Top News

Women finding the range at Eagle’s Chance

Laura Crocket on the driving range.
Laura Crocket on the driving range. - Kevin Adshade

MOUNT WILLIAM – You want to tell them that most male golfers don’t care how they’re doing on the driving range.

Because we’ve got our own problems, you see, and every golfer was bad at it when they first started playing. Some still are.

More than 50 women signed up for a female-only golf clinic this spring at Eagle’s Chance Golf Academy and Par 3, a five-week crash course in the fundamentals.

They worked on the short game as well as the full swing, then played a few holes, learning about etiquette and course management with the help of course owner Brian Affleck, who instructs the women along with assistant Shaun Westhaver.

“It’s a comfort thing, it puts them at ease,” said Affleck, when asked if women feel less nervous when there aren’t a bunch of guys hanging around.

One of his students was so afraid to hit the ball during one session that she didn’t want to tee off on one of the holes.

“We had to convince her to hit the ball but when she did, she had the best ball of the group. It’s overcoming that fear, when you’re scared to get off the first tee – for men and women.”

Maybe that’s why Westhaver, working with a group of four on Thursday afternoon, advised the girls to not spend too much time thinking about it when they address the ball, getting set to hit a shot.

“The more you think, the more time the demons have to get into your brain,” he told them.

Instructor Shaun Westhaver works with Valerie MacDonald, Joni Roper, Kara Power and Laura Crocket.
Instructor Shaun Westhaver works with Valerie MacDonald, Joni Roper, Kara Power and Laura Crocket.

Laura Crocket played high school volleyball and other sports, and Kara Power was a star player with the hockey team at StFX University. Sports might have come a little easier for them, but golf is a different kind of beast.

“It’s different, very technical. Me and Kara we were just talking the other day, how frustrating it is,” says Crocket.

So why keep doing it, with all the aggravation that comes along with golf? “When you do it right,” Valerie MacDonald explains, “it’s very satisfying.”

And this from Crocket, echoing the thought held by many who developed the golf fever, when one good shot makes you forgot about the first 10 bad ones:

“You hit a good one,” Crocket says, “and you’re like, ‘I gotta come back’.”

Recent Stories