Golf is known to be a prestigious sport often played by the rich and famous. But this isn’t always the case since golf is becoming even more widely available and more prominent with regular people.
Playing golf for the first time can sometimes be frustrating, especially when you play with an experienced player. However, the important part is being prepared before you head to a golf course. Otherwise, you might not enjoy the whole experience. That said, here are some things you need to know before playing golf:
1. You Need To Reserve Your Tee Time
When it’s your first time to play golf, make sure you’ve booked your tee time. Not only will this allow you to play at a time that’s convenient for you, but this also reserves your slot on the course.
You can book your desired schedule over the phone or online.
Keep in mind that knowing your tee time tells you to when you’ll start striking, not checking in. It’s best to arrive at the course approximately 30 minutes before your actual tee time so you can have enough time to check in before you start playing.
If you’re a beginner and still feel uneasy playing at the actual golf course for the first time, you could choose to play on a not-so-busy day or practice outside of the peak hours. Most facilities have their tee sheets available online, which can give you a feel of how busy they are.
2. Wear The Proper Playing Attire
Amateur golfers often ask about what they should wear when golfing. For men, a collared shirt and khaki jeans would be fine, while ladies can wear a polo shirt with skorts (a combination of a short and a skirt) or plain pants.
Athletic pants are usually a no-no. Golf shoes may be needed, but make sure they have soft spikes or non-metal cleats. Most golf courses had banned playing shoes with metal spikes. The best way to make sure you’re wearing something suitable is to ask someone working at the golf course or someone in a sports shop.
3. You Can Train With An Expert
Golf courses often provide in-house programs that could teach you the fundamentals of golf, such as how to hit a driver for beginners. It’s best to ask the golf course beforehand about what programs they offer for beginners. Golf tutorials are fun as you can learn from seasoned players. Plus, the time you’ve spent in the golf courses is more valuable with the undivided focus of an expert.
You can also opt for group lessons, which are more economical and easier, and even offered for free in some areas. Most local and technical courses provide similar programs so checking on these, too, would be a good idea.
If you prefer to practice to by yourself, you can also get useful resources online for learning how to play golf.
4. Know The Rules And Etiquette
Aside from bringing the proper tools and equipment to the golf course, you must abide by the rules and golf sports etiquette. As a policy, you can’t have more than 14 clubs in a bag.
Which clubs should you bring? It’s recommended to start with the driver, a sand wedge, a putter and then add up a six-iron, an eight-iron, a pitching wedge and wood and hybrid for a fairway. You can then add several varieties to your liking as long as it’s not more than 14.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself when looking for the right club:
Can you use an assortment of clubs to get the ball airborne?
– Can you make the first tee from the driving range?
– Can you swing and commit without having set up over 20 to 30 seconds?
– Can you make contact without constantly swinging or whiffing off the club?
5. Driving A Golf Cart
Before going to your very first tee pacing, make sure you know where to drive and not drive the golf cart. Several courses also have cart paths for this purpose.
Try to ensure that driving off the path is okay before heading to the golf course. Courses will generally have their golf cart rules on cards or signages, published in the clubhouse or posted close to the first tee. Some guidelines can also be based on the conditions of the course. Don’t be afraid to ask the staff if anything’s unclear.
You can also choose to skip the ride and stroll around the course as a nice warm-up.
The Bottom Line
Playing golf isn’t only limited to the wealthy. Ordinary folk can also enjoy this sport and reap its benefits, such as having a means to relax, improve their balance, and enhance their hand-eye coordination.
Before heading to the golf course itself, don’t forget to schedule your tee time and wear the proper attire. You can also get lessons from an expert either individually or through group sessions. Be aware of the rules and etiquette of the sport and you’ll surely have a great experience playing golf.