So you have decided to undertake that most challenging, frustrating but worthwhile sport, golf. Where do you begin? I admit it can seem a little daunting to a novice, but as with anything practice makes perfect, and remember everyone started somewhere. You just to need to get the etiquette, rules and fundamentals down, and in no time it will feel like the most natural thing in the world.
Let’s start with the real basics – some of this might seem fairly obvious but it’s better to be informed to save yourself any awkwardness.
- Having the Proper Attire
Of course, you are a unique individual, but you don’t want to stray from the crowd too much. When you golf, you need to wear the correct clothing. This is mostly dependent on the club you’re playing at, as they may have their own specific rules regarding attire. Generally in country clubs they prefer a collared shirt with Bermuda length shorts or pants for men. Meanwhile, women are required to wear the same, except their shirt may be without sleeves and they also have the choice of wearing a golf skirt. Of course, golf shoes are on the whole a must. You can double check these details with the club beforehand by checking their website or calling them.
- The Right Equipment
Understandably, you don’t want to spend a fortune on 14 golf clubs when you have never played the sport. Luckily, some courses have an option to rent which is a good option for those just starting out. You may feel you need the maximum amount of clubs to lug around with you, but start small and slowly build up your collection. Initially, if you don’t have a driver this isn’t a huge issue, just make sure you have odd-numbered irons, a wedge, putter, 3 and 5 wood. Additionally, you will also require balls, tees, an object to use as a ball marker and finally a divot repair tool.
- Make a Reservation
This is not always a necessity, but it makes your life a lot easier. Have your tee time (starting time) reserved beforehand – nowadays you can usually do this online which makes it super handy. If not you can call, and ask them any other additional questions you may have regarding fees, dress code, clubs etc. You should arrive a little early, around 30 minutes, in order to keep on schedule as you need to check in, pay fees and of course warm up.
- Pace, Pace, Pace
As a beginner, you need to really be aware of the pace you are keeping. You want to keep the game moving fast, so be ready to hit and move on. It can seem a little daunting, but as I said before, everyone was a beginner once so other golfers can empathize. If you feel you are going too slow, suggest the group behind you play through.
- Enjoy yourself!
This is easier if you go with a group of friends/family (4 being the ideal amount) so you can relax into it. There are lots of rules and etiquette to learn, but remember it is your first time! Ease into it, relax and have fun.
A great number of golf courses in the area are well suited to beginners. Why not try the Champions 9 Course at Champions Gate Resort, Orlando – great family fun and light play, or the Origins Golf Club in WaterSound, another great choice for any skill level.