Getting Started

Fri, 12/30/2011

Golf is the most wonderful that one can play. Spending 4 hours in beautiful surroundings with great company while pitting you wits against the course, the elements and that cleverly dimpled ball. If you are reading this then you must have already have experienced the feeling of a ball struck well out of the centre of the club and subsequently you have picked up the golf ‘bug.’ As the saying goes, ‘nothing that comes easily is worth having’ and that certainly apples to golf with it’s enormity of challenges. These are a few ideas worth reading if you are just starting out on what I believe to be a the most thoroughly rewarding game of all.

Expectations

Any beginner lesson always starts with a check on expectations. The golf swing is a very complex motor skill and to develop and repeat a functional movement takes time and many hours of practice on the range. On average it takes a golfer about 12-24 months to become comfortable playing a full size course. Then another year at least to obtain an official golf handicap. More on that later.

Pathway

The priority at the start must be to groove a consistent (ish) contact on the ball so plenty of hours on the range where massed ball bashing can take place are vital. One must commit to at least one session per week to make measurable progress. After a couple of months of this I would urge you to find a small par 3 course to venture out and discover the game. DON’T score, just enjoy.

Now you will see the need for a good short game, that’s chipping and putting, so add this to your practice each week too. With one practice session and one on course session per week you’ll start to get to grips with things.

Aim to venture on to a full size course within your 1st year of playing, again, scoring is not the priority at the start.

Key factors that will keep you improving and prevent you from becoming one of the many ‘drop outs.’

  • Continuity: Commit to at lest a practice session every week and put it in the diary
  • Support: Having a friend to learn with is ideal to maintain regular practice and moral
  • Coaching: Get good coaching from the start and don’t rely on well meaning freinds. “In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king” and no where is this more true than on your local driving range, however, you don’t want to be practicing the same mistakes that others have made
  • Range Balls: If you can, commit to a bulk range card. it’s cheaper and commits you for a while.
  • Attitude: You will have some great practice session and inevitably some real shockers. Roll with the punches and don’t take it personally.
  • Approach to Learning: Celebrate all your victories (good shots) and ignore all your fallings because these are all part of the process.
  • Little and Often: It’s far better to hit a few balls at a time and come back the next day than ht 100′s of balls at once. This way you make use of sleep and incubation time. More on this later in the ‘Research’ section of the blog
  • Clubs: You don’t need a fancy set right now but you do need something that will help you learn. A 30 year old rusty stick is not going to inspire you. Seek advice on ‘cavity back’ clubs and the right shaft flex.
  • Be Excited: At no other time in any game will you improve as fast as at the beginning

Good luck, enjoy every ball!