment.