Part A - All About How to Get Started in Golf (continued)
Step 3 Take golf lessons
Not only will this give you the best possible chance of developing the skills you will
need in order to enjoy the game fully, your professional will be a valuable resource - you
can ask questions and get credible information from a very experienced player. And if
you're worried about being embarrassed or looking silly by asking a stupid question, believe
me, even an experienced golf instructor started in the same place that you are now and
has heard just about everything imaginable. It is highly unlikely you will do or ask
If possible, select a professional that is a member of the PGA (Professional Golfers
Association). These individuals have gone through training and are the ambassadors of the
game. Otherwise, make sure you get recommendations from more than one player about the
services of a professional. Anybody can call himself, or herself,
a "professional." It will be to your advantage to select an individual that not only has
appropriate skill and knowledge, but also one that you can get along with and understand.
Step 4 Get out on a golf course
There's nothing like being bitten by the golf bug to motivate you to practice and improve.
If you must, consult with your professional to be assured that you're ready. (Rule of thumb:
If you miss the ball frequently when you practice you're not ready. Continue practicing and
taking lessons until you make contact and get the ball airborne most of the time.) But
definitely get yourself out on a golf course as soon as you feel you have a general idea of
what golf is about. Don't worry about your skill level because I'm suggesting that you go play
at smaller, less intimidating golf courses where hoards of other insecure beginners also play.
(Well, let's not sugar-coat it, golf is tough
and at first everybody "sucks" - I did, Jack Nicklaus did... there are no exceptions to this rule!
-- and notice how I managed to include my name in the company of Mr.
There are many small 9-hole golf courses, "Executive" courses or "Par 3" facilities with short,
relatively easy holes that cater to beginners. Ask your professional where to play. The nice
thing is that you don't have to wonder if everybody is better than you are. Highly skilled
players don't frequent those types of courses. You will see players that are as bad as,
or worse than, you are -- guaranteed. And don't be thinking that I'm cold, heartless, mean
and nasty (though that may be true). I just got done assuring you that
everyone starts out being terrible - you are not the only one.
Once you have played golf it is unlikely that it will be difficult to get you back out on
the course again. My first golf experience was when I was fourteen years old. I went to
the course with two friends who were also fourteen, but they were very experienced players. They
told me that they would "show me what to do." Their version of showing me what to do
was to hit the ball off the first tee nicely toward the
green and then say "just do
that." (Oh, why didn't you tell me it was that easy?) I actually got lucky and hit what
appeared to be a decent shot off the first tee, but then was completely humbled and humiliated
for the rest of the round, with only brief glimpses of anything resembling proficiency. And
still I couldn't wait to try again and again - it's the nature of
the game. Welcome to the club.