GOLF TIPS AND INSTRUCTION FOR BEGINNERS

Everything beginning golfers should know to get started

Welcome to the game of golf!  I hope it will give you many years of
enjoyment.

Here are a few of the many benefits coming your way.   Golf will get
you out in the great outdoors to savor the inspiring wonders of
Mother Nature.  You will be walking on real grass, under arching
trees, along dense forests, quiet lakes or murmuring streams – and
enjoying all the fragrances of the outdoors.  Depending or where
you are playing, you could spot an eagle, hear the shrill of a red-
tailed hawk, see fawns cavorting with one another, watch an
alligator sunning itself beside a canal, spy a fish jumping from a
lake for a snack, or encounter all manner of other wildlife.  

Even if you are only 15 minutes from home, you feel that you’re in
another world, away from traffic, away from the office and away from
phones (turn off your cell phone, please!).  Ask any golfer and most
of them will tell you that while they are playing golf, that’s the only
thing on their minds.

Yes, it requires four or more hours to play a round, and I
occasionally hear people say, “I would like to play golf, but it takes
up too much time.”  I normally reply, “Does that mean you don’t like
vacations because they take too long?”

Most of all, golf will give you the special satisfaction that comes with
personal accomplishment.  To achieve any level of success in this
game requires intellectual as well as physical talent.  The ball is
just sitting there waiting for you to hit it.  But to hit it well you must
know how.  And after you have learned how, you must be able to
actually execute the shot.  It’s that special combination of mental
and physical challenge that makes golf unique.  The challenges can
be frustrating at times, but keep a positive attitude and all will be
well.

Every course is different.  Every shot is different.  And you can play at
virtually any age -- by yourself or with family and friends.  How many
sports can you say that about?

And you don’t have to shoot par or anywhere near it to enjoy golf.  
First of all, for the many reasons already mentioned, the game can
be fully enjoyed without the competitive aspect.  But it’s certainly
there for those who desire it, and golf’s unique handicapping
system makes it possible for golfers of even wildly different skill
levels to have a competitive match.  But golf is mostly a contest with
yourself, to see if you can use new understanding and practice to
improve your performance.

But I digress.  You were interested in some tips and instruction for
beginners.  So here they are.

First step:  Take some golf lessons from a pro.  It will be the best
investment you can make.  With a good grounding in the
fundamentals from a golf professional, you will be able to apply
what you have learned when you go out on the course – and achieve
much more success and satisfaction from the game.  If you want to
minimize the expense, you can look into group instruction or an
adult education program at your local high school.  Talk to some
friends or neighbors who golf to find out which local pros they can
recommend as teachers.

Golf clubs and bags, etc., can be very expensive these days, so it’s
a good idea to make sure you will be staying with the golf game
before you make a big financial plunge.  Why not begin by borrowing
some golf clubs from a long-time golfer you know?   Most of them
have an old set lying around that they won’t mind parting with for a
while.  When you are ready to commit yourself long-term, your pro
can look at your golf swing, make a lot of measurements and advise
you in detail on the clubs that will be best for you.  This is important.  
You should have equipment that is tailored specifically to your
physical characteristics and abilities.  

This is also important.  Don’t go out on the golf course until you
have completed your lessons.  If you do, it won’t be fun for you, and it
certainly will not be fun for those golfers behind you watching and
waiting while you miss the ball or dribble it a few yards repeatedly.

Also, before your first game, make sure you know the basic rules
and terms, so you’ll know, for example, what it means when
someone tells you, “You’re away” (meaning it’s your turn to hit).

Read on for tips on golf etiquette.
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