Want to get started playing golf? Here are 4 tips for making it an enjoyable experience
1.Find a PGA Professional to mentor you through the process
Your local golf course is the best place to start. Most likely there is a PGA or LPGA Professional employed that will be more than happy to guide you along. I would strongly recommend starting with a phone call – here is why, golf courses can be busy places and chances are the Professional that you need to talk to is going to be in and out of their office, on the lesson tee, running a tournament or checking in customers. By calling, you can set up a specific time to meet with them and have the chance to talk without interruptions.
2.Find a friend to join you or sign up for an Introductory group clinic to meet new people
If you have a good friend or family member who is at your same level, encourage them to join you in this new adventure! Golf is a sport you can play for your entire life and it is always fun to have someone to go to the driving range or golf course with. If you can’t get someone to join along, get involved in an introductory golf clinic. Chances are your local golf course will offer such programs – if not, you can call your local Community Center or Parks and Recreation center and see if they offer golf programs. You can also get on the website www.pga.com and look under the ‘Play Golf America’ tab. This is a great resource for finding programs in your area such as Get Golf Ready programs.
3.Learn basic rules, etiquette and how to play ‘Ready Golf’
Where to stand when someone else is hitting, when and how to mark your ball on the green, how to rake a sand trap – these are just a few things that you will need to know when you head out to the golf course. I would learn these as quickly as you can! ‘Ready Golf’ is a way of playing that encourages an enjoyable pace of play and can be practiced by any golfer, regardless of skill level. It basically means that you play when you are ready rather than adhering to the strict rules of ‘The furthest player away plays first’. Obviously this should be done safely and with consideration to your playing partners. Your local PGA Professional will be able to give you tips on playing ready golf.
4.Don’t wait to get out on the golf course
The golf course can be intimidating if you let it and I have heard many new players say they are going to ‘wait until they are better’ to get out on the course. No way! You don’t have to be good to play golf – getting out on the course is the best part of learning the game! If your golf course has a Par 3 course, I would strongly suggest starting there. If you took a Get Golf Ready Program, you should have gotten an ‘It’s Okay to Play Golf For Fun’ handout. A few examples:
It’s OK not to keep score
It’s OK to tee the ball up anywhere when you are first learning.
It’s OK to just chip and putt on a hole
It’s OK to pick up your ball in the middle of a hole and just enjoy the outdoors.
It’s OK to play golf in your sneakers.
Use these guidelines to help make your golf experience enjoyable!