10 tips for golfers first time visiting a golf course
Golf can be an intimidating game to get into, which is why we wanted to address 10 myths that some first-time golfers may come across. At Me And My Golf, we’ve helped thousands of beginners get into the game. We find that the most common reason people struggle initially is because of misconceptions about the sport. So, let’s go through a few scenarios which might crop up and get rid of any potential stumbling blocks.
Tip 1 – “I don’t have the correct equipment to start.” To start, you only need one club to practice at a golf club or public driving range. You can pick one up from eBay to get started and simply add to your set when you’re ready. Also, when you do go onto the golf course, there’s no minimum amount of golf clubs that you need to take. You can go onto the course with just a few clubs and a putter. You don’t need to spend lots of money to start the game.
Tip 2 – “Other golfers will be watching me!” As a new golfer, you might feel daunted when you’re hitting golf balls on the range or venturing onto the course. It can feel like everyone is watching you and noticing your mistakes. The truth is that all golfers, even the most experienced, make mistakes – the chances are that everyone else will be thinking about their own game and not yours. The majority of experienced golfers will be happy to help you by offering advice and support. Remember – every golfer that you meet has had to pick up a club for the first time before!
Tip 3 – “I don’t have a club membership – all golfers have those, right?” Golf memberships are always at the forefront of people’s minds when they think about playing golf. The reality is, the majority of golfers aren’t members of golf clubs and the number of private clubs has decreased significantly. Virtually all golf clubs want you to play at their course. The course staff will be very helpful because they want you to enjoy your experience at their course. In terms of driving ranges, the majority of those don’t offer memberships anyway.
Tip 4 – “I can’t do it! It’s too hard!” There’s no doubt – golf can be difficult. The key to success is to set yourself short-term, achievable goals. For example: work on your grip next time you’re at the range, ensuring you focus on the technicalities of this alone rather than the quality of the shots. At the following session, you could shift your focus and set yourself the goal of hitting 3 shots in the air. Basically, keep the goals really simple and short-term. This way, you’ll keep it fun and feel like you’re achieving more each session.
Tip 5 – “I don’t have the time to put in the practice.” We know, golf can take 4 to 5 hours if you’re playing 18 holes. But you don’t have to play 18! You could play 9 holes in a couple of hours, or simply go for a 30-minute range session.
Tip 6 – “I don’t know the rules!” Guess what? Neither do we! Of course, we know some of them – but we definitely don’t know them all. You’d be surprised how many experienced golfers don’t actually know all of the rules. You’ll only need to start using the rules when you play competitions – and that’s what a rule book is for. When you’re playing for enjoyment, don’t feel that you need to know the rules – having fun is much more important.
Tip 7 – “The golf course is too intimidating.” The good thing about golf courses it that they’re all different. You don’t have to play every shot if you don’t want to – you can miss a few out, or pick up your ball and leave if you want to. Again it’s all about having fun.
Tip 8 – “I’m not ready to go on the golf course.” There currently aren’t many golf courses that require you to be playing at a certain standard. Again, you’re there to enjoy yourself. We often get golfers to set themselves simple goals for when they play. For example, to hit a couple of tee shots onto the fairway, or to strike a few iron shots into the air.
Tip 9 – “I’ll be too slow on the golf course.” To start with, you probably will be slower than others on the golf course. The key thing is to be aware of other plays, and if they’re waiting, you can simply stand aside and call them through (make sure you’re safe!). You can also find out what the quieter times are at your chosen course to avoid busy periods.
Tip 10 – “It’s all just too expensive for me!” The great thing about golf is that you don’t have to go all in! You can spend under £100 on a set of golf clubs, you don’t need to become a member at a golf club, and you can pick up a dozen golf balls for under £10. You’re totally in control of what you want to spend. We hope this helps quash a few myths about taking up golf. We, like many golf professionals, want everyone to experience this wonderful game. We’ve played many different sports, and this has been by far the best sport for us – from a social aspect and in giving us the opportunity to constantly challenge ourselves.