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Golf - How to learn the game
Lessons and Training
Once you have decided that you would like to learn golf the first thing you need to do is to decide how you will go about it.
Below are some ways I found how to learn, but there is also getting a friend who plays to give you some pointers, golf training books or DVD's, and just having a go yourself.
Your local club may offer a free taster session, usually between half an hour and an hour. You won't need any equipment, and trainers are fine to wear on your first visit.
These will be with a golf shop or club and there will be a group of you at the same level, these are fun as you are all in the same boat, you can learn a lot from everyone there too. You will not feel under any pressure as you are all learning together. Group lessons are usually all women or juniors. Junior lessons are offered quite inexpensive, this is to get youngsters involved in the sport early, there are some fabulous young golfers that can put some adults to shame. Clubs often have good offers for ladies too, as there is not very many ladies that play and clubs want to get you there.
Also with group lessons, equipment may be provided, but you should check first with who ever you decided to go with.
One to One
This type is more costly, but you will get the training tailored to your needs. With one to one, you would normally have your own clubs to use, unless you ask to use theirs. Again though it is a good idea to look out for offers and discounts, as sometimes you can get a promotion for one to one lessons a little cheaper.
Some clubs offer a holiday where your learn on a wonderful course, this can be quite expensive but if you have the spare cash and fancy an activity holiday where you can concentrate on golf, this may be perfect for you.
How I did it
I started out by doing a free taster session at a local club for one hour, this was in a group of ladies, I then signed up for the 6 week group ladies lessons, one hour lesson every Saturday.
I also had another free taster session when I brought my clubs. The shop was in a club, and they offered me a free half hour.
- Any free lessons are worth taking, you will pick up something each time.
Then I had four lessons on grip and swing, with a one to one instructor.
Equipment - The Basic's
You don't have to buy any of this until you have had a lesson or two, as it is sometimes better to know what you want before you buy your clubs. Although you may want to buy something just to start your kit off.
There are some really good second hand clubs that you could buy to start yourself off, once you know what you want then you buy new to suit your own style.
- Golf clubs
- Golf Bag
- Golf shoes
Golf clubs come in a range of prices, from inexpensive to very expensive. Starting out, you only need the basic. If you go to your local golf shop or club and tell them that you are starting out, they will explain what you need.
I went for a starter kit, as the man in the shop said, all you need now is some balls and skill. Balls I would say are fairly easy to obtain, where as the skill, is slightly more difficult. In my set there was a full set of clubs, with bag, all nicely matching.
You also need golf shoes, which can be quite horrid, (in my opinion) but at least now you can buy them that look like trainers, so a little better than years ago. Again, these go from a fairly inexpensive cost to more expensive. When starting out you just need something that you like, and suitable for where you will be playing.
You only need the one, for grip. These are fairly inexpensive, but I am sure they also range in cost.
Yet again there is a wide variety of balls that you will have no understanding of why the cost has so much range, but I have chosen pink ones, for no other reason but they are pink!
Here again, there is a huge range in cost and variation, although I have to say for ladies, there is less of the variation and more of the boring. I plan to find something a bit more fashionable. Or if nothing else something nice!
There is a infinite amount of golf things to buy, you can get digital distance meters, electronic score cards, novelty golf club covers, umbrella's, golf trolleys, or if money is no object, maybe a golf buggy, plus many many more items, Christmas and birthday's will never be a problem again.
- Ask at the local club or shop
- Get some professional lessons
- Get as many free lessons as you can
- Listen to other golfers, and take advice
- Practice and enjoy
My Lessons and Training
One to one training
I had four lessons which lasted half an hour long, in the first lesson, I learned how to hold the club, how to stand and how to take a shot. The instructor videoed me, so that he could show me how I had improved throughout the lesson, where I am going wrong and where I am doing okay. This I found very useful, as you can see what you are doing and it makes it easier to remember. I had never hit a ball before, or held a club properly, by the end of the lesson I had hit a few balls not too badly, I had also missed quite a few times and hit bad ones too, but the by the end of the lesson I was hitting more than I was missing.
In between lessons, I went to the driving range and practice my swing, stance and shot.
The stance is quite hard to get at first and feels a bit unnatural, you do have to work on it, keeping your body straight, and sticking your bottom out, knees, relaxed and slightly bent, arms slightly bent also.
I started by trying to hit the ball fast, but soon realised that if I hit it slower but more accurately then the ball went further and I actually hit it too, which is a bonus!
Also grip is important, when starting out you tend to grip too tightly, as soon as you relax your grip a little, everything feels better and has more flow.
I enjoyed the one to one training, as you are the only person the instructor is concentrating on, he or she has the time to work on your own swing to suit you. The half hour goes really fast though.
These are quite fun, I was with ladies who where all learning, and of a range of ages. It was busy, and you got time to chat with people who were at the same level as you. There is not the personal attention as there is with the one to one, but you get time to practice and listen to what he is telling others, you can pick up some tips by just keeping aware of what is going on. They offered a discount on equipment from their shop at the end.
I enjoyed group sessions and was glad I did them. The combination of the one to one and group session's I found very beneficial as someone new to it all.
The instructor went through a few rules and give everyone a print out of the basic's which was really handy.
Once again a nice way to meet new people who you may see on the golf course one day.
Type of Training
Free Taster Sessions
Free advice from a professional
Usually they are trying to promote their lessons
You are in a group of the same ability
Not personally tailored to your needs
One to One
You get training where you need it
Could be expensive
Great for youngsters to learn the game
Once you have learned the basic
The next thing to do is practice, practice, practice
One to one
Once you have been playing for a while, it might be worth having one or two lessons with a professional on maybe an area where you feel you need it, such as putting, or getting your swing correct.
Some clubs offer specialist clinics such as short game, putting, psychology of your game, where they look at the way you actually think while playing, all very high tech!
Going along to the driving range to get your stance and swing correct and try out any new clubs you have bought.
Play The Game
Enjoy playing as often as you can, this will improve your game greatly in the long run. Playing with someone more experienced can also be helpful.
Which golf lessons would you prefer?
How to get your handicap
The UK handicap system is the CONGU. In America it is the USGA
Your handicap tells other players of your standard, and also helps you to know your own standard and how you are progressing in your game.
Your handicap is based on the number of 'strokes' you would take more than a 'scratch' handicap or 0.
You obtain your handicap by playing a round of golf with someone who is marking your score card.
You will need
- 3 score cards from three 18 hole games
- The course standard scratch score - SSS. of the tee you are playing off.
Win a Tournament
Once you can play you can join a club, and get your handicap.
Once you have a handicap and have joined a club you can enter in the club competitions. Which will help your game, you will meet new people and can be fun.
You might even win a trophy!
- Have you had any lessons or training to share with me?
- Any good tips for a beginner such as myself?
- Have you a funny story of when you first started?
- Do you think you may take up the game now you have read this?
© 2013 Lavender Jade