Beginning anything new can be overwhelming. With golf this rings true, and it can be extremely helpful to have a quick list of dos and don’ts to guide you on your way.
Do: check out rules and etiquette. This doesn’t mean you have to memorise the rulebook – just give it the once over and ask a friend for pointers if you’re not sure what’s ok and what isn’t.
Don’t: splash out on fancy clothing. When you’re starting a new hobby or sport there can be an urge to buy all the newest gear and up-to-date apparel. While new golf shirts and shoes can be thrilling to wear, they won’t make learning the game any easier – plus, what if you find that the game’s not for you?
Do: practise before you play. Practice ranges are there for a reason and you’ll find a golf course much more enjoyable once you’ve conquered a few basic moves.
Don’t: get lessons from your partner or significant other. This suggestion goes for most things… Putting the “teacher/learner” dynamic in a relationship can cause a lot of tension.
Do: think about lessons with a pro or golf coach. It’s not as simple as it looks and you can save a lot of frustration by getting some targeted advice.
Don’t: make it stressful. Unless you’re a professional, it is not that important how fast you learn. If you enjoy alone time maybe venture out by yourself, or otherwise team up with some friends for a relaxed afternoon game.
Do: be vigilant. There is nothing more embarrassing than seeing your ball land on another golfer (not to mention the risk of injuring someone). A simple solution is to yell “Fore” when you think your ball is anywhere near other players.
Don’t: be noisy or distracting. If you’re always talking or making noise with your equipment while others are hitting you’ll soon become unpopular. There is a certain amount of concentration needed to play golf, even if you’re only playing for fun, and getting “in the zone” is an important part of the golf experience.
Do: keep up with the speed of your group. Even if your goal is to relax, it’s just well-mannered to hit and move on swiftly when it’s your turn to do so. This also goes for looking for balls.
Do: work on your posture. Bend from your hips, not from your knees or waist (. Also keep an eye on the shape of your spine while lining up a shot – something that a coach or more experienced player can point out.
Don’t: keep your head and neck rigid. Not only will you give yourself a headache, but it’ll knock your focus if you’re intent on keeping your head in a fixed position. Don’t keep moving your head but try to keep it steady and relaxed.
While you’re trying to improve your game, remember that the most important aspect is to have fun playing, just like you do when you enjoy Bingo games with friends.