History has it that the game of “golf” was born in 15th century Scotland. Then around 1744, the first rules of play were codified and established in Edinburgh by The Company of Gentlemen Golfers. Golf has become one of the most popular sports in the world; played in countries as far reaching as Mexico and Ireland, South Africa and China. And, of course, Scotland. And the world has not been the same since. It’s come as no surprise that there are universities offering degrees in Golf.
The best way a beginner can begin is by learning what NOT to do. So, for the novice getting started, the game entails entering a world with a rich and varied history, a major investment of time and money, a demanding physical and mental learning curve and last but not least – days with huge amounts of “FUN”!
Now, don’t go running out and spending a small fortune on things you don’t know anything about. Such as course fees, golf lessons, and golf attire. Some courses are not worth the fee nor are the costs for equipment claiming to be of high quality. The clothes and lessons can also wait for a time.
The newness and the joy of finding a sport that you can play alone, with friends and spouses, or even with the whole family is part of the excitement. Learning to play golf well can be an emotionally exhausting experience not to mention expensive. Take some time and do a bit of research. You’ll not want to enter into this without being armed with what you need to know.
Learn to take baby steps first and remember to have fun and not take yourself and everything else too serious. The pros will generally advise against spending too many weeks on the driving range at first, claiming you may develop some bad habits that are difficult to break once you start playing on the course. However, spending a bit of time on the driving range can be beneficial, helping to get the muscles moving, discovering if you’ve got any inclination or interest in the game and an idea of what and where to use what clubs.
Find a cheap course and wear comfortable, baggy clothing that doesn’t restrict your arms and shoulders. Save that $1,000 you’d spend on pants, shoes, and shirts for later. To start use a simple three club set you can borrow from a friend or use a clubhouse rental. A Nine iron, a wedge, and a Number 5 wood is plenty. Actually the wedge won’t get much use on a driving range, but you can add a putter and move to the putting practice area later. Some have miniature versions of sand traps to practice escaping.
Take it easy, watch those who hit well and imitate their grip, stance, and posture. Tee up, keep your eye on the ball as you swing, and give it a firm whack. If you miss a few, so be it. Have Fun. You’re teaching your body what the swing feels like, what angle and impact produces what kind of flight..
On the putting green, start very close to the hole — no more than a couple of feet. When you can make 25 putts in a row more or less consistently, move back to six feet, 10 feet, 20 feet — no farther. ‘More or less’ consistently — even the pros sometimes miss a two-footer!
Whether driving or putting, stand so that a casual push wouldn’t knock you over. Golf is about balance, concentration, and some simple physics. Now, go have a cool drink in the clubhouse and enjoy the day.