Beginner to golfer
If you’re new to the game or thinking about playing, getting started can seem a little daunting – but it doesn’t have to be. There is a pathway through from your first lessons to playing and then thinking about joining a golf club which you can take at your own pace.
Here’s how you can start out as a beginner and end up as a golfer…
The first step to becoming a golfer is to sign up for a Get into golf taster session or beginner course at getintogolf.org. Once you’ve booked, you might start worrying about what to wear or take, but be reassured that you just need to wear something comfortable such as tracksuit bottoms or leggings. The only clothing requirement is that you have flat-bottoms shoes. Trainers are ideal because they will help you keep your balance. You won’t need any equipment because this will all be provided. If you do have your own clubs you are welcome to take them along.
At your beginner course
You will meet new people and have fun while learning the basics of the game from a PGA professional. They will take you through a step-by-step guide covering everything from grip and posture to how to swing and use the different types of club. It doesn’t matter how good you are or if you prefer to learn slowly or fast, you can simply take it all at your own pace.
After the course
If you’ve enjoyed it, you might want to progress to a follow-on course. Your PGA professional will give you details of what is on offer. Players often meet like-minded people on beginner courses who then continue together and meet up for social practise sessions, such as on the driving range. The key is to learn in the best way that suits you and to do it in your own time. Some people take longer and may want to repeat the course several times.
Now that you have learnt the basics of the game, you might want to head out onto the golf course with some friends and start playing a few holes. Starting with just 9-holes is ideal. If you don't have equipment you can hire some from the club until you have your own. Many clubs have thriving sections for men, ladies, seniors and juniors who are always willing to help and support new golfers by taking them out of the course and introducing them to other like-minded golfers. Ask the pro-shop for their contact details.
Becoming a golf club member
Now that you are starting to play regularly you may want to start thinking about becoming a golf club member. Joining a golf club will make it easier to meet new people. You can join in with members on their organised day each week especially for men, women and seniors. These will have ready-made events, social play and competitions. Very soon you will be gaining your first handicap and entering the monthly competitions.
There are a range of options to fit different lifestyles and budgets, from full seven-day membership where you can play whenever and as many times as you like, to off-peak. There are also flexible-points schemes where you redeem points every time you play. Clubs are also recognising that new players usually want to continue learning so many now offer inexpensive beginner/introductory memberships that include coaching.
Quite often, golf club membership is seen to be expensive but it is comparable to gym membership.
Continue to improve
Building on your skills will help you improve and enjoy the game further. You can continue learning with another group-coaching course or one-to-one lessons with a PGA professional. Many golfers, even expert ones, say they gain more from the game by continually improving by taking further lessons.