Looking for a hobby that's outdoorsy and active without being overly strenuous? Golf might be the game for you.
Adam Scott's stirring victory at the Masters back in April provoked two kinds of reactions in Australians (following on from the initial elation at the result, of course).
Some people stroked their beards pensively and thought, 'Hmm, I could see myself doing that: The jet-setting lifestyle; the stunningly gorgeous girlfriends; the gigantic wads of cash from prize money and sponsorships. Yes indeed... golf.'
The second group, meanwhile, were imagining themselves making sweet love to Adam in a sand bunker.
Whichever of those two categories of people you fall into, the fastest way of one day realising your dream is to pick up a club and give this noble sport a try.
But, seriously, the beauty of golf is you can get out of it whatever you want. If you're willing to invest time and money, it can be a highly competitive sporting endeavour. But if you just want to have a play around with your mates on a lazy Sunday afternoon, it's ideal for that as well — and not as difficult to get into as you might think.
From putt-putt, to pitch and putt, to the driving range, to par threes and full-sized, 18 hole courses, golf can be enjoyed on a number of levels.
For those interested in getting started, attending a couple of lessons or clinics can teach you the basics of the golf swing. From there, it's a matter of hitting up the driving range and working on your technique... or just having a bit of fun.
No need to pummel a boxing bag at the gym to release that pent-up tension; smacking golf balls into the blue yonder works just as well.
Here's a list of accessible locations around town where you can learn the basics of the game, and then have a blast trying to master it.
There are eight golfing pros teaching at the Victoria Park Golf Learning Centre, so no matter what your level there will be a course to suit your needs. As the name suggests, this is more than just a driving range; there are facilities set up specifically to host different types of golf lessons, from private classes to group clinics. Should all that driving, putting, and slicing leave you peckish, Victoria Park also has a smashing bar and bistro.
Where: Herston Rd, Herston
Phone: 07 3252 9891
You can form your own group (maximum of six people) with friends for a clinic, or just register your interest to be placed into a group. There are also individual lessons, and ladies-only classes. There's a nine-hole golf course, pitch and putt and driving range, plus a nice cafe on the complex, so there's your afternoon sorted.
Where: Cliveden Ave, Oxley
Phone: 07 3379 2078
This is a public course, so not quite as stuffy as some of the other clubs around town. If you want to play a round here, you don't have to be a member, and clinics are available for juniors, seniors and adults.
Where: Carawa St, St Lucia
Phone: 07 3403 2556 or 3403 2557
Get a private lesson with one of three pros, or check out the fun golf clinics every Monday morning at 10:30, where you can learn the basics of the game such as putting, chipping, bunker play etc.
Where: Meiers Rd, Indooroopilly
Phone: 07 3721 2122
The emphasis is on fun at The Big Easy Golf and Leisure Centre. There are conventional, good quality facilities, but there is also an entertainment factor, such as novelty targets on the driving range (Crazy Harry, Fred the Vampire etc). The centre is available to use for lessons if you already have an instructor in mind, or you can contact Chris Chaplin who coaches there on a regular basis.
Where: Corner Beams Rd and Carseldine Ave, Fitzgibbon
Phone: Big Easy: 07 3862 8804, Chris Chaplin: 0410 521 162
Image Credit: Golf.About