Gaye buggyDimension Data sounds like some high falutin’ dating agency, doesn’t it?

In actual fact, it is a global company specialising in information technology. Admit, my dating agency sounds far more intriguing, doesn’t it? They have just sponsored a Sunshine Ladies Golf Tour event in George. Never having had the slightest interest in watching golf, you can imagine my surprise at finding myself on my way to the Data Dimension Ladies Challenge at Kingswood Golf Course and looking forward to it immensely!

gaye golfingThere has been a vast change in me over the past few months. I have been learning to play golf with one of the top professionals in South Africa: Val Holland. My right hand, being spastic, does completely it’s own thing. Val took one look at it and instructed me to put it in my pocket. It was of no use to me as far as golf is concerned.

I am now hitting the ball 58 metres with my left arm. That sounds nothing to you, but to me who had lost the ability to connect with a small white golf ball for twenty-six years, it is positively mind blowing.

My friend, Jan suggested we go and watch the Dimension Data Golf Tournament for a short time on the Saturday. We were lent a golf cart which was a total dream. This meant we could simply shoot over the golf ‘dunes’, stopping wherever we wanted. A friend of Jan’s, Lee-Anne Pace was playing and somehow, of it’s own accord, our cart followed her and her playing partner, Stacy Bregman.

Before Val had opened my eyes to the world of golf, it meant nothing to me. I remember walking with a friend while she played the game. I was awed and stupefied by the beauty of George Golf Course. How my friend tee’d off, the sort of drives and shots she accomplished were of no interest to me whatsoever. They meant nothing.
Now it is a different story completely.
lee 3I watched Lee-Anne closely, surreptitiously mimicking the way she stood. I’m bending my knees too much when I address the ball, I thought recalling Val’s words and seeing Lee-Anne’s posture clearly. I noted how her body moved when the club and ball connected, how it followed through. When she and Stacy finished their shots, their weight pivoted forward with their back legs beautifully cocked. I’m laughing at the fact that female film stars, Meg Ryan for example, often have their back legs in that position while they are being kissed! I wonder why my leg doesn’t go into that position? Hmmm, maybe a lack of kissing practise. I must ask Val at my next lesson – about the leg position I mean!lee 1

This new golf awareness has made me look at the game in a totally different manner. I understand more. I observed Lee-Anne striking the ball with her driver. I noted the way her feet were planted firmly on the spot. They didn’t sway as mine mistakenly did. The way she coiled her body before swooping down and literally kissing the ball into the air. I marvel at a player like Gary Player. Having now developed a love for hitting that small, circular object a few metres along the fairway, I stand in total awe at the incredible artistry of a player such as him.

This whole change of perspective came about because of me being taught something about a game that I had previously disregarded. Through learning about it, I was shown a new dimension to something I had previously turfed to one side. This set me thinking.

Val caught my interest and made me ‘step into’ golf, discover it and delight in getting to know it. Taking this a step further. What about people? So often I dismiss people. I haven’t given them the time they often need. I haven’t stepped in and taken a closer look. When you have a knowledge of something, it seems to change your relationship with it. Same thing with people. When you have a better knowledge of a person, your relationship with them seems to change.
“She’s always snappy and in a bad mood!” you might think. Getting to know that person, you may understand why she snaps. She might be going through marital problems, be ill or just plain lonely. I’m not saying that you should pry into people’s affairs. I am not saying that at all. No, people have a right to their privacy. What I’m saying is: don’t judge people and dismiss them. I didn’t know that a golf swing was such an art. In the same way, people are an art in themselves. The more you get to know them, the more the artistry in their make up is revealed.

I have to admit that the highlight of my Dimension Data day was not the outstanding golf players I witnessed at that tournament. Indeed, they were magnificent but the item that stole the show was the buggy. Or rather it was – me driving the golf buggy! I asked Jan if it would be alright for me to drive it for a while. Since my fall, I have been unable to drive a car. Having only 40% eyesight means I am too much of a danger to others. But who could I hurt on a golf course, driving a meandering little golf cart? Seeing no harm in acquiescing, Jans moved over and I TOOK CONTROL! For the past 26 years I had been yearning for such a moment. Those cartoons where a car’s wheels whir round and round in the same spot before the car leaps forward and is gone in a whoosh of dust! That quite literally was me behind the wheel of that buggy! I floored the accelerator, my foot pressed down hard and said casually: “Okay, I will just go gently to the side of the golfers.”
My golf cart pelted hell for leather over the course and came to a zippy stop right near the golfers. We watched two more holes before accelerating back towards the club house. When I swerved into the parking lot, Jan issued a word I’d never heard her use before. Indeed it was MY word. “Shytenhauzen!” she gasped. “I need a strong drink!”Gaye2

There is so much in this wonderful world of ours that we should be more open to and more aware of. Take my golf transformation. Thanks to Val, this one handed golf player is now addicted. I have always thought wrestling was such a silly, pointless sport. Perhaps if I did a few wrestling bouts, I would become a strong advocate of that sport!
Who knows what is inside of you, unless you allow yourself to delve? So delve and discover a love of golf, an interest in people, a passion for wrestling and a demonic desire to drive golf buggies!

Lee-Anne Pace winner of the 2016 Dimension Data Challenge
Lee-Anne Pace winner of the 2016 Dimension Data Challenge