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New To Game

Learn to Play Golf on the Course

PGA of America
Starting on the golf course will get you comfortable right away.
By
Chuck Higgins, PGA

Series: New Golfer

Published: Monday, February 09, 2015 | 9:25 p.m.

Beginners typically feel they need to spend the early stages of learning golf on the driving range trying to develop their ability to hit the golf ball.  Only after they gain success hitting the ball do they venture out to the golf course. For many, who don’t feel they’re ready, they never venture out at all. It couldn’t be more backwards!

The golf course is the best place to learn the game and become a golfer!  By actually getting out on the course, you’ll be able to learn how to navigate your way around it – which is a critical step on your road to becoming a golfer. As you become comfortable playing golf on the course, you will then want to spend time improving your skill in striking the ball. 

As a PGA Professional, I once had a brand new golfer describe the driving range as “intimidating & scary because it seems like everyone is watching” and she described the golf course as “safe” because she felt like she was in her own space.  What a great observation and insight for new golfers who want to grow their comfort level!

The early steps of becoming a golfer should be all about understanding the facility and the course, not about learning how to become proficient in hitting the ball.  The simple steps to this approach are:

·         Partner with someone who currently plays the game as they will be able to help you with the basics of the golf course. 

·         Choose times at the course that are typically slower and begin the holes very close to the putting greens. 

·         Use a putter or hybrid to roll the ball along the ground since this is very basic in fundamentals and everyone can be successful.

·         As you gain confidence on the course, begin to move your starting point further from the green and this will expedite your road to becoming an avid golfer.

Before even you know it – you’ll be a golfer!