Taking it one swing at a time

DALLAS — On the surface, golf seems to be a simple, relaxing sport. But for many, golf is an intimidating game that is both costly and difficult to learn.    Cross Creek Golf Course is hoping to help change that.    Certified golf teaching professional Ken Dankenbring is offering lessons at the course Sundays at 5:30 p.m. for new players.    The cost is $14 for the first person plus $5 for each additional player for nine holes that have been shortened. The cost also includes instruction at the driving range.    “We want to get more people out golfing,” Dankenbring said. “The game can be a little bit pricey, especially for families. We wanted to give new players a little help to get started and a chance to play.”    Golf may be a sport that takes a lifetime to master, but Dankenbring said it isn’t difficult to begin to learn the fundamentals and hit the course.    “I think the biggest misconception is that it’s a little harder than people think,” Dankenbring said. “… I didn’t start to learn the game until I was 21. But golf is a game you can keep playing. You can’t play baseball forever. You can’t play soccer forever. But you can play golf until the end.”    Learning the game is one thing. Perhaps the most important key, Dankenbring said, may not center on how a player’s backswing is or how they line up putts. It’s about keeping an even keel in the face of emotional highs and lows.    “Once you learn the fundamentals, golf is a mental game,” Dankenbring said. “You need to express yourself however you need and then you get to the next shot, because that’s always the most important. … Golf is a game of life. Every emotion you have you can feel out there. Your success is in keeping emotions in check and just having fun.”    Dankenbring will also drive around the course helping players as they play their round.    The program, which began last summer, will last through the summer as long as there is interest, Dankenbring. He’s hoping to help give new players an easy way to give the game a chance.    “I teach to see the results and getting people to play well,” Dankenbring said. “When they play well, they start to love the game and that’s what it’s all about.”    For more information: Cross Creek Golf Course, 503-623-6666.


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