While Moscow is cov­ered with snow and bit­ter frosts, our edi­tors remem­bered the proverb that the sleigh needs to be pre­pared in the sum­mer. Fit­ness direc­tor Dmit­ry Putylin, while pass­ing through Dubai, received an edi­to­r­i­al assign­ment to find out where he could learn to play golf in the win­ter sea­son. After spend­ing a sun­ny day in the green fields, Dmit­ry shares his impres­sions.

I had the rare oppor­tu­ni­ty to write an arti­cle about how to stay fit while on vaca­tion. This is my favorite top­ic! The only thing left to do is fig­ure out where you can take a golf les­son. I scanned the Inter­net and asked all my friends liv­ing in Dubai. There was a choice, and not a small one. Most of the rec­om­men­da­tions helped me make my choice towards JA The Resort. My sport­ing heart sank when I learned that this five-star resort has many sports activ­i­ties in addi­tion to golf: vol­ley­ball courts, ten­nis courts and much more. And my father’s heart trem­bled when I found out that chil­dren have their own mari­na, water park and car­ing staff. I remem­bered how my son and daugh­ter vaca­tioned in Arkhipo-Osipov­ka and Ana­pa. If only they could be brought here at that age!

How­ev­er, let’s return to adult enter­tain­ment. It wasn’t dif­fi­cult to get there – I took a taxi (for­tu­nate­ly, the app of a pop­u­lar Russ­ian oper­a­tor works in Dubai) and half an hour lat­er I found myself out­side the city, at a hotel. At the golf café I pur­chased a Day Pass — access for guests not stay­ing at the hotel to the hall, sports fields, swim­ming pools and the beach.

I was specif­i­cal­ly inter­est­ed in golf, so in addi­tion to the oppor­tu­ni­ty to trav­el to the play­ing fields, I had to addi­tion­al­ly pay for the ser­vices of a per­son who would ini­ti­ate me into the mys­tery of the game of aris­to­crats. My instruc­tor’s name was Josh. Hav­ing hap­pi­ly greet­ed us and smil­ing broad­ly, like an old friend, he lift­ed a huge bag with a set of clubs, which the play­ers call a bag, onto his shoul­der, and waved with his oth­er hand — come fol­low me. “It’s about to start,” I thought, ner­vous­ly remem­ber­ing the terms of the game.

The fact is that the day before I tried to learn the rules and an hour lat­er every­thing was so con­fused in my head that I closed the com­put­er and thought that it was eas­i­er to learn Chi­nese than to mas­ter the ter­mi­nol­o­gy of pro­fes­sion­al golfers.

I’ll tell you from my own expe­ri­ence that you don’t need to do this right away. The instruc­tor will give you the basic terms dur­ing your first lessons. And if you’re lucky with a pro­fes­sion­al in your field, you your­self, step by step, will begin to jug­gle with strange words: “Par,” “Hand­i­cap,” “Flight.”

It is impos­si­ble to mas­ter the game in one day. But you will def­i­nite­ly be able to get excit­ed about golf, espe­cial­ly when you start get­ting your first shots. By the end of the les­son, I even dreamed that when I had a lot of time and finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty, I would arrive at the golf club in a British SUV, leisure­ly take out a bag of clubs, go to the green (the area with the short­est grass direct­ly around the hole), make your dri­ve (the first shot on the hole), and on the way to the next hole, check your company’s shares online on the stock exchange.

In order to spark excite­ment and want to return to the field a sec­ond time, in the first les­son you should try to hit (or bet­ter yet, hit) the ball con­fi­dent­ly and with dif­fer­ent clubs. The nuances will be explained to you lat­er. The fact is that the angles of incli­na­tion of the strik­ing sur­faces of each club are dif­fer­ent, vary­ing from 15 to 45°. This dif­fer­ence makes it pos­si­ble to send the ball a dis­tance from 70 to 150 m. The small­er the angle of incli­na­tion, the low­er and fur­ther the ball will fly, and after land­ing it will also roll across the field. We start­ed with this exer­cise.

Josh jumped into the elec­tric car, point­ed me to the next one, put on black glass­es, and, like the Ter­mi­na­tor, said: “Fol­low me!” I was already hap­py! All my life I dreamed of rid­ing a golf cart on per­fect green cours­es. We arrived at the start quick­ly. We unloaded with all our belong­ings, walked up to the first green, and off we went.

Praise be to the end­less patience of my instruc­tor, who for twen­ty min­utes dis­pas­sion­ate­ly watched my end­less attempts to hit the ball. Frankly speak­ing, these min­utes seemed like an eter­ni­ty to me, dur­ing which the whole world was clutch­ing its heart, see­ing my miss­es with a stick past the ball, or pick­ing at the ground, as if I had come to dig pota­toes, and not pre­tend to be the chair­man of the board of direc­tors on an exclu­sive vaca­tion.

After final­ly hit­ting the ball a few times, we both felt relieved. We got back into the golf carts to tour the cours­es and see the full scope of the game day. When we reached the final hole (there are usu­al­ly eigh­teen on a stan­dard course), Josh enlight­ened me on the rules, telling me that in golf, indi­vid­u­als or teams com­pete to hit the holes with their clubs in order to cov­er the entire course in the fewest num­ber of strokes.

A stan­dard eigh­teen-hole game lasts about four and a half hours, and play­ers must trav­el a dis­tance of at least 10 kilo­me­ters on foot. Impres­sive!

At the end of our train­ing, the instruc­tor and I stood on a green, per­fect­ly trimmed hill, peer­ing into the dis­tance, where, calm­ly com­mu­ni­cat­ing, peo­ple walked from one shot to anoth­er, from hole to hole. I asked my men­tor, “Josh, how long does it take to learn golf to start enjoy­ing the game?” “If you train a cou­ple of days a week, then you will feel the real pas­sion and taste for golf with­in a year!”

Well, a start has been made. About a hun­dred more work­outs — and sign me up as a pro­fes­sion­al.