Golf is a great game to play. With millions of golfers around the globe, you might have encountered someone who truly loves and enjoys the sport. However, like with any new activity, playing it for the first time can be intimidating. Not to mention that golf is also known to embrace beginners quickly, as the challenge it impose often discourages new players.
Fortunately, all you need to learn are the basics to give a proper head start in the game. With the right knowledge, you can learn, play, and master golf for a lifetime, and reap all the benefits the game offers. So, let’s cut through the chase! Here are the useful golfing basics you must know should you wish to give this amazing sport a try!
Take the first step
Trying new things puts a person in an unknown territory, which often terrifies other people, causing them to never even attempt to try. Don’t allow the same thing to happen to you! If you want to try playing golf, go ahead and drive to the nearest golf course and practice in the driving range.
Borrow clubs from a friend or use the ones provided at the facility. Afterwards, watch other golfers, so you can get the gist of the game. Then, don’t be afraid to make your first swing!
Overcome any nervousness and remember that you won’t become a golfer without taking your first swing. Relish the moment and be happy with the result, whether you score or not, hit bad shots or miss a few swings. What’s important is you’re already a step further of your golf journey.
Be sure to research the stance and grip basics before the trip to have a better perspective. Don’t also forget to follow the safety tips to keep you and other golfers out of harm’s way. Lastly, have fun! You’ll have enough time to improve the game. For now, celebrate the achievement now that you’ve set your foot on the greens.
Have a feel of it
After your first visits, have a trial period if golf is, indeed, for you. While it is a great sport or pastime to have, it is simply not for everyone. Make three to five trips to the golf course. Do you really appreciate the game? Would you like to play it more rigorously? Are you ready to spend a considerable amount of money on equipment, gear, and accessories? If your answer to all the questions is yes, then there’s no reason not to pursue your golf journey.
Get the necessary equipment
Now that you’ve committed to continue playing golf, it’s now okay to swipe your credit card and fill up your garage with the necessary golfing equipment and gear. The importance of making a decision first to avoid any remorse should you end up buying these things, only to end up quitting the sport after a few tries.
Some of the basic golf items you need include a full set of clubs, golf balls, golf bag, golf shoes, golf gloves, and golf clothing. Having other accessories, such as a divot tool, markers, and tees are also handy.
While most golf courses allow you to rent equipment and accessories, it is advisable to have your own sets, which fits you perfectly or you’re completely comfortable of using. You can even opt for customized golf clubs that will provide you with a sense of familiarity on every outing. Thus, allowing you to quickly improve or pick up your game.
You can always check online shops for the best deals. Some offer discounts and deals that can really save a good amount of money. The catch is that you don’t get to see them personally, rendering it harder to determine the size, material, and feel of the items.
If possible, drop by a golf store instead to look at the equipment and gear. Just be sure not to act a newbie, as store owners may sway you to buy the most expensive brands. Look around and ask for off-brands with decent quality. They are ample enough to help you as you learn the ropes. Save the branded items with heftier prices for later. You can purchase them once you’ve mastered the game.
“Know” the rules and etiquette
Like with any other sports, there are lots of rules to follow in golf. You can buy the rule and decisions book for a few dollars, but like with any other guides, it is quite lengthy and can be perplexing for a newbie! Remember, time and experience is the best teacher. You can use the book as a reference. Place it in your golf bag and check it should you encounter any unfamiliar situation. As you play the game, you get to know more about these rules without overloading yourself with too much information at a single reading.
Aside from the rules, you also need to learn about etiquette. These guidelines are set to ensure that everyone on the golf course has an enjoyable time. Some basic etiquettes include being silent as other golfers are making their shots, taking your time on your shot but not too much, watching where you stand, and never stepping on other players’ lines. Of course, don’t forget to be punctual at all times, share golf carts, and display good sportsmanship. By knowing these simple rules, you’ll have no issues getting along with other golfers on the course, and you’ll gain the same respect as well.
Get your first round of actual golf
At some time, you get to be more comfortable in the driving range and have learned pretty much of the game. The journey doesn’t end there, though. You need to brace yourself and prepare for your first actual round of golf. It can put you on the edge but don’t cancel it off just because you’re frightened.
Try to remember your first swing at the driving range. You might have been more nervous and clueless then, right? But, you pulled it through! What’s the difference from doing it today, now that you’ve evolved and have ample knowledge and experience to back you up.
So, book your first round of golf. Avoid the weekends as golf courses are pretty crowded these days. Instead, opt for weekdays where there are fewer players and you won’t feel too pressured to keep up with everyone.
Be also wary of the type of course you pick. Courses vary in difficulty. You’ll do well on easier and shorter courses. Through time, you will have the chance to experience more challenging ones.
While it is best to play alone, the golf course management will usually pair you up with other golfers. Instead of being intimidated by the other players, approach them and tell them it’s your first actual tee time. Golfers are known for their camaraderie. You’ll love how welcoming and helpful they can be in assisting you with your first round of golf. Plus, you get to see other people play closely. Observe them and take all the learnings they can impart to you.
Improving your game
After finishing your tee time, you can now say hello to more rounds of golf. Of course, not all things come perfectly on the first try. You may have missed some swings, forgot some rules, or scored low. That’s normal! What you need to do is continue to hone your skills to be better at the game.
Don’t compare yourself to players you see on PGA Tours. It took them years to be at the level they are at. So, take your time, too! Devote time on reading instructional guides or books. Hang out with more experienced players and seek advice. Otherwise, you can also take lessons from a trained professional to level your technique, and discover new and better ways to execute your swing.
Keep your patience as mastering golf is a gradual process. Truth to be told, gold is a lifetime adventure of development. The more you spend time on the greens, the better you can be. Get a nicer swing, a longer drive, and a better score on every outing. There is something to look forward to in the gameplay, and every round can make you fall in love with the sport deeper.