Learning the right way

Mike Myers was never much of a golfer.

Until recently, he really wasn’t a golfer at all.

Sure, he’d tried it a few times over the years, but like most people with no formal training, he found the game far more vexing than satisfying.

“Every time you go, you’re just chasing the ball around the course, not even hitting it in the right direction,” he said. “Sometimes it’s hard to make contact if you don’t play a lot.”

Now, Myers plays a lot.

A former high school athlete who was looking for a way to stay active and keep up with his golf-playing dad, Myers began taking golf lessons in March at Otte Golf & Family Fun Center in Greenwood.

Starting basically from scratch, Myers had no foundation to speak of, little knowledge of the game, no skills, but he now cards respectable scores.

Not great scores, or even good scores, but good enough scores to know he’s on his way to becoming a golfer.

“(Lessons) are huge. It gives you some sense of direction,” Myers said. “With me, the biggest thing is the putting and the chipping. I had absolutely no clue how to do that, and it’s been much, much better.

“It’s probably the strongest part of my game now.”

A Franklin resident a few weeks shy of his 40th birthday, Myers took up golf for two reasons: he wants to stay active and wants keep up with his father, Paul Myers, a lifelong golfer who routinely embarrasses his son on the course.

“He’s 70 and still kicking my butt,” Myers said, laughing. “I said, ‘I’ve got to take some measures.’ I can’t have that.

“It’d be different if I was letting him win.”

In high school, Myers competed in football, wrestling and track and field — the sort of sports few people play beyond their 20s. In golf, he found a game he can play the rest of his life. But he didn’t want to learn on the fly.

That’s why he took lessons.

A production manager for a restoration firm, Myers is about halfway through a program that will wrap up sometime next month.

“I figured the best thing to do was to take some lessons and speed things up. I didn’t want to go out and just hack at it,” Myers said. “As soon as I started going, I noticed a huge difference, at least in the short game.

“I’m still working on the long game, trying to get the irons and the drivers ironed out.”

Although his game is still a work in progress, Myers regularly plays rounds with his father at Tameka Woods Golf Course in Trafalgar and at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin.

His goals are to keep improving and keep playing into retirement.

“All the sports that I played in high school you can’t do once you get out of school,” Myers said. “You can golf well if you’re if 50, 60 or 70.

“It’s something you can to have a long career at.”

The Myers File

Name: Mike Myers

Residence: Franklin

Age: 39

Occupation: Production manager for restoration firm

Takes lessons: At Otte Golf Center in Greenwood

Personal: Wife is Erin Myers; couple has two daughters, Ashlyn and Ella

Rick Morwick is sports editor of the Daily Journal. He can be reached at rmorwick@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2715.