How To Start Playing Golf

 

This post is going to be about the process of how to start playing golf i.e where to go, equipment required, possible costs etc rather than how to physically start hitting a golf ball. It isn’t an exhaustive list rather some basic information for someone who is totally new to golf. I will have other posts on the actual game itself which will include instructional information but this is going to be more about the things you need to do and what you can expect when you first start playing.

You’re almost halfway there already.

Have you ever had a go at crazy golf? How about a go on a putting green somewhere or maybe you have just had a putt in the garden. If you have did you manage to hit the ball in the vague direction of the hole? Well if you have had a go at putting at some point in your life then that is almost half the game covered. Statistics show that on average 43% of all shots people play in a round of golf are putts, so there you have it, you thought you didn’t know anything about playing golf and actually you know how to play half a round already (OK 43% to be precise) …. well done.

The Other 57% of the Game

OK so you now have 3 choices depending on your budget.

Low Budget – Simply get yourself a club ( borrow one if possible if not go to a charity shop, car boot sale, golf shops sometimes sell odd clubs new or second hand or look online) go to a local driving range or open field/park that permits golf (not all do though for obvious safety reasons) and try to figure it out for yourself with the aid of books, YouTube or free content on sites like this. If you are lucky enough to know a keen golfer who can help you with the basics that will help.

This is by far the hardest way to get started but it’s not impossible so don’t let having little or no budget stop you.
Seve Ballesteros learned to play with a home made 3 iron on the beach near his home in Spain using stones as he didn’t have any golf balls and he was pretty good. If you’re lucky enough to be so young that you haven’t heard of him look him up, he was a golfing genius.

Mid Budget – Look up a local driving range and inquire about Beginners Group Classes. Most, if not all driving ranges will offer these and they are a great way of learning the basics with a group of fellow beginners. These classes are usually anywhere between 4 and 8 weeks and are great value, the last ones I did for example were £25 ( $33) for 5 x 1 hour lessons with all equipment provided.This is a great way of starting, you will make some golfing friends and you will have a Professional on hand to answer all your questions and to offer guidance.

High Budget – Book yourself some one on one lessons with a PGA Professional. Most Professionals offer a series of lessons for a new golfer which often include a 9 hole lesson at the end or at least an introduction to the course. Obviously you will get more done in one on one sessions and the lessons will go entirely at your pace but of course they are a little bit more expensive. To give you an idea I offer my students 5 x 30 minute lessons plus a 2-hour lesson around the course and the cost of this is £100 ($132) which is about par for the course ( Ouch sorry about the pun but couldn’t resist )

Which one should I go for?

Which of the 3 you choose is down to your budget and how serious you are about playing. It is possible to start playing on a small budget, there are loads of second hand clubs for sale online or why not try charity shops,car boot sales or markets and you only need 1 to get you started, ideally a 7 iron on something similar but it’s not essential.

There is a load of free content and advice online as well, loads of books and DVD’s on all aspects of the game and these can be picked up for next to nothing. Golf isn’t anywhere near as expensive as it used to be although it is still perceived this way sometimes, of course to play the top courses and own the best equipment can be very expensive but that’s true of any sport really isn’t it. You shouldn’t need to buy any equipment initially anyway if you have signed up for group or individual lessons until the lessons are over by which time you will know a bit about the game and will know if golf is for you or not.

In my opinion a great way to start is to sign up for a beginners group class with a PGA Professional. It’s so important to get the basics correct as early in your golfing life as possible and a group class is the perfect way to do this and as mentioned above shouldn’t cost you too much. By basics I mean a) How to hold the club, b) How to stand to the ball and c) How to make a basic swing, plus what each club does and when you should use it. If you have ever seen a set of golf clubs you will see they all have different numbers on the bottom, in a nutshell the higher the number the higher the ball goes, that’s as technical as you need to get as a brand new player really ( they all hit the ball different distances too but don’t worry about that just now)

What’s next

Once you have gone through a series of lessons that’s it you’ve learned golf!! Just kidding 🙂 you never stop learning but you will be ready to have a go at getting out onto a course. If you think of it this way, you can learn how to hit a golf ball on a driving range or practice ground but you need to get out onto the course to learn how to play golf, does that make sense? If you have a par 3 course  nearby that’s perfect but if not try 9 holes around a standard length course as opposed to all 18 as you may find 18 holes a bit too much to start off with. A par 3 course is a course made up of short holes, usually averaging around 100-150 yards.

If you have had lessons with a Professional he/she will be able to recommend a good course to start on. To play 9 holes around a par 3 course takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours as a beginner and 9 holes around a standard length course will probably take in excess of 2 hours so that’s why 18 holes may be a bit much initially. Once you are playing regularly 18 holes will take about 4 hours but you should try to get round quicker than that if you can.

 

In Summary

Hopefully that has given you some idea how to take the first steps towards taking up golf as your new hobby. It really is a great game and can be highly addictive, you probably will have to spend some money to get started but it definitely doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

So go on give it a try, it’s a game you play for your entire life in a very healthy environment and once you start playing you will meet a whole new circle of friends.

If there is something you want to know that I haven’t covered then please feel free to leave a comment below and I will happy to help you.

All the best

Simon

EnjoyPlayingGolf.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Reasons To Play Golf – Why So Many People Play

It’s estimated that there are around 60 million golfers worldwide, there are golf courses in over 200 countries and golf was reinstated as an Olympic sport for the 2016 games in Rio. Golf is an enormously popular game for so many reasons and is enjoyed by a hugely diverse range of people. Below I have listed 10 reasons to play golf which will help you to understand why so many people get so much enjoyment from this wonderful game.

1. You can play golf at any age

You really can start playing golf at any age. I have taught children as young as 5 and literally hundreds of people in their 70s and beyond, there are absolutely no barriers as far as age is concerned when it comes to taking up the game.

2. Golf offers amazing health and wellbeing benefits.

Most golf courses average around 6000 + yards in length and when you add the walks between the tee’s and greens and a bit of zig zagging up the fairway ( yep we all do that ) you can end up walking up to 4 miles. This is all done in the fresh air at a leisurely pace providing a very healthy combination of walking, muscular activity and social interaction. The benefits don’t stop there either, on top of the physical benefits golf can improve self-esteem, confidence and can reduce stress levels.

The British Journal of Sports Medicine have reported that a study carried out in Sweden in 2016 on 300,000 golfers and non golfers showed golfers live 5 years longer than those who don’t play golf. Now if that’s not a good reason to play then I don’t know what is 🙂

3. Develop lifelong friendships.

This speaks for itself really, playing golf really is a great way of meeting lots of like-minded people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Children generally make friends quickly and easily so joining a junior programme, which are often heavily subsidized, offers a great chance to make new friends. On the other hand a lot of people decide to take up golf upon retiring and find themselves with a new hobby and a new circle of friends.

4. Great social life

This is of course is totally up to you. Some people play golf with a small circle of friends and maybe have a drink afterwards or maybe not which is absolutely fine but if you want it there is a massive social life attached to golf.

You can join a golf club if you wish and you will then have the opportunity to attend regular social functions, prize giving awards, parties, away days, club matches etc. Alternatively you can join a golf society whether you are a member of a club or not, a lot of pubs/clubs/ social groups have a golf society.

5. It’s a fantastic challenge-builds character

This is where traditionally you’re told that golf is a really difficult game and that it’s incredibly frustrating. Well the truth is with a bit of guidance and a bit of practice anyone can learn to hit a golf ball. Once you can hit it you just keep practicing until you hit it a bit further and a bit straighter, the more you practice the better you get.

That said sometimes it just doesn’t all go to plan and that’s where the challenge comes in, when it’s not going well it can feel like you will never play well again….but you will. Maybe you will need to take a couple of lessons from a professional, maybe a quick tip from one of your golfing partners will solve it or maybe it will just come back as quick as it went for no apparent reason but whatever happens you will have learned from it and will be better equipped to deal with a bad round if and when it happens again.

6. The whole family can play together

 

Yes another one of the amazing things about golf is the whole family can play together and it doesn’t matter what standard each person plays to. I regularly teach families, sometimes they are all starting together or sometimes one of the family members is an established player who wants to introduce the rest of the family to the game. If I’m honest though the kids usually ditch the parents fairly quickly and go off and play with the other Juniors 🙂

7. Brings you closer to nature.

Again this is pretty self-explanatory, I think most people will agree that getting out into nature has an amazingly positive effect on the way you feel. Try to remember when your out on the course not to get too caught up in the game, enjoy the environment that you are in as well.

8. Enormous Business/networking benefits.

A lot of business is done on the golf course, most companies have golf days which can be a great chance to meet potential customers/clients in a very relaxed and friendly environment. A lot of my beginners state that the reason they have decided to start playing is that the company that they work for hosts large golf days and they feel they are missing out because they don’t play.

9. You don’t have to be any good at golf to enjoy it.

This is a point that I can’t stress enough, you really don’t have to be a great golfer to get loads of enjoyment from the game. You just need to feel that you are making progress, some people have lessons and some people like to try to figure it out for themselves but however you do it don’t think the only way to enjoy this game is to get really good at it. It’s great to have that as a goal if you want but enjoy the journey, put a bit of regular practice in and you will make progress, that’s how to enjoy the game.

10. Loads and loads of great gadgets and accessories.

There is so much cool stuff out there now for golfers, the essentials are some clubs and a bag to put them in oh and a few balls and tees and if that’s all you want to get then that’s fine. If however you like to really get yourself kitted out there are so many gizmos and gadgets, you will be so easy to buy for every Christmas and Birthday once you start playing that’s for sure. By the way you don’t have to wear ridiculous clothing anymore now either, some golf clothing is actually pretty cool and the dress codes on the courses are now far more relaxed.

In Summary

Golf really is a great game and is so much more accessible now than it’s ever been. I hope you have found the above post of some value. If you are thinking of starting playing I hope this has at least made you consider giving it a try and please check out my post on How to Start Playing Golf for some more help and guidance on how to take the next step.

All the best

Simon

EnjoyPlayingGolf.com

About Simon

Hi, a very warm welcome to my website!!

EnjoyPlayingGolf.com is all about helping golfers of all ages and abilities to get the maximum enjoyment out of the wonderful game of Golf. Within this website you will find plenty of information on all aspects of golf from improving your game through to the health and wellbeing benefits and lots more in between.

Many thanks and let’s all Enjoy Playing Golf.

About Simon

I would just like to tell you a little bit about myself and how and why I came to develop EnjoyPlayingGolf.com.

My name is Simon and I have been a fully qualified PGA Golf Professional for over 20 years now, in that time I have gained a vast amount of valuable experience on every aspect of the game. I am really excited at the prospect of being in a position to pass this knowledge on to others and to help people to improve their game. On top of that I want to help people to appreciate and understand what a great game this is. I also have a very keen interest in the psychology of golf and have recently successfully completed the PGA Certificate in Golf Psychology.

My Golfing Journey

I first hit a golf ball when I was 13 and was totally hooked from that moment, by the age of 18 I was playing County Golf and then I was offered the amazing opportunity to spend a year caddying on The European Tour mixing with the stars of the day, Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo to name but a few.

This experience convinced me that I wanted a career in golf so started working in a local Pro Shop, started my PGA training and in 1995 became a fully qualified PGA Golf Professional.

I spent time teaching in Australia and Poland before settling back in the UK and focused quite heavily on disability coaching becoming County Disability Coach in 2010. Although I love all coaching I really enjoyed my disability sessions and realised anyone can play golf and get huge benefits from it. After this my focus turned from not only trying to achieve results but to try to achieve maximum enjoyment.

Of course the obvious way to enjoy playing golf is to improve your game and I want to help you with that but that is certainly NOT the only way.



 

Why I Want to Help People

Golf can be a very challenging game and I once read that if you only enjoy playing when you play really well then you are probably only going to enjoy one round in ten which is probably true but the thing is you don’t have to be really good at golf to enjoy it you just need to feel you are making progress.

I have so often seen golfers coming off the course angry and fed up because they haven’t played well having spent all week at work looking forward getting out onto the course and that always seemed such a shame.

Of course golf isn’t as much fun if you are playing badly and that happens to us all but there is always something you can do to improve your chances of playing well the next week. There are so many beautiful golf courses around the world that are accessible to anyone who wants to play them. Playing 18 holes out in the fresh air has so many proven benefits for your health and if you feel you are progressing and learning more about the game each week then golf really can be a positive influence on your life in general.

One thing  that I would like to say at this point is yes a traditional game of golf consists of playing 18 holes at a golf club as a member or visitor but golf can be whatever you want it to be to you. Some people like to play 18 holes round a golf course, some just like to play at Par 3 courses and to some people golf is a an hour at a driving range every now and again hitting balls, it’s entirely up to you.

Just to put a bit of perspective on things:

I met a very inspiring young man called John whilst doing my disability sessions a few years ago that I would like to tell you about because he really did change the way I looked at coaching and golf in general. John was part of a group of 14-25 year olds from British Blind Sport who used to have sessions with me back in 2010-2011.

As well as his visual impairment John used an electric wheelchair and had limited function in his arms. Between us we worked out that John could hold an adapted club in his left hand that I had made for him which had a shaft with a 30 degree angle in it and he would basically use his wrist to ‘flick’ the balls around 5-10 yards out onto the driving range. He loved his golf lessons as much as anyone I have ever taught in 25 years and he used to email me asking when the next session was, now that for me was ultimate job satisfaction and made me realise anyone and everyone can enjoy playing golf.

By the way the rest of the guys in that group were totally amazing as well, I remember them so well because that was my introduction to disability coaching and I remember being really really nervous before hand despite having given literally 1000’s of lessons over the years previously.

 

 

The Aim of This Website

What this website aims to do is to provide help and guidance on all aspects of the game of golf, you will find swing instruction, equipment advice, information and reports on the health and wellbeing benefits both physical and mental, swing trainers, golf tech and much more.

As I said before I have been a qualified golf professional for over 20 years and  after all that time I still get immense pleasure from seeing people enjoying their golf and I believe I can help you to do just that. I really hope you enjoy my website and I hope you get some value from it, I will be providing lots of free content and please feel free to contact me with any specific questions or just to let me know how you’re getting on

 

All the best,

Simon
EnjoyPlayingGolf.com.