Twenty-seven months and 20,000 balls after hitting my first, I finally made a swing on the third floor of Brooks Brothers (in my socks, no less) that the instructor said “could be on television.” Though it happened about six weeks ago, I just now got the video clip, from which these screenshots were taken.

Since then I’ve been unable to duplicate this miracle on 44th Street.

As it’s easier to explain than repeat, here’s roughly what happened, thanks to the divine intervention of the golf gods:

Having reached the top of my rather flat, one-plane, baseball-influenced swing, my hips have already started their shift forward while the clubhead is still moving backward:


The success of a golf swing is almost entirely determined by the first move down. My lower body has turned, carrying the body weight, while my right shoulder has dropped down rather than out, maintining the angle between the shaft and my left arm and assuring an approach from back and in rather than out and across:


Hands about to reach ball, while clubhead lags well behind:


Ball dispatched from a good impact position:


Right arm extending through impact; left arm not ideal but as good as it’s going to get at this stage; according to the computer, the shot was long and straight:


Speaking of the number 44, today’s my birthday and I’m off to play golf. It’s about 44 degrees, and, come to think of it, 44 would be a pretty good score for a set of nine holes.

When I say you can learn the most difficult activity mankind has ever devised while shopping for argyle socks, I’m not kidding. As the saying goes, “It takes years to play bad golf.” Thanks Brooks and Golf Manhattan for making me a bad golfer at an Internet pace. — CC