Getting Started In Golf
By Mark Hogens
Step One: Dive Right In
As an adult, it is easy to put off trying new things. Between your commitments to your job and your family, along with the existing hobbies you already take part in, it is can be hard to find time for a new interest. This is how it goes for many people who are thinking of getting started in golf. They put it off one year after the next, and never end up learning to play this great game.
Don’t let that happen to you!
The best way to get started in golf is simply to point your car toward the nearest driving range and go for it. Forget about buying an entire set of clubs for now, or any of the other accessories that you will need later on. For now, just find a local driving range and go make your first swings.
Are they going to be pretty? No, probably not.
Are you going to know what you are doing? Not necessarily.
It doesn’t matter, though. Just get to the range and hit some balls. For most people, this first step is all it will take to hook them on a lifelong pursuit. You can’t become a golfer if you never swing a golf club, so step over this first hurdle as soon as possible.
Step Two: Learn the Rules
There are a lot of rules in golf. The rule book itself is longer than you might expect, and somewhat confusing. Beyond that, the “decisions book” based on situations that can arise on the course is downright overwhelming. Unless you have a spare month to spend reading through all this documentation, don’t concern yourself with the finer points of the rules just yet.
That isn’t to say that you should ignore the rules – not at all. Golf is a gentleman’s game, based on honest competition and integrity. You should always follow the rules as closely as possible. However, as a new golfer, you simply won’t be able to remember all of the rules just by reading them in a book. Experience is the best way to learn the rules, as various situations will present themselves when you make your way around the course.
Step Three: The First Round
At some point, you are going to have to take the leap and make your first tee time. Most likely, you will be nervous about playing your first round on an actual golf course, but that is okay. Don’t put it off just because you are nervous—as soon as you feel like you are up to the challenge, pick a date and a course and give it a try.
Step Four: Getting Better
Hopefully, your first round will be a lot of fun, and you will be anxious to get back out and try it again (most golfers say they got “hooked” after their first real round on the course). While it is easy to fall in love with the game, it is not quite as easy to get good at the game. Golf is among the hardest sports in the world, and improving your game requires a combination of experience and hard work. Of course you don’t need to swing like a PGA TOUR player to enjoy playing golf, but steadily improving your skills will add to the overall experience.
Golf is among the hardest sports in the world, and improving your game requires a combination of experience and hard work.
Making an Impact
There are approximately 57 million Americans with some form of disability (or 19 percent of the total U.S. population). Formed in 2001, the National Alliance for Accessible Golf ensures the opportunity for all individuals with disabilities to play the game. The organization has granted more than $581,000 to 7,000 participants in 19 states. Nice job!
In Another’s Words
“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”
– A.A. Milne (Author)