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7 First Time Golfing Tips - Golf for the Beginner

Since five years ago, my friend Ken have been inviting me to learn golfing with him.  I have put off this sport from my schedule because I felt this game is not for me.  I used to think that golfing was a boring sport... you hit a ball with a stick... walk long distance... hit the ball again... continue to walk a longer distance...

This week, Ken invited me once more.  This time, my view of golf evolved.  I am actively engaged in business networking these days and golfing is a great way to build relationships. (How's how my young daughter described golf when I mentioned that I will be playing for the first time.  Based on what she watched on TV dramas, there is always 2 power characters casually discussing sports... which leads to a game of golf... and eventually penning a business contract!)

Great! So I am a Virgin Golfer here playing with 7 other business owners.  Three of them are seasoned golfers with their own set of clubs.  The rest of us are beginners being coached by Ken himself.

Hey! You know what? I think I am a natural. My score was not too far off from the seasoned guys.  While others are challenged by trees and sand pits, I got my ball into the green within 2 strokes.  I just need to improve on putting.

From a totally fresh golfer point of view, here are seven 7 first time golfing tips.

  1. What to wear:
    • Polo Tee Shirt - Keep your body cool.  The game may seem like a slow sport, but the walking and the sun will make you perspire.
    • Sun Shade Cap - If you are playing in the day, you will definitely meet the sun.  Again, keep yourself cool and comfortable.
    • Golf Glove - One hand will do.  At first I tried not to use the glove but my hands got sore after 10 swings. I even had to remove my wedding ring.
  2. What to bring:
    • Drinks - Bring a bottle of water. You need it! Nobody told me about this till 2 hours later that I realized there are no vending machines around.
    • Snacks - There is no such thing as tea breaks too.  The game can last 4 hours and I got hungry in the middle of it. No canteen in the middle of the field, so bring some snacks.
    • Sunblock - My skin gets burnt easily under direct sun shine. Thanks to my wife for giving me a mini portable bottle of sunblock lotion.
  3. What time to start and end:  I would say early morning after sunrise when the weather is is cool. The duration of the game depends on the size of the group playing with you and their competency. 7 of us took 4 hours to complete a 9-hole course.
  4. Get a good coach: I never knew learning golf was quick and easy.  I expected a steep learning curve.  Maybe I am a natural, but really the coach played the important role. Though Ken started coaching me right from the basics, he went straight into the proper game. Within 4 hours, I can say I can play confidently. 
  5. Use a cheap golf course: Most beginners start learning golf from a driving range. We spent only 15 minutes in the range and then dive into the 9-hole course.  The course we used is not part of some expensive country club and hence was affordable to beginners like me.
  6. Get good company:  Golf is a social game.  It is a good idea to have people you can communicate with while getting stuck in the field together for 4 consecutive hours.  I got good tips from the seasoned players too.
  7. Winning Tips:
    • Posture - The left arm is in control. Keep it strait. Minimize wrist movement.
    • Wedge - Use the "wedge" club to throw the ball over a bunker. I happily did this twice.
    • Green - Imagine the hole is a metre across.  Just hit the ball within that area and everything else is easy.
As I mentioned, learning golf is quick and easy.  I did it in 4 hours and played as well as the other experienced players.  Get a good coach to start with and pick up tips from better players.

I am looking forward to my next golf coaching session with good company.

Adrian Lee

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