Tips For Playing Golf With Novices
PLAYING WITH NEWBS
Golf is a tough game, some would say, one of the toughest. But it is also one of the only sports that you can play for your entire life. One of the only sports you can enjoy with your kids and your wife. Sure, there's bowling but I am talking outside.
You don’t need to be a scratch to have fun. Bogey golf is a blast. We've all been there. Sure, it takes 4 hours, its sort of expensive, but course deals and GolfNow are easing that every year. But, its four hours with your buddies, four hours of getting better, four hours of getting a timeout from your life, four hours with your kid one on one.
"I'll never get good enough"
Now, we all have that friend that dosen't play. "Its too hard", " I don’t have time", "I'll never get good enough". We've heard all the excuses. Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to convince that guy/girl/kid to play. It’s a gift that you all can enjoy together for years. No doubt you have an old set of clubs, or go to Play It Again Sports and get a starter set of used clubs. Specific equipment is basically irrelevant at this stage. Just make sure they more or less fit. Buy some cheap balls from Costco and get started.
Start with a Golf Practice Net
If you have a golf net in your yard (I recommend a CrocBox). I would start there. Driving ranges can be intimidating for new players, No one wants to be embarrassed. Just start with the absolute basics: grip, stance, basic swing path and hips. Don’t over teach, don’t criticize, don’t make a big deal out of it. Have some drinks, maybe a snack and just have fun with it. Gentle coaxing will eventually lead to that one shot. You know the shot. The one that makes you play again. Once they hit one pure, you got em'. Then set up a time and do it again.
Only offer advice if they ask.
After a few practice sessions, don’t bother with the range. Just go do it, get out there. I suggest the GolfNow app, they have deals for crazy savings at times the course is usually not that busy. Don’t play at 8:00 am on Saturday, the new player will be to intimidated. Understand going in, its going to be rough. Praise a good shot and basically ignore the bad ones. Only offer advice if they ask. A good rule going in is to tell the new player that you're not keeping score. Personally, I would burn 4-5 rounds with no scoring, just having fun. Once you put a metric on it, if too early, they may get discouraged.
keep it loose and keep it fun
Once you're out there, your job is to keep it loose, keep it fun. If they're laying 8 in the fairway, tell them to pick up, who cares. Have them putt out on the green. Speaking of the green, no one can teach feel. Give them the basics, but its up to them when it comes to putting. Make sure you emphasize that a one-foot putt counts the EXACT same as a 300-yard drive. A stroke is a stroke is a stroke. A great short game will be the big hitter every time.
When it comes to the rules, go over the basics. If you start bringing up the obscure rules out of the gate, it will only make the game seem too stuffy.
The same easy going approach applies to etiquette. Basics. Don’t talk on a back swing, fix divots and ball marks, don’t drag your feet on a green, etc. Walking on your line, going out of turn on the tee box, relax. Those things come with time.
Any golfer who plays regularly is a steward of the game. Personally, I believe its our responsibility to grow the game.
More players, equals more courses, equals play for everyone. We live in an age of cell phones, smart T.V's, and Netflix binges. How many 45 year old’s are playing in a baseball league, a football league? Um, basically none. How many 25 year old’s for that matter. What sport do we play into our 70's and 80's? Only one or two.
If one quarter of golfer were to get one more person to pick up the game, that’s 5 million more golfers!
Let me challenge you to do something. Ask some of your friends what their top 3 memories are from childhood. Not one of will say "watching T.V.". All of the responses will be doing something outside, I guarantee it. People are becoming detached from the outside. I say we help fix that, talk that friend or family member into giving golf a try.