Earlier in May 2016, myself and eight other media makers got invited to take a group golf lesson with Bradlee Ryall at Lionhead Golf Course which is just fifteen minutes west of Toronto International Airport. Bradlee is one of Toronto’s top golf pros, and his style of golf lessons for juniors is getting a lot of attention west of the city.
Golf is a weird sport. It takes a lot of practice to be good, but people seem to fall in love with the game even when they’re terrible. Its a personal struggle that some people like i suppose. Most people I know suck at golf. The worse you are the more you admire professionals like Bradlee Ryall. Hang out with them enough on a golf course or even at the driving range and you begin to see them as superior beings. When you watch a golf pro hit a ball, and it doesn’t matter whether they’re driving or putting, it seems like they can put it anywhere they want.
The lesson was scheduled to start at 9:30am which meant I had to be there by 9:30 am which meant i had get up stupidly early, but everyone invited was really into the idea of keeping it a ‘morning’ golf lesson, so I went along with it.
We started at the driving range. When we first showed up, Bradlee and another golf coach named Chris had a dozen golf bags full of clubs, one behind each station. As soon as the first person hit the first ball (it was Leo from Outdoor Covers dot ca) Bradlee started the lesson. ha ha Years of experience taught him he had to get everyone’s attention before we all started hitting balls every which way!
Bradlee is a stellar dude and he started his golf lesson by explaining basic physics and giving us tips on how to hold the club and showing us how to improve our ‘drive’ on the fairway. He outlined muscle mechanics and stance.
He started with the basics for beginners and then related solid advice appreciated by the more experienced golfers.
I suppose we were a difficult group to teach cause we’re all over the map in terms of experience and age. It was co-ed group, both men and women learning together and sometimes they like to keep em separated in golf lessons. One of the big differences between men’s and women’s group golf lessons is this drive swing tutorial. Men don’t like it when women hit the ball farther (and more accurately) they them, and so that’s why so many men like to keep the sexes separate in golf lessons.
Bradlee and Chris taught every one of us something new – even the more experienced players. Although they didn’t have a lot of time to work with us all individually between activities, they did impart real wisdoms by making us do memorable things together.
Bradlee was great about keeping everyone focused through storytelling, and his tall tales related the most interesting tidbits of his life and career on the links and bits of knowledge gained from tough experiences. Thinking back on it that comes to mind because I was relatively engaged the whole time, and yet in real life I could care less about my golf game. Imagine what someone who really cares about golf could get out of this experience? Boggles the mind.
Can you tell this photo below is totally staged?
Rob used it in a story for Eligible Magazine called What Golf lessons can Teach Daters? or something like that. A clever twist on things. I try to understand what emotion Marcus is acting out here, is it anger or is he being condescending? It looks like both, meanwhile I’m clueless.
The make-believe evolved, violently. This picture wasn’t in the Eligible article.
Bradlee in white is always smiling – he’s the golf instructor at six different Kaneff Golf courses so I don’t know how he found time to school us. You may have been wondering about Bradlee’s fashionable clothing? Bradlee wears SWING designer athletic wear; clothes specially made for outdoor activities like golf and rowing etc that involves lots of arm movement and swinging – that’s not what their marketing says b.t.w., but its what I think its all about, and they may come around to seeing it my way soon. Rob was kinda upset with Bradlee for wearing white on a shoot. It was amusing.
The golfer in the walker is Jack Chorus, a truly amazing guy and probably the most interesting guy there to be honest. He’s a writer who submits stuff to Huffington Post and he got a piece up about Hollywood golf lessons which was genius. He has Cerebral Palsy and he’s never golfed before in his life, but he still came second in the short game we had later.
And then we all went to lunch at Iggy’s at Lionhead Golf Course. The restaurant is named Iggy’s after their legendary patron Ignat Kaneff the Bulgarian-born Canadian business magnate and philanthropist. Below is @WeddingGirlca with John the operations manager.
Wedding Girl’s real name is Mary Bratko. I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to reveal that or not? She is hilarious. Wedding Girl wrote about her day at Bradlee Ryall Golf Academy on her blog and put diamond wedding rings on golf balls and relayed good info for brides’ and grooms’ golf parties, which would be a good idea if you were nuts about golf which so many people are. I want to mention Mary’s new app here Pretty Bird app is for make up artists and people who need them on site for beauty touch ups . Great idea. Follow Pretty Bird App on Twitter and watch it explode.
On the way out I posed with Joel from Toronto Guardian at the front entrance of Lionhead for Roberrific Instagram (which explains why the photo is so crap, or doesn’t really – its his phone)
Joel ‘green lit’ and edited Rob’s piece on golf pros and golf lesson in Toronto which Rob only made plural because Joel insisted he document four other golf pros. Joel takes citizen journalism pretty seriously and the growth of his magazine shows his abilities as editor-with-a-vision. He wasn’t into the idea of Rob posting a puff piece on Bradlee Ryall so much as he liked the idea of making a more well rounded article listing top five golf lessons providers around Toronto so as to offer the public good information and not just advertorial content. Listen to me. Hanging out with golfers changes ya.