Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the game. On that note, nine holes is just the right number for beginners.
1. GO ONLINE
There are lots of sites that offer helpful tips for beginners on every topic from the basic rules and etiquette to the fundamentals of the swing and basic golf attire.
2. GO TO A COURSE
Even before you head to the tee for the very first time, do a little online research about the courses in your area. You will want to find a public or “semi-private” course (one that has members but also welcomes the public golfer). Drop into the golf shop, introduce yourself as a new golfer and have a look around. Ask if they have a program to introduce new golfers to the game. If they do, sign up!
3. GO TO A PRO
We have a lot of friendly experts on our field. They’re helpful and knowledgeable. Even a half-hour lesson with a pro will get you started on the right path. Many courses offer lesson packages and some include playing a few holes as well. Taking a lesson is the best investment you can make if you want to enjoy the game and improve your skills.
4. GO GET SOME CLUBS
Although most courses have clubs you can rent, you may want to have your own set. Most golf course pro shops carry equipment and gear to get you started. Chain stores and other major sporting goods retailers also have inexpensive sets that include irons, woods, putter and a carry bag. They also sell inexpensive balls and tees. As long as you follow the course’s dress code (often published on their web site), you don’t even need golf shoes at this point. Running shoes will suffice.
5. GO TO THE DRIVING RANGE
If you’re taking lessons at a course, you no doubt have taken advantage of the practice facility, also called the driving range. If not, head for a local public driving range with a friend and hit some balls. Many facilities also have a practice putting green. As you will find out, putting is a very important part of the game!
6. GO TO THE FIRST TEE
You’ve hooked up with some friends or new acquaintances from your introductory program. You’ve asked the folks in the golf shop from which tees you should play as a beginner (generally, the most forward set of tees is appropriate).
7. GO HIT THE BALL
Assuming you’ve followed these first few tips, you should be hitting the ball in the right general direction. Don’t be discouraged if you’re not as proficient as your more experienced companions. Just relax, swing, and don’t forget to breathe! From a safety perspective, make sure you are aware of where your friends are and when they are hitting. From a “pace of play” viewpoint, always be ready to hit your next shot when it’s your turn. Most importantly, don’t get frustrated if you’re not proficient immediately. You will improve the more you play and practise. Remember, the object of the game is to have fun.