Did anyone watch the Master’s Golf Tournament this past weekend? I did and I can honestly tell you that this was the first year that I’ve actually had any interest deeper than how Tiger Woods was doing. Why is my interest piqued all of a sudden? This semester I’m enrolled in KIN102, Introduction to Golf. The KIN stands for Kinesiology in case you were wondering, and we learn a little bit about the biomechanics of a golf swing. The class meets at the University of Illinois Golf Course which is about a ten minute drive from campus, meaning the class is easier to take if you have a car. We cover the basics of the game starting at putting, moving down the irons and hybrids and ending up at driving. I don’t expect to be an expert by the end of the course, but we will be tested on etiquette and proper techniques. It’s also given me a better appreciation for the game and the Master’s tournament.
One particular golfer I paid close attention to is University of Illinois Alumnus, Steve Stricker. As a part of the 2010 Ryder Cup outreach program, he donated $25,000 to the University of Illinois to support golf initiatives. Because of the donations, the activity fee that is normally charged to students enrolled in the course was waived for this semester. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s times like this that I remember how many resources Illinois has at its disposal and therefore at my disposal as a student. Golf lessons usually don’t come cheap at country clubs or courses, so being able to learn it for an hour and a half every Tuesday and Thursday is a phenomenal opportunity. We even get to play a few rounds on the U of I golf course for free as long as we let paying customers play through.
It’s always been a practice of mine to try and take one course that isn’t strictly academic or at the very least isn’t strictly engineering-related. I have, and plan on continuing to take advantage of as many diverse opportunities on campus as I can in my time here. It’s only a one-hour course, and the only downside is that it is hard to get into because there are so few spots. I’m lucky I can make time in my schedule to take these classes because I came in with a couple credits from AP tests and because I have priority registration from being a James Scholar. Of course, there are many other ways to diversify your experience portfolio that aren’t as tough to get into, so browse through the course catalog and find something interesting!