There are many reasons to give golf a try, being outdoors, physically and mentally active and having a great time with your friends. If you are ready to give golf a tryout then let me give you a few ideas on how to get started.
WHERE TO START
You really don’t need to worry about joining a golf club when you are starting out. Membership fees can be on the high side and when you add up all the costs involved with buying golf gear, it can be a very expensive hobby to get started. There are lots of ways of trying golf out before you make a big financial commitment.
Many local golf clubs and driving ranges offer taster sessions, which are normally free. Just give them a call and see if they have any sessions available, turn up in comfortable clothes and join in with other beginners for a one-off session.
If you enjoy yourself, you might consider taking up one of their group beginner programmes, which normally last about 10 weeks. As these are normally group lessons you have the benefit of meeting other likeminded people and the benefit of low-cost lessons. You would normally pay between £5 and £10 pounds per lesson. When you consider that the average individual golf lesson would be between £35 and £100 depending on location, the group session is a good way to start.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST
I did some research for you and here are some indicative costs for local golf facilities in my area:
Taster session Free
· Golf range balls 30 – £4, 60 balls £7, 90 balls £9.50 and 120 balls £11.50
· Pitch and Put Course weekday £17, weekend £19 for 18 holes.
· Single golf lesson 30 minutes £32 or £60 for 1 hour.
· 20 x 1-hour lesson programme £1200.
· Golf club membership 9 Hole Course £600
· 18 Hole Golf Club single round £26-£32
· Golf Club Membership £1334
WHAT TO WEAR
If you are taking a free introduction session or some beginner lessons, I would suggest you ask if there is a dress code when you book up. Generally, this will be very relaxed casual cloths and training shoes would be ok.
If you want to continue with the sport and want to start to play the first thing you will need is a pair of golf shoes. The power of the golf swing is initiated from the ground up having a pair of properly fitted golf shoes will stop your feet from sliding about and give you a stable platform to perform the golf swing.
When you play on any course it is worth checking out to see if they have a dress code to save any embarrassment. You might be turned away if they have one and you are not dressed appropriately. This is a sample dress code from one of my local golf clubs and would be average requirement for most good clubs:
“We request that members and guests wear clothing which is appropriate for the playing of golf. Jeans, military style trousers and collarless shirts are inappropriate”.
In the Clubhouse
“We aim to provide pleasant facilities for members and guests to prepare to play their game and afterwards relax in a comfortable lounge area. In the club lounge we require that smart clean and dry clothing and shoes are worn but that caps and golf shoes are not worn. In the ‘Sports Bar’ you are able to wear golf shoes”.
I think that this is a reasonable dress code however, it’s always worth checking.
HOW TO PLAY
A golf course can be built with either 9 or 18 holes however, this is not always the case. You start each hole on the tee. This is the only place on the hole that you are permitted to place your ball on a tee peg. When you play your ball off the tee you start counting the number of shots you take until your ball is in the hole.
Golf holes start at the tee and finish when the ball is in the hole. You must navigate your ball towards the green always playing the ball from where it lies. Parts of the hole are known as fairways, bunkers, rough, water hazards and out of bounds areas. The course designer builds the hole with these parts laying them out in a variety of ways to make each hole interesting and to test your skill.
One of the fantastic things about golf is that it can be played between people of all ages and ability levels due to the handicap system.
Your score for each hole is the number of strokes you take to get the ball in the hole. Par for each hole, and for the course, is allocated by the number of strokes a player with a scratch (0 handicap) would take to play each hole. The par for all the holes is added together to give the par round for the course.
You should not worry too much about the par score when you first take up golf if you do you will become very frustrated very quickly! Only 1.6% of male golfers have a handicap of zero, among women that drops to 0.37%. People who play of a scratch handicap are seriously good players.
The par for each hole is worked out via a combination of distance and difficulty. However, each hole is either par 3, 4, or 5.
If you take 1 shot less than par that is called a Birdie, 2 shots less that would be an Eagle. 1 shot over par is called a Bogy, 2over is a Double Bogey.
I hope that this post has given you some good information and it in some way encourages you to give golf a try. It’s a fantastic sport and I would really encourage you to take the first step in your golf journey, what do you have to lose.