Resolution - Learn to Play Golf

(Ellen Mccarthy Twp)
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Friday, December 26, 2008

Michelle Potter, 30, of Alexandria has been wanting to take up golf for a long time, and we think 2009 should be the year she does it.

Golf is incredibly intimidating. The clubby vibe, the copious rules, the not-

insignificant cost. Just think about stepping on the greens as a complete amateur, and you'll probably incur the wrath of devoted regulars psychically willing you to move aside so they can play through.

"It's probably the hardest game in the world," says Matt Rura, head pro at the Rock Creek Golf Course. He says that not to further intimidate folks like Potter but to stress that beginners should definitely "take lessons so they start with the fundamentals and the basics from Day One."

Without proper instruction, new golfers can easily pick up bad habits that are tough to unlearn. Lucky for Potter, now might be the best time to start. Not on 18 holes just yet, but at a driving range where she can learn proper form and get the undivided attention of an instructor.

At the East Potomac Golf Course at Hains Point, where Rura teaches with GolfDC, there are 27 heated stalls, so balls can be hit in the rain or snow. In the off-season, newbies can get five 30-minute individual lessons, scheduled at their convenience, for $225. Group lessons are also available.

Potter should be a pro by the time winter has left the greens.

-- Ellen McCarthy

Most golf courses offer lessons, and you can find the one nearest you at Find out more about GolfDC at If you want another heated, low-stress option for hitting balls, check out TopGolf in Alexandria at http://

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