After a few sessions a driving ranges in Erie PA, Maine, and most recently in Shawnee, PA, the lad expressed a preference for another ball-meets-swinging-thing sport; golf. His hand-eye coordination is great and he takes to all games where there’s a ball to be hit. So we booked him into Chelsea Piers’ junior golf program for one hour each Saturday, which started yesterday.
They let the kids have at it in terms of hitting the balls fo the first half hour or so (after cautioning them abut walking forward and falling off the top deck on to the one below, naturally) and gave them gentle coaching. Given it’s one of those Japanese systems where the next ball pops out of the ground as soon as you’ve hit one, he couldn’t beleive his luck in not having to reach down and place one on the tee each time.
Consequently he started hitting them as if he was in a baseball batting cage, with the club starting from behind his head (not easy to do but he managed it), before the coach stopped by and suggest some changes. The parents were strongly urged not to coach, merely to cheer lead, despite my temptation to point out this very basic facet of golf, i.e. it’s not basball. Oh well, I won parenting points from the coaches.
The results were two fold, he hit a lot of balls in one hour, 370 to be exact [Update: that can’t be right, that’s more than one a second! the next week he hit about 220, which is more like it, but still a helluva lot! The machine the first week must not have been set to zero.]:
Plus he ended up being able to finish his swing like this (he’s hitting balls towards New Jersey on the other side of the Hudson):
I think that’s one of my favorite pictures I’ve taken of him among the many thousands, despite its low quality due to it being with my phone. He’s a quick learner.