While it may seem, to an untrained eye, that golf is a pretty simple game which has only the point of putting the ball into the whole by swinging the club like an ox, this could not be farther from the truth. People who are not into golf tend to dismiss it as a game which provides no thrills at all, however, once you get to know the game even a little, all those shots start to have some value attached to them.
Starting to play golf is definitely not easy. It requires investing a lot of both time and money. You have to spend a good deal of time on the practice field trying to hit the ball properly and you also have to have the appropriate equipment. It may seem confusing at first, because there is a lot of lingo to catch up to, but, once you do, you will certainly feel like a pro. Here are some tips as to what you should do when preparing for your first tee-off.
Do not think that you need all the clubs immediately
While it is true that you can store up to 14 clubs in your bag when heading out to the pitch, you have to realize that, as a beginner, you will hardly use all those clubs. Getting to know the game will require of you to start with only the basic essentials and to build from there. Spending too much money on your clubs and not delivering with the game can put you in a bit of an embarrassing situation. So, start with a putter, a driver, a sand wedge and add to that the 6- and 8-irons and also some hybrid or wood for the hitting those fairway shots. Also, you’ll need a pitching wedge. That brings it to around 7 clubs in your bag.
Try it before you buy it
There are many types of golf clubs, many different manufacturers and many differences between each. For example, there is a big difference between regular-flex and stiff-flex shafts , even though someone inexperienced might think them the same. You can always go to a driving range or some major golf-equipment store and ask them to try a 6-iron with each of these shafts. The one that feels better and easier to control (and you will see the difference) should be the type of flex that you should use for all your clubs. You definitely do not want to be embarrassed on the green by not being familiar with your clubs.
Some clubs are made for beginners
As I have already said, not every type of club is for every type of player – that much is certain. Some clubs can only be handled by professionals who have constant contact with the game. There are others, however, who are designed specifically for beginners, so that they would ease their game. While you definitely should not go against pros with these clubs, they will be just enough to get you through that first game. For example, you can use hybrids instead of the 3-, 4- and 5-irons. Also, when choosing the right iron, think about getting the ones who have wider soles. This will allow you more control and it will negate the effect that hitting behind the ball may have. Once you think you are experienced enough, you can switch to some of the more difficult clubs. Mastering them will give your game a significant boost , but it takes time to perfect hitting the ball with them.
Buy the right type and amount of balls
If you have always believed that you take one golf ball and hit it around the course, you have been gravely mistaken. During the play, it will happen that you will lose quite a fair amount of balls. Simply, you hit – you take it too far – you lose the ball. So, for your first time, you should purchase the balls that are not too expensive (for example, $20 for a dozen), so that, if you lose one or two, or even a whole sleeve, you will not feel bad. Once you get a better feel for your shots and start losing less balls, you can then move on to the more expensive ones ($30 or $40 for a dozen). Also, beginners are encouraged to purchase used balls, as they will not ruin the experience while being significantly cheaper than new ones. There is a company, called Lost Golf Balls, that provides a wide range of used golf balls and you can search them online and see what they have to offer.
Choose the right holes
Do not think that you will be immediately able to go on a championship course of full 18 holes. It might be discouraging to reach the green after seven shots. Instead, when beginning, choose only the par 3 holes on the course. These are the holes where the hole is closest (usually about 200 yards, but not more). This is also called the ‘executive’ course and is for the people who want to actually achieve something on the pitch. Once you get to feel more comfortable, you can choose to play a longer course and to up the challenge level. Remember, you are going there to relax and play with friends, not show off some skills that you do not even possess yet.
Prepare snacks and hydrate well
Golf courses usually prepare food for their guests and they offer it to the players. However, the food that they prepare will usually not serve your game, at all. Instead, it can easily ruin it. Things like hamburgers, hot-dogs and similar are full of fats and can slow your swing down. Since a round of golf can last up to four or five hours, you definitely have to eat something. Professionals suggest that you should prepare your own snacks which should consist of either some lean meat (like turkey or chicken) or some complex carbohydrates (a banana is always welcome here). This will ensure that you get the right ingredients for the best game possible. Also, the importance of being hydrated can never be overstated, for whatever sport, including golf. Make sure that you drink enough water, your body will be grateful for it.
So, with these tips, you should be well prepared for your first tee-off. Remember, you are a beginner, do not expect to be the master of the game right away. So, my final advice would be to just relax and enjoy spending time with friends. Bring your best mood to the course.