Best for beginner

How Do I Start Playing Golf?

Birdie, bogey, bunker. Huh? Ok, let’s take a mulligan*. At first glance, golf can seem like a very closed world – impossible to get into with all its many rules and strange language. And yes, at first it can seem a bit daunting because there are so many things to learn. But the good thing is the first time you hit the ball in the center of the face of the club and see it flying off into the distance, then you are willing to spend an unjustifiable amount of time learning everything there is to know about this great game.

First things first – you need to get a golf club in your hands and find out if you have the golf bug. Because it is my experience that people often find out within the first five minutes of hitting golf balls whether golf is something for them. And to take this initial test, you often don’t need to spend any money or know what a birdie or a bogey is. But I strongly warn you against just going to your local driving range with your grandfather’s old golf set and trying to hit golf balls without anybody to give some basic instruction.

The easiest ways are to try out golf is the following:

Try with a friend that already plays

This is by far the easiest and cheapest option to get a quick intro to the golf game. Everybody I know that plays golf is either wishing they could play more golf, or they feel bad about playing too much golf. In any case, taking a good friend to the driving range on a Saturday afternoon is the perfect excuse to get some dirt on those clubs.

And if your friend has played golf for a while there is also a good chance that he or she would even have a spare beginner’s set. Most clubs and club pros will have absolutely no problem with you spending an afternoon on the range with a new potential member and/or client. But to be on good terms with everybody, I advise that the member friend just clear it with the pro at the local club.

Advice: If you do have the golf bug and decide this could be a sport for you, I strongly advise you to quickly take some golf lessons. As skilled as your friend might be in the art of teaching, being a golfer, he will always care more about his own swing than your swing. I am more or less self-taught (back then there was not that much focus on juniors) and I still struggle with some of the bad habits I established over 20 years ago. A golf pro can help you avoid a lot of those bad habits before they ever become exactly that, bad habits.

Furthermore, your local pro can advise with equipment which is invaluable whether you decide to go all in and get a custom set or buy some second hand. Read the guide to getting your first equipment.

Take an intro lesson at your local club

If you don’t know anybody that already plays, most clubs offer intro lessons or longer introduction courses over a couple of months. It all depends on the club, but if you take an intro lesson with your local golf pro, he will be able to help you out with everything from the swing fundamentals to sorting you out for equipment. Most times you can just borrow our rent clubs for the pro. The big disadvantage here is that it can be pretty expensive and if you don’t watch out you can find yourself leaving the pro shop after the first lesson with a very shiny and expensive golf set.

Others ways to get started:

How Did You Get Started?

We would very much like to hear how you get started in this great game. So please leave a comment below.

*A Mulligan is an old golf tradition where you can an extra shot on the first hole if you did not like the result of your first one. A Mulligan is not, however, part of the official golf rules, but I have claimed many a Mulligan during my golfing career. To little or no avail.

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