The Top 5 Things to Know When Starting to Play Golf
By Abby Parsons, PGA
PGA Honorary President Suzy Whaley during a golf clinic at the Country Club at Mirasol on March 7, 2019 in Palm Beach Gardens, FL (Photo by Kathryn Riley/PGA of America)
If you are considering picking up a club and heading to your local driving range to see what the game of golf is all about, think about these five tips to get your game started in the right direction. Golf is A LOT of fun, but it can also be hard, make it easier on yourself when you can.
- Talk to your local golf professional. Golf professionals are at their facilities to help people like you learn the game, and learn to love the game. Inquire about opportunities for beginners to learn- whether it’s group starter-clinics, individual lessons, or PGA player development programs like Get Golf Ready. It can be beneficial to learn with others, you find immediate playing-partners and you can practice what you have learned together. If you enjoy an instructor’s teaching style from clinics, you can build a relationship to start taking individual lessons.
- Watch golf. Watching golf is a great way to learn the etiquette of the game, as well as how the game works in general. Obviously you are watching the best of the best play on TV; however, you see the proper sequence of events, rules, and sportsmanship on the golf course while you are learning. TV broadcasters are very good about explaining why things happened the way they did, what caused a shot to go sideways, or why the player has to re-tee after a wayward drive. Seeing the creativity that comes out of the professionals will open your eyes to what can be done on the golf course as well. This can allow you to ask your golf instructor questions about specific shots you may encounter while playing a round of golf.
- Play games. There are a plethora of golf training games out there that make learning the golf swing(s) fun and repetitive. It will be easier to keep your brain focused if you are not used to practicing something for long periods of time, and you can invite people to join you to make it more fun. Find games that suit your full swing, some for chipping, and some for putting. Creating a win/lose atmosphere will help build your confidence when those tough three-footers come into play on the golf course when you are playing a real round against friends.
- Figure out your equipment. There is nothing wrong with starting out with a set of clubs from your neighbor’s garage that has been collecting dust for a while. However, once your love has struck for the game of golf, find someone/somewhere to get fitted for a set of clubs. It could be a starter set, or maybe you’re ready to take on more-advanced clubs; either way, finding clubs that best suit YOU will improve your game immensely and increase longevity for your body as well. It is never fun hunching over the golf ball because your clubs are ever-so-slightly too small for you.
- Go on PGA.com. This is a great resource to learn coachable moments, advice on how to improve your game, and even what golf brands are up-and-coming. There are plenty of articles, videos, and more that can help you navigate the game of golf. Along with this, there is PGA Coach that can help you find a local instructor that best suits you and what you are looking for in your game.
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