In no other sport can an average player duplicate or even better a shot or score by the world’s best players. Think about it. Can you dunk a basketball, hit a home run or score a touchdown like professional players? Chances are the answers to all three questions is ‘no.’
In golf, however, you can make a par or birdie, chip in from off the green and if you’re lucky, you can even make a hole-in-one on the same hole as any golf professional. Nobody in the world can do better than that.
Golf Course Basics
Most golf facilities have a signature clubhouse which is where you’ll find the golf shop, restaurant, locker rooms and even banquet rooms for weddings and corporate outings. Restroom facilities are available on specific holes on the course. A food and beverage cart will often stop by while you are playing for a quick snack break.
The golf course is an architectural work of art. You can immerse yourself in nature while you enjoy a day of exercise. Take time to notice the variety of plants and wildlife unique to your course. A course consists of 18- or 9-holes and each hole consists of a tee box, fairway and green. Play on each hole begins at the tee with the forward tees being designated for beginners and players with a high handicap. The fairway is part of the course covered with short grass and extends from the tee to the putting green. The area at the end of the fairway with the flagstick is the green.
More Affordable Than Ever
Golf does not have to be expensive. You can spend very little or as much as you want on golf, just as you would on a TV. The cost to play varies, depending on the caliber of the course, time of year, day of week and time of day. Municipal courses typically cost less to play than private, semi-private, or resort courses.
Thanks to the recent ‘Golf 2.0’ initiative by the PGA of America, many courses are attracting new golfers with programs, playing opportunities and golf instruction at very attractive prices. (See pg. 21-26)
Golf equipment is available in both golf shops and retail stores, and vary in price. Rental clubs are a smart way for beginners to learn the game and discover what they like. Most facilities offer rental equipment at a reasonable expense. New golfers often carry starter sets that include a driver, 3-wood, 5-, 7-, and 9- iron, a pitching wedge, a sand wedge and a putter. >>
Before you purchase your first set of clubs, it’s smart to contact your local PGA Professional for the equipment that fits you best.
There are also many inexpensive ways to play golf. You can practice on putting and chipping greens (which is often free), hit a bucket of balls on a practice range for as little as a few dollars, take group lessons, play in a league or play 9 holes instead of 18 on the course.
Whether you have a whole day to play or a just a few hours to spare there are many ways to have a lot of fun for less time: To play a traditional 18 holes of golf, it generally takes four to five hours. However, if time is limited you can just play nine holes instead of 18, join your buddies for putting games, or play a Par-3 course. Or you can hit a bucket of balls at lunch or right after work.
If you have just begun to play golf or are getting back into the sport, you realize it takes some direction to get your game up to speed. Holding the club properly and learning how to hit a golf ball are acquired skills. We recommend you seek out your local PGA Professional who can assist you with individual or group lessons for developing the proper techniques to enjoy the game.
Do you want to play better? If yes, then taking lessons from a PGA or LPGA Professional should be an integral part of your game. Lessons will make you play better and enhance your overall enjoyment of golf. The impact that instruction can have on your golf game is; You will become more consistent, hit drives straighter or further, and enhance your bunker play, shots from uneven lies, etc. Lessons can also be tailored to address what you want to accomplish
Learning to play golf the proper way not only leads to better play but a more enjoyable experience every time you tee it up. Unlike going to the dentist, going to your PGA or LPGA Professional for a lesson is not painful, but a rewarding experience that can be shared over and over again.
Play Alone or With Others
If you want to play, don’t hesitate to go to the course alone. You will likely be paired with other players looking for someone to join their group. Most facilities require two or four players grouped together. Typically, courses will attempt to pair golfers of similar abilities. However, even if you play with someone more advanced, it can be a great learning experience. Don’t be surprised if you come away with a few new friends and golfing buddies.
Group lessons are a great way to find new playing partners and meet new people. Through your local PGA Professional, you can discover facilities in your area offering clinics, lessons and playing opportunities. Another great way to meet fellow golfers is by joining or organizing a golf league. Your local golf course, employer and friends are all good places to begin your search for a league. For women, contact the Arizona Women’s Golf Association (AWGA) to learn more about their Ambassador Program, or The Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) who conduct events to help women of all skill levels gain confidence in joining other players on the fairway. They also conduct leagues, outings and social events.
Red, White and Blue (tees that is)
Play from the tees that you are most comfortable with for your skill level and don’t let your ego or playing partners influence your decision. Most courses have at least four sets of tees, some as many as six, so selecting the proper tees isn’t difficult. The forward tees are designated for beginners and players with higher handicaps. The longest tees are designated for low handicap and professional players. Remember, golf is supposed to be a relaxing recreation, so choose the tees that will allow you to have the most fun.
Golf is a game … so tee up and have fun. Remember, every game has its rules. As a new golfer, you are not obligated to follow all the rules to a tee. Your instructor may have suggested a set of rules for your level of play and the course. New golfers are often encouraged to use “it’s okay” rules. For example, it’s okay to bend the rules in order to build your confidence and experience in learning the game. Having fun is the most important factor, especially when first learning to play. Be patient and enjoy the experience. Scoring is not always the objective in the beginning.
When in doubt about a ruling, ask your local PGA Professional. As you advance, it is a good to learn basic Rules of Golf. The PGA Summary of The Rules of Golf is an easy to use resource.
LEARN TO GOLF or SHARE THE JOY OF THE GAME!
If you are interested in learning to golf, or are one of the thousands of golfers who already love the game but would like to help a friend learn to play, the following articles will help a new golfer learn about programs that are helpful to the new, or even established golfer! Follow the links below and simply share any of the articles and programs via email or use the Facebook share button (at top). NOTE: As you follow each article, these links will also appear at the bottom of each page: