Participatory: Swinging lesson with FPU golfer Jarod Buffone

by Paul Lambert
edited by Andrew Hoenig

I’m not setting my expectations too high, as I am currently on my way to meet Franklin Pierce golfer Jarod Buffone for some swing lessons with a driver and a putter.  

I’m not setting my expectations too high. Up until now, the only golfing I have done has been Wii Sports golf and mini-golf. I’ve also watched golf on television just three times my whole life.

“Let’s have you swing in slow-motion first,” Buffone says.

First, Buffone tells me how to swing a driver. It’s a lot of information to process.

“Remain steady, keep your arm as straight as possible, and follow through on your swing,” he says.

Swinging in slow motion, I’m feeling pretty good about myself. 

That changes as soon as I actually swing the driver at regular speed. I swing so hard, I nearly fall over. To call it ugly would have been an insult to the word.

“No problem,” Buffone says. “It’s your first time.”

Now it’s time to switch to the putter, and before I can ask, Buffone tells me putting is nothing like mini-golf.

“You want your hands remaining as steady as possible,” he says. “Stay nice and smooth, and make sure your shoulders move with your hands. Your hands shouldn’t be doing all the work.”

I take hold of the putter and gently grip it. I tell myself not to get over-excited swinging this club. My shoulders move back and then carefully come forward through the swing.

This time, things go much better

“That was good,” Buffone says. “You’ve got putting down a little bit better.”

I’ll take it. After about half an hour of swinging, it’s time to leave. Before going, Buffone gives me one last piece of advice.

“Play with confidence,” he says. “If you convince yourself you’re going to miss a pretty easy putt, then you probably will. Tell yourself you can do it.”


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