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On the scene: 'Play 9 Day Outing' with professional golfer Rickie Fowler

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On July 23, 2014, was invited to the Pelham Park Golf Course for a morning of golf in the warm summer sunshine. The gathering marked American Express’ first-ever Play 9 Day in partnership with the USGA and professional golfer Rickie Fowler. Upon arrival, all of the participants were given a healthy breakfast which included bagels, fruits, and granola bars. After a bit of socialization and getting a little more comfortable with the course, all of us were given a pair of clubs to use for the day.

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After, attendees were ready to begin their first lessons as amateur golfers and gain a first hand experience on how to play with a professional. First, the instructor systematically explained each part of the club and its function on the field. Who knew there were so many components on a golf stick? Then, he went on to explain the different materials that go into making the clubs ranging from wood to steel, each with its own unique function. After the informal disquisition, we were finally ready to hit the balls!

Participants were given thorough lessons on how to putt and chip which included maintaining the correct posture, aiming in the right direction, and maneuvering the club for the best angle. These rudimentary exercises were no easy task for a beginner as each grip and swing were very unfamiliar. But nonetheless, although we only learned the basics, it was a new experience. After a long morning of drills, the instructor showed us some pilates and stretches to do before and after playing in order to prevent injuries. All in all, as someone who’s never stepped foot on a course before, it felt exciting to grasp experience in another sport. All of us even went home with a pack of golf balls as souvenirs.

Tristen Yang contributed reporting.