A Beginner’s Guide to Golf
There’s no right or wrong time to start playing golf. Whether you’re fresh out of school or heading to a retirement home, playing golf is a great way to keep fit, learn new skills and make lots of lifelong friends.
Everyone needs to start out somewhere, but if you don’t want to look like a complete novice the first time you step out onto the green then here’s everything you need to know:
We like to use lots of fancy words, these can leave you baffled and confused unless you know what they mean. Luckily for you, here’s a complete glossary of golf terms: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_golf
Know the Rules
It goes without saying, there are lots of rules in golf – some more obvious than others! Picking up a rule book and giving yourself a basic understanding of what you need to be doing is vital. Some of the more in-depth rules won’t necessarily apply to you unless you’re jumping straight into a tournament or playing for money.
Understand Your Clubs
Despite what the PS4 version of the PGA Tour told you, you can’t hope to smash everything with a 7 Iron and always get in under par. Every club has its own use and a little bit of studying beforehand can make you appear as if you’ve been playing golf for a while – not only that, you’re a lot more likely to get the ball to where you want it.
What to Wear
Polo shirt? Check. Hat? Check. Sunglasses? Check trousers… err, check. OK, so check trousers aren’t an essential, but collared shirts and golf shoes are a must on most courses. If it’s hot then don’t be afraid to put on a pair of smart shorts, you’ll find plenty of other bare legs when you’re out there.
Basic Golf Etiquette
There are some unwritten rules to golf, which are summarised as followed:
- Leave the course the way you left it – repair pitch marks and pick up your tee!
- Pay attention – keep up with the pace of play, don’t talk while people are shooting, give way to faster players and pay attention to where you’re standing.
- Safety first – golf balls are hard and will be painful if you’re hit, so don’t hit your ball near other people and always be aware of other players
- Advice – as a beginner, you should never give advice, but many other players won’t give it to you unless you explicitly ask for it
No matter what Nintendo says, the Wii cannot teach you how to pull off the perfect golf swing. An experienced professional can though and even a couple hours of 1-on-1 lessons can make a huge difference to your ability. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help or advice, you’ll find many seasoned golfers still taking lessons to help improve specific areas of their game.
Start on an Easy Course
Don’t make life any more difficult than it needs to be. Golf courses are ranked on difficulty, so it really is a good idea to start somewhere that’s pretty easy. The Crowne Plaza Resort is one of the best golf courses in Essex for beginners, as the two courses, one of which is USGA specified, offer the ideal place to start out and room to stretch your legs when you get into the swing of it. In addition to this, the resort also has a practice area for chipping, pitching and bunker practice, as well as three practice putting greens – you’ll be an expert in no time here!
Feeling more confident about the basics of Golf? Now is the time to start practising!