Author – John salt
I’d recently taken up golf – and have since spent many humiliating hours hacking and slicing errant balls into the rough. I think the girlfriend sensed my increasing frustration.
She is relatively non-sporting and had certainly never shown the slightest interest in my new hobby – until this morning. I was watching golfing videos on youtube – hints and tips on improving your game – while she read a magazine beside me. One particular video appeared to capture her attention – a golfing professional was explaining a practise technique for driving balls straighter and farther – by getting more weight onto the trailing leg (the right leg for right-handers). By transferring more weight onto the right leg, he said the back swing would be more stable and enable the player to drive ‘through the ball’. To assist in learning this weight transfer, the golf pro had made himself asymmetric – he had removed his right shoe.
The girlfriend returned her gaze to the magazine, pretending to read for a couple of minutes – then suddenly asked “Are you playing golf today?”
“I thought I might go to the driving range for a couple of hours practice, if you don’t mind?”
“Why should I mind? In fact I might come with you since it’s a nice day … I could be your caddie!”
This was certainly a turnaround – her expressing enthusiasm for a few hours of watching me slice golf balls … but what the heck – it was certainly an improvement on her usual indifference. We loaded my clubs into the car and headed off.
It was a weekday morning so the range was mostly deserted. It consisted of two fairways, two putting greens and a bar. I changed into my brown Windsor golf shoes and signed in before rejoining her – Lisa – beside the 1st tee.
She watched intently as I addressed the ball, swung – and sent it skittering all of 70 yards … “Damn!”
She adopted a supportive tone – “That wasn’t so bad! Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’ll improve …”
We set off towards the ball towing the trolley that carried bag and clubs. The green was still some 250 yards away, so this next shot would again require an impossible (for me) power shot. This time I fired it a little further, but hooked it slightly right and almost off the fairway. Again we set off towards the ball.
“Did you learn any good tips from those videos this morning?” she enquired in a slightly curious tone. I replied “Plenty – but watching and doing are entirely different things!”
She continued, affecting innocence – “Anything in particular?”
“No – nothing in particular. Just try to keep my head steady and drive through the ball.”
“Well, there is one thing you could try …”
I stared at her. Was she really now offering golfing tips! I decided to humour her – “What’s that?”
“The man in one of the videos said putting more weight onto your right leg would help your swing. Why don’t you try that? And he said you would find it easier if you removed your right shoe …”
“Did he really?! Sounds unlikely to me.”
She stepped closer – an excited, determined expression on her face – “Yes – he did. You won’t know unless you try. Try it!”
With that, and before I could protest further, she knelt down beside me and unlaced my right shoe … slowly slipping it off to reveal a vibrantly coloured red sock with dark blue heel and toes. She stood up again clutching the shoe and smiling broadly – “How does that feel, Cinderella?”
“It feels like I’m missing a shoe!” Luckily the grass was dry, but I could feel its soft spongy texture quite acutely beneath my right socked foot as I approached the ball for my 3rd shot. I concentrated, now consciously shifting my weight onto my right leg and down to the ground via my blue tipped toes … swinging the club backwards then smoothly arcing through the ball for one of the best shots I’d ever made … a perfect straight line and a single bounce onto the green!
I was amazed – though whether it really had anything to do with my missed right shoe was open to question. Lisa clapped and seemed genuinely excited – and there was little doubt what she attributed the miracle shot to – “Perfect! Didn’t I tell you!” She held up my shoe – “You won’t be needing this again!”
For a moment I thought she was about to throw my shoe away, but she contented herself by stowing it deep within the golf bag. She pulled the trolley and set off for the green, calling “Come on, Cinders!”
I two putted for a very respectable 1 over par. Lisa looked on and took several photographs – including the one below.
Over the next 90 minutes we played 5 more holes – with me in full Cinderella flow and Lisa beaming alongside. After a while the initial self-consciousness of parading my right socked foot disappeared to the point where I was almost oblivious to it, and I had to admit – I was certainly a lot more consistent without the shoe.
Eventually we arrived back at the clubhouse where a few other golfers, male and female, mingled about. Lisa suggested we have a drink in the bar to celebrate my improved form. “Certainly!” I replied – “But can I have my shoe back first!”
She walked up and kissed me on the cheek, whispering in my ear – “No. Because I like you just as you are, Cinderella!”
I was bemused, but perhaps I shouldn’t have been. The clues had been there all along, starting with her ill concealed interest in that golf video. And it wasn’t the golf that had sparked her interest …
“You like me wearing one shoe ….?”
“Yes – it’s so sexy!”
She took my hand and guided me towards the bar.