My mate Disco has never hit a golf ball. He's 30, from East London and golf has never appealed to him whatsoever, why would it?
Well I gave him a set of golf clubs, took him down a cool range and #ProjectDisco was born!
I spoke to a load of the lads at my football club and asked them why they didn't play golf?
'You have to wear shit clothes mate'
'It's well expensive isn't it?'
'Load of pricks play golf'
To be fair all of these are true to some extent. Golf's bad image doesn't come from nowhere. But if you are in the know you can play golf without dressing like a clown, you can play without remortgaging your house and... well there are still a lot of pricks playing golf, but you can avoid them!
As lads get bored of getting kicked about at football on a Saturday, as their knees aren't what they once were and as their boyhood dream of playing for United finally fizzles out at the age of 26 they might want to try something else... why can't that be golf?
First thing you need is somewhere to play golf!
A big reason why people don't take up the game has to be accessibility, especially if you live in a city. If you have never played golf firstly what is going to inspire you to do that? And then where the hell do you go?
Are you going to just rock up at some pretentious golf club not knowing what to wear and ask to whack a ball around? Nah, that just doesn't happen!
That's why I took Disco to the new N1 Golf driving range by the O2 in Greenwich. It's a cool venue with incredible views of Canary Wharf's skline. But the main reason was it's chilled.
There are sofas behind each bay with heaters above them and the people there are a diverse bunch ranging from young bankers to local couples on a date. Basically it doesn't intimidate at all and you can have a beer too!
I thought to myself if I'm going to take this project seriously should I get him professional lessons from the start?
Then I thought, nah, I just want him to be completely relaxed with his mates and not worrying about anything but smashing the ball.
I let him get on with whacking a few balls and then sorted his grip and stance out which took like one minute. You could see his eyes light up as the ball started sailing a bit further and a bit straighter from this small little tip... little does he know this will be the biggest and easiest gain of his golfing career!
If a rank beginner is 0% and Rory is 100% then he has just made the biggest improvement he will ever make in his golf career in one go. It will only get more addictive and more frustrating from here on in equal measure... and that is why we have that love/hate relationship with this beautiful game!
Personally I was a bit jealous of him. When he nailed a shot he was absolutely buzzing, even if he air shotted the four previous. My heart is deadened and if I nail four 7-irons on the trot then push one you know which one I'll remember... I'm sure a lot of you are the same!
Another thing that made me jealous was he seemed to be naturally gifted. I sent the tweet you can see above out and a load of people didn't believe it was his first time!
He also went through his balls at an incredible rate of knots, just buzzing to hit the next ball.
When we finished he asked when we could play next... meaning my first task in #ProjectDisco was complete... GET HIM INTERESTED!!!
For the next session thinking about going indoors so we can get some feedback and numbers, something a bit different. No technique stuff unless he asks 'Why am I doing this?' for example.
Finally still key to have beers... fun is the priority after all!
Would love to hear your thoughts and any ideas for Disco. Also get a friend into golf and let us know how they progress too!
We can even have a little #ProjectDisco tournament somewhere down the line!
I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.