Posted on 21 March 2013 by Keith Lacey
Martha Collins admits she’s a terrible golfer. However, she also loves the game and wants to get better … as quickly as possible.
And she’s a talented athlete – she has completed several Ironman triathlons and competed in the Boston Marathon back in 1984 – and is willing to put in the time and effort to improve her golf game and dramatically lower her handicap over.
Responding to a request from the Osoyoos Times, Collins came forward and detailed how much she has fallen in love with golf and how badly she wants to improve
Over the next few months, Collins has committed to taking lessons from the professional staff at Osoyoos Golf and Country Club, playing one competitive round each week where she will keep score – her scorecard will be showcased in the Osoyoos Times – and hitting balls at the driving range to try and improve her game.
The goal is for Collins to dramatically improve her game, lower her score and have a lot of fun in the process.She can’t wait to get started.
“I’m not bad with the driver and I’m pretty good with my putter, but I need an awful lot of help with everything else,” said Collins, the wife of Town of Osoyoos Mayor Stu Wells. “I had only played a few rounds of golf in my entire life before last year, but I played quite a bit last year and fell in love with the game.
“I know it’s going to take a lot of time and effort to try and improve, but I’ve committed to doing this and have been training to get in better shape for several weeks and I’m ready to go.”
Because her husband also loves the game and plays a lot of golf, Collins has challenged herself to improve dramatically.
“My hope is to improve enough so that I don’t embarrass myself any more out on the golf course and can play a round with my husband by the end of the summer where hopefully I’ll be able to kick his ass,” she said smiling. “I’m serious about this because I’m making a pretty serious commitment time-wise and people are going to be reading about my progress, so I’m excited because I do believe all of the work will result in me becoming a much better golfer.”
Collins, who owns and operates her own chiropractic practice in Osoyoos, moved to Osoyoos in May of 2005.
“I remember the exact minute I arrived because that was the beginning of my new life,” said Collins. “I found Osoyoos on the internet because, to be honest, I wanted to end up somewhere hot and with the best weather in Canada.
“I don’t like cold weather and we ended up coming here and I haven’t regretted it for one second. We had looked at places in Florida, California, Hawaii and the Caribbean, but we decided on Osoyoos and it was a wonderful decision.”
She met Wells when a friend of hers asked her to volunteer with his campaign to become the mayor back in 2008.
They were married on the 10th day of the 10th month of 2010 in Las Vegas, complete with an Elvis impersonator and pink Cadillac.
Even though her husband has been an avid golfer for many years, she didn’t play at all until the past five years.
“I decided I was going to play golf for the first time when my dad died back in 2007 because he was a fanatical golfer and he wanted his little girl to golf back when I was in high school, but I didn’t have any interest at all,” said Collins. “I didn’t buy any clubs until 2009 and I only golfed maybe once a year between 2009 and 2011, but last year was when I really got the bug.
“Stu and I would go out at least once a week and I started to practice on my own and in the fall we spent a full week on an in-town vacation playing almost every day and I just loved it. We played four rounds in five days and I realized I could play this game every day, even though I’m horrible.”
Because she has excelled in other sports, Collins admits golf is very difficult to learn and has proven to be very humbling.
“I’ve played a lot of different sports in my life and golf is easily the most frustrating,” she said. “The game doesn’t come naturally to me at all and it doesn’t flow, so I really need help and I know the only way I’m going to excel is to have lessons and practiced hard.
“I’m really looking forward to this opportunity to become better at a game I’ve learned to love. I really want to get better.”
Drew Bolokoski, the head professional at Osoyoos Golf and Country Club, said he and his staff are looking forward to working with Collins and helping her improve.
“She will be working with me, our assistant pro Andrew Goncalves and Wayne Hachey, the director of the Desert Golf Academy and we’re all looking forward to it,” said Bolokoski. “Because she’s fairly new to the game, we’ll be working on things we would with any other beginner … such as grip, stance, posture, ball position and alignment.
“Eventually we’ll progress to working on the short game, hitting bunker shots and putting. Our goal is the same as hers and that’s to help her improve.”
Lee Sapach, general manager, said he’s also looking forward to this golf experiment.
“It will be a good promotion for the golf course, the Osoyoos Times and the Desert Golf Academy and hopefully it’s going to help her improve her game,” he said. “It would be my hope that we can do something like this every year moving forward because it’s a good idea and I think a lot of people are going to be interested in how she does.”
Because she has so much to learn about the game, Collins said she is going to be realistic and set attainable targets as she tries to improve her game and lower her scores.
The fact that she will be able to work with qualified professionals is going to be exciting and she remains confident she is going to become a much better golfer over the next several months.
“I have a lot to learn, but I want to learn and that’s half of the battle,” she said. “This is a great opportunity for me to get some lessons and learn what it takes to become a much better golfer.
“My feeling is if I can do it, then anyone can.”