Wednesday, April 2, 2008, 11:42 PM - BeginnersWhen I decided to take up golf, I was told, "you'll either love it or you'll hate it". I was somewhat familiar with the game but I had never actually played. My husband, who is an avid golfer, had tried for years to get me to play. He knew if I just tried it, I would love it. I finally gave in and, needless to say, he was right. I love this game!
Posted by Administrator
Posted by Administrator
One very important thought to keep in mind when you're first learning the game is that everyone started where you're starting - even the pros. Some start earlier than others, some may have more natural ability, some have no fear...we're all different but we all started where you're starting.
To get you on your way, I've outlined below some essential steps toward making your journey into the game a little more enjoyable.
#1 - Schedule a lesson
Contact a golf course or driving range and sign up for a lesson or clinic. The golf pro will teach you how to address the ball along with proper stance, grip and swing techniques. These skills are essential for the beginner. We've all heard the phrase, "Practice makes perfect" but in this case, as my husband would say, if you practice with the wrong techniques, your practices will make your swing perfectly wrong.
#2 - Familiarize yourself with the game.
I had the luxury of being married to my "coach" so I had instant answers to most of my questions however, I also read books and magazine articles, watched a video or two and even started watching golf on television, something I never thought I'd do. Learn the various parts of the golf course, score-keeping, proper attire, etc. One very important aspect of the game that could use some extra attention is golf etiquette. These are the "do's and don'ts" which can help make or break your day on the course, not to mention everyone else's day.
#3 - Practice, practice, practice!
One can never get enough practice. In the beginning, your swing will be uncomfortable and awkward feeling. You'll work muscles you didn't realize you had! Practice your swing as taught in your lessons. If you're having trouble, it may be helpful to video your lesson - It may be more clear to you if you see yourself in action. Your instructor may even suggest one or more training aids available to help you master the swing. Eventually, your swing will begin to feel more natural and comfortable to you, so much so that you'll be able to tell immediately when you've made a bad swing.
#4 - Equipment
If you really want to get the most from your game, you'll want to arm yourself with the best equipment for you. Now, this doesn't necessarily mean you need to run out and buy the most expensive set of clubs you can find. I started out with just a few clubs. My husband had a driver, a 5 iron and a putter for me to use. They weren't exactly the perfect fit but close enough for the moment. I'll admit, I didn't want to invest any more than necessary because I really didn't know if I would want to play or not. On our first trip to the course, we played the front nine. We didn't keep score because the main focus was making contact with the ball. I discovered during this trip that I could hit the ball. My husband was so excited that he bought me a new driver and 5 wood that day. Later, a new putter. Then new irons. Borrowed or 'hand-me-down' clubs are fine when you're starting out. Replace them as your game warrants or when you feel like you're ready. Either way, I would suggest seeking the advice of a golf professional prior to making a purchase as there is a wide variety of clubs from which to choose.
#5 - Setting Goals/Keeping Score
Eventually you'll become more comfortable and you'll hit the ball more consistently. Now you'll want to set some goals and keep your score. I'm one of those people who wants to see the results on paper or, in this case, the score card. My score started out well in the 100's for 18 holes. Each time I played I set a goal to score better than my previous round, even if only by 1 stroke. I only average about 12 rounds during the summer so I thought it would take forever to break into the 90's but at the end of my second summer, I made that goal. If you're scoring in the low 120's, set your goal for 115 - 120. Once consistently there, set it for 110 - 115. This type of goal is motivating to me. You'll need to set reasonable goals that will motivate you. Play when you can and, before you know it, your improvements will be evident on your score card.
I used to ask "how can anyone enjoy chasing a golf ball around all day?" Now I know...the challenge, the scenery, the friendships. It's more than just a game!
By: PJ Greene
PJ Greene is a golf entusiast and co-owner of a driving range and pro-shop.
For more articles and tips visit http://www.golfblog.blogspot.com