My Sanctuary in the Sand: Kiawah Island Golf Resort (Part II)

Doom and gloom — that’s what I was starting to feel when I left you last week.

Not only were the skies over Kiawah getting dark with rain clouds, but my attitude was mirroring the weather, as I anticipated whether I’d actually hit the ball during my golf lesson.

You see, I had a rather humbling experience at the driving range this fall. I held the club the wrong way the whole time. I could barely hit the ball. And I ended up rubbing holes in my hands from the poor grip. I haven’t been back since.

As the lesson got under way, I recounted my traumatic driving range experience to my golf pro, Abby. She told me not to worry, and we got to work on what she calls her golf “crash course.”

We went through grips. (I prefer the variation on the beginner’s grip that slightly interlocks the pinky of one hand and the forefinger of the other.) I learned you should hold the club in your fingers, not with your palms.

Then came working on my stance: feet shoulder-width apart and weight in the middle of your feet. And in my case, the left foot is my anchor foot and shouldn’t leave the ground as I pivot my hips during the swing. And then came the part I’d been dreading — it was time to try and hit the ball.

And I did it!! Sure, there were some stinkers along the way as I practiced my partial swing (we’re taking baby steps here, folks). But I was actually able to get a little loft under that ball — multiple times! It took me back to when I used to take piano and tumbling lessons, and how I would feel when I mastered a skill. (OK, so in tumbling I didn't feel that way very frequently. Just to think about all the dollars that were wasted on trying to get that standing back handspring...) I'd forgotten how good that feels, and now I want to feel it again.

I now know what I need to be working on: keeping my left arm straight and right arm loose, keeping my head down and letting my shoulders and hips lead the way, and keeping a light grip on the club.

After hitting the ball one last — decent — time, the rain started to fall, and my first official golf lesson came to a close. Needless to say, I really enjoyed working with Abby and can see why she was ranked one of Golf Digest’s Top 40 Instructors Under 40.

I left that lesson with a plan (and have been practicing my swing in our apartment, which Mark really loves…). The next step is to get over to Play It Again Sports to buy a cheap lady’s putter and pitching wedge, so I can get to the driving range soon. I think I may be hooked. (Did I mention that I actually invested in a golf skort?)

Unfortunately, I didn’t get quite as lucky with my tennis lesson. By the time that was scheduled to occur, a torrential downpour had begun, which lasted well into the next day. But I was able to enjoying the hotel’s fitness center instead, and logged a 30-minute run while watching — guess what? — golf on my treadmill’s personal TV.

That evening, after a delicious meal of ahi tuna carpacio and filet mignon in The Sanctuary’s Ocean Room, it was time to tuck myself in for the night. I knew the next day was going to be a long one. I was scheduled to visit the spa.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog, which will be the final installment in my Kiawah adventure, and find out how the spa at Kiawah compares with the others I’ve visited. Until then — stay FWABulous!