BY “A FORMER BEGINNER”
Golf is a great game: sometimes rewarding, almost always frustrating and totally addictive. Getting started in golf is actually not so difficult, and hopefully this article can help you avoid some of the pitfalls and help to point you in the direction of a lifetime of fun (and frustration).
The first steps
Step lightly and DO NOT rush out and buy a brand new set of
shiny and expensive golf clubs.
While they are nice to look at, keep in mind that today’s golf equipment comes in great varieties to cater to different golfing types and abilities. Since you’re just starting out, you most likely do not know which set fits you best. Just imagine the envious looks you’d get at the driving range when you arrive with your $2000 set, and the subsequent laughter when you try and just ‘hack away’ – trust me, it’s not worth the embarrassment! Once you spend a few hundred (or even a few thousand) on a set that doesn’t suit your style you’re stuck with them, until you can palm them off to somebody else at a loss.
Some alternatives are: Most driving ranges have clubs for hire, so you can try out a few different ones. Accept the fact that none of the clubs will feel terribly comfortable at first. Actually, I would first recommend that you get your hands on a putter, either from a friend or a local pro shop, and try it out on their practice green. (They might even toss in a couple of range balls for your practice).
Putting will give you a feeling for the concept of the game – getting the ball into the hole. Trust me, it only looks easy.
Once you have mastered the putter – actually witness a ball or two rolling into the cup – it will be time to expand your introduction by borrowing one or two clubs from a friend (the key word here is borrow).
The shortest iron, nine iron or a wedge are the best clubs to start off with. The initial objective here is to see if you can get the ball into the air, these clubs will give you your best chance at accomplishing that objective.
If after a bit of time you are able to propel the ball above the level of the grass, you might actually be ready for an honest introduction to the art of the golf swing via … THE GOLF LESSON.
The GOLF LESSON
For your golf lesson you are going to need a few golf clubs. I would recommend a driver, a five-wood, seven iron and a nine iron.
With such few clubs you may not even need a golf bag but one strapped over your shoulder does give you the presence of at least looking like a golfer.
The second element at this stage is a golf instructor. Rather than your favorite brother-in-law or spouse, let me suggest a professional golf instructor. There are loads of them at most all golf courses. You might ask your brother in-law or spouse for their recommendations, but that’s as far as I would let either get into your golf game.
Once you decide on an instructor – maybe you might want to talk to one or two before making your selection – you simply turn over the controls to him or her. Don’t bother telling your instructor what you do, or do not know, they will know long before you know. Put yourself in their hands, do as they say no matter how screwy it may sound or feel. And after you have completed a series of lessons, you’ll have a whole lot better idea where you and your game is going. After a sit- down with your instructor you’ll know just about everything you’ll need to know about buying golf clubs and what fits and what doesn’t fit. After a series of lessons with a reputable golf instructor, you might even be ready for your favorite brother in-law or spouse on the links – believe me there will be moments to cherish.