How to get started in Golf?
Great, you have taken the first step to get started in the direction of a lifetime of fun and frustration. At the onset let me clear some of the myths that people in India have about Golf.
1. It is the game of the elite class
2. You need to be member of a Golf Club to play golf
3. It is very expensive
4. Only old people people play play golf as it is not an athletic sport
5. Last but not the least it is easy compared to other sports like Cricket or Football
Let me assure you that all of the above points are nothing but untrue. We will see why in this article.
Golf is a great game, it is both satisfying and at the same time frustrating but extremely addictive. One can bet, if you love sports you can't leave this game once you start. Getting started in it is actually very easy and hopefully we can guide you to become good golfer in three simple steps
This is one game which is almost impossible to learn on your own. Even if if you believe you can do it yourself, we would suggest you to start with a professional coach. The first step will be find out the nearest golf coaching centre or golf academy. If you have have a friend who plays golf he can help you find the nearest academy or coaching center. Almost every golf club will have professional coaches who can teach you the game. So search for the nearest golf course and contact them. They will provide you with the contacts of the professional coaches working with the club. You can call any of them and fix up a time for yourself. You will also need at a minimum Golf Clubs and Gloves to Start Golf. You don't need to buy Golf set at the onset. Driving Ranges (Practice area for Golf) will have clubs for hire, so you can try out a few different ones. You can also borrow one or two clubs from a golfer friend. You should try starting to practice with shorter irons. The shortest iron (nine iron) or a wedge (Pitching Wedge or Sand Wedge) are the best clubs to start, they are easier to get the ball airborne and will leave you with a nice feeling.If you feel you must have your own clubs or Golf set when you start then we would suggest you should buy a beginner Golf set. It will cost you around Rupees 10,000 to Rupees 15,000. There are many many brands available and top brands are very expensive. Buy set of expensive brands can cost you upwards of Rupees 100,000. But the right strategy will be to start with an inexpensive beginner set, hone your skills, reduce your Handicap to 18-22 and then go for a better set. You can also go for club fitting exercise and get the clubs fitted for your physical characteristic and swing.
It will be very hard for you contain yourself from embarking on a golf course after couple of outings on the driving range with the coach. But believe me your coach is the best person to tell you when actually you can go on course and play a few holes. You should start with couple of holes initially just to get a feel of course. Then slowly you will graduate to full 18 holes of golf. Be prepared you will need to walk around 6-9 KMs depending on the length of the course. Some course offer carts on hire but golf is lot more fun when you walk the course. To play a round of golf you will need following things:
1. Your own Golf set
3. Balls (Carry at least a dozen for your first round)
5. Golf Shoes (You can also play with any sneakers but those might slip on the course)
It twill also be good idea to learn about Scoring, Rules of golf, Etiquettes and other aspects of game before you actually go on course to play your first round of golf. Your coach can help you with it. In fact you can ask your coach to come along with vyou on the course for first couple of outings
Wow you are ready to play. Third and final step will be record your scores without fail and analyze it. It will show how fast you are improving and what are the areas of the game you should focus on to shoot better scores. The lat but not the least will be, "Don't stop practicing at driving range". If you practice regularly you sure to improve.
Books and videos can be great assets in learning the basics. To build a sound golf swing you will need the three fundamentals: Grip, Stance and Posture. There are some very good books and videos on the market that will help you to establish the three fundamentals. You can watch free tips and videos on various golf sites and youtube. You should also watch the sport on TV and try to learn from the professionals. Don't get confused by too much science and technology, you're still a beginner. Stick to the basics of Grip, Stance and Posture and you'll do well.
Don't waste your money on expensive clubs until you have reached a basic level of competency.
Don't go near a Golf Course, again until you have reached a basic level.
Get lessons from a qualified professional.
Learn the fundamentals.
Watch the pro's.
Learn the rules and etiquettes.
I hope that this article has been of some help. All the best for your golf endeavors and please remember it as much of fun as frustration. Happy Golfing!
You can carry a maximum of 14 Clubs in your golf bag as per the rules. Each of these clubs are designed to give you different distance and and accuracy. To learn more about different types of golf clubs you can visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golf_club_(equipment). Normally a full set on offer will have 13 clubs - One Driver.
Two Fairway Woods/Hybrids, Irons 3-9, Pitching and Sand Wedge and a Putter. Once you improve your game you may like to play with Clubs of different brands, for example you may use Driver and Fairway woods of one brand, Irons of some other brand and Wedges of some third brand depending on what suits you the best.
A standard Golf Course will have 18 Holes. Each hole will have a "Par" of 3 or 4 or 5. Which you are supposed to Put the ball in the hole in 3 or 4 or 5 Strokes. The key factor for classifying the par of a hole is the distance from the tee to the green. A typical par-three hole is less than 250 yards (225 metres) in length, with a par-four hole ranging between 251 and 475 yards (225–434 metres), and a par-five hole being longer than 475 yards (435 metres). Although uncommon, par-six and even par-seven holes do exist and can stretch well over 650 yards.n every form of play, the goal is to play as few strokes per round as possible. A "hole in one" (or an "ace") occurs when a golfer sinks his ball into the cup with his first stroke (a drive from the tee). Common scores for a hole also have specific terms.
Numeric Term Specific term Definition
-4 Condor four strokes under par
-3 Albatross three strokes under par
-2 Eagle two strokes under par
-1 Birdie one stroke under par
0 Par equal to par
+1 Bogey one stroke over par
+2 Double Bogey two strokes over par
+3 Triple Bogey three strokes over par
+4 Quadruple Bogey four strokes over par
In match play, two players (or two teams) play each hole as a separate contest against each other. The party with the lower score wins that hole, or if the scores of both players or teams are equal the hole is "halved" (tied). The game is won by the party that wins more holes than the other. In the case that one team or player has taken a lead that cannot be overcome in the number of holes remaining to be played, the match is deemed to be won by the party in the lead, and the remainder of the holes are not played. For example, if one party already has a lead of six holes, and only five holes remain to be played on the course, the match is over. At any given point, if the lead is equal to the number of holes remaining, the match is said to be "dormie", and is continued until the leader increases the lead by one hole or ties any of the remaining holes, thereby winning the match, or until the match ends in a tie with the lead player's opponent winning all remaining holes. When the game is tied after the predetermined number of holes have been played, it may be continued until one side takes a one-hole lead.
In stroke play, the score achieved for each and every hole of the round or tournament is added to produce the total score, and the player with the lowest score wins. (Stroke play is the game most commonly played by professional golfers.) If there is a tie after the regulation number of holes in a professional tournament, a playoff takes place between all tied players. Playoffs are either sudden death or employ a pre-determined number of holes, anywhere from three to a full eighteen. In sudden death, a player who scores lower on a hole than all of his opponents wins the match. If at least two players remain tied after such a playoff using a pre-determined number of holes, then play continues in sudden death format, where the first player to win a hole wins the tournament.
In a skins game, golfers compete on each hole, as a separate contest. Played for prize money on the professional level or as a means of a wager for amateurs, a skin, or the prize money assigned to each hole, carries over to subsequent holes if the hole is tied (or halved). If you come to the end of the round and there are still skins left over, play continues until the final skin has been decided.
In stableford the player gains points for the score achieved on each hole of the round or tournament (1 point for a bogey, 2 points for a par, 3 points for a birdie, 4 points for an eagle). The points achieved for each hole of the round or tournament is added to produce the total points score, and the player with the highest score wins.
A foursome is played between two teams of two players each, in which each team has only one ball and players alternate playing it. For example, if players A and B form a team, A tees off on the first hole, B will play the second shot, A the third, and so on until the hole is finished. On the second hole, B will tee off (regardless who played the last putt on the first hole), then A plays the second shot, and so on. Foursomes can be played as match play or stroke play.
A four-ball is also played between two teams of two players each, but every player plays his/her own ball and for each team, the lower score on each hole is counted. Four-balls can be played as match play or stroke play.
There are also popular unofficial variations on team play:
In scramble (also known as ambrose or best shot), each player in a team tees off on each hole, and the players decide which shot was best. Every player then plays his/her second shot from within a clublength of where the best shot has come to rest, and the procedure is repeated until the hole is finished. In a champagne scramble, each player in a team tees off on each hole. The best drive is used and all players play their own ball from this spot. In best ball, each player plays the hole as normal, but the lowest score of all the players on the team counts as the team's score.
In a greensome, also called modified alternate shot, both players tee off, and then pick the best shot as in a scramble. The player who did not shoot the best first shot plays the second shot. The play then alternates as in a foursome.
A variant of greensome is sometimes played where the opposing team chooses which of their opponent's tee shots the opponents should use. The player who did not shoot the chosen first shot plays the second shot. Play then continues as a greensome.
There is also a form of starting called shotgun, which is mainly used for tournament play. A shotgun start consists of groups starting on different holes, allowing for all players to start and end their round at the same time.
Rules of Golf
The USGA, in conjunction with The R&A in St. Andrews, Scotland, writes, interprets and maintains the Rules of Golf to guard the tradition and integrity of the game. The two organizations are joint authors and owners of The Rules of Golf and Decisions on the Rules of Golf. Through an agreement with The R&A, the Rules jurisdiction of the USGA includes only the United States, its possessions and Mexico. The latest version went into effect Jan. 1, 2008, with the next revision taking effect Jan. 1, 2012. Please visit Rules section of the respective site to learn more about rules.