We try Shakespeare Golf Academy in Shoreditch
10:13 a.m. October 26, 2021
My grandfather was the mayor of a small French village called Arc-en-Barrois, where he founded a nine-hole golf course. I remember my young self following my dad and his friends, carrying all their bulky gear and playing games that seemed to go on forever.
These traumatic moments are now a memory. But years later, I’m at Shakespeare’s Golfing Academy to help me come to terms with golf.
The center has opened right in the heart of Shoreditch, a feat that seems impossible – until you see it.
Everything appears on a projection screen: the course, the holes, even the birds and the landscapes. Fortunately, the ball, tee, and club are real.
I wasn’t even sure I could touch the tee, but Tony Sheaff, a PGA teaching professional who has been teaching golf for 25 years, guided me.
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“What’s better than golf in the open air: no noise distracts you and you can analyze your performance on the screen,” Tony said.
Indeed, each of my tests generated data: how long, how far, how many curves, how many straight lines… In technical terms: dynamic loft, angle of attack, loft and rate of spin, trajectory of the club …
I was also filmed by a tablet in front of me so I could check my hair – I mean my posture – after each swing.
Under Tony’s guidance, I worked on the rotation of my hips and feet. I expected my ball to fly out into the countryside. I’ve always been a bit surprised by the bullet hitting the screen – it doesn’t hit back, for those who are wondering! But I managed to improve my performance slightly. Nothing that would scare Tiger Woods, but still.
After the session I received an email with data and videos of my best shot. It wasn’t shiny – especially my hair – but Tony kindly encouraged me to keep working out.
The owner, David Granger, pointed out one thing: Unlike some of the mini-golf bars in town, this place doesn’t offer any food or drink. Golf lessons are to be taken seriously.
“While catering to the full range of skills and ages, we are particularly interested in attracting local youth who may not have other means of accessing our wonderful sport! David said.
Well young people go ahead and enjoy it. You can train on 87 different courses and also play games. Those whose hearts go to four hour walks on the courts might find this frustrating – sorry dad and friends. But it is a great alternative for city dwellers.
In addition, in November, prices are halved. As for me, no more tears come up when I see green grass, and that’s an achievement. Thanks, Tony.
More information on www.shakespearesgolfingacademy.com