Here are some first steps to take if you are just beginning to learn the game of golf.
You’ve watched your friends or your spouse take off weekend after weekend for the golf course. It seems to be a lot of fun and now you are ready to “test the waters.” That’s great news. But before you take the leap, here are a few things you might consider before you hit the links.
- What should be your first step? Start off slow. Do NOT head for the golf course until you have been to a local practice facility first. Borrow a club or two from your friends and ask them to go with you to the driving range. Practice hitting a few balls first, then head over to the putting green and just see how it feels to putt a few.
- Should you let your friends or spouse teach you, or get lessons from a pro? It’s always good to have a patient friend teach you a few things when you are first getting started. But learning how to play golf involves a long learning curve and most friends and/or spouse don’t have the patience to walk you through all the steps required from proper grip to full swing essentials. Once you know you really do want to invest time in learning the game, find a professional instructor to teach you the ropes. Their objectivity will serve you well.
- Do you recommend getting fitted for clubs when you are just learning the game? This is a tough question to answer. If you play with the wrong clubs, those you “inherited” from friends or family, or bought on e-bay or craig’s list, it’s possible you will have trouble feeling good about your game. Clubs have different weights, differences in shaft flexibility, overall balance, length— and it’s unlikely clubs you got from your Aunt Ethel will match you perfectly. That being said, however, getting fitted for your own clubs is a very expensive proposition. As an interim solution I recommend you go to your local sports center or golf store and ask them to measure you for a set of beginner’s golf clubs. Use them for a year or so and if you still want to invest in the game, then consider getting fitted by a professional fitter.
- Should you play with your spouse when you are just beginning to learn the game of golf? This question gets mixed answers. For some, playing with their spouse is a great way to spend time together. For others, it is the wrong move especially if that person is constantly reminding you of what you are doing wrong, correcting every swing, or just losing patience with your slow play. You might find it easier to play with friends of the same ability, someone who will be patient and help you build confidence in your game. When you have gained that confidence, then go out and play a round with your spouse.
- Do you recommend joining a golf club? A great way to get to learn the game, get some great instruction and begin to network with other beginning players, is to join your local golf club. Many clubs have clinics for beginners and leagues that meet regularly. Get to know the pros in the club house, take a lesson or two and ask for their advice. It’s a great way to begin.