The elitist reputation of Golf remains sacrosanct only because the game demands you leave your animal instincts at the clubhouse. Perfection may be unattainable but it is expected at the Golf course. For all the restraint you show in a round of this beautiful game, you could be one of Stephanie Meyers’ vampire kids from Twilight.
You could be seeing red over clumsy shots or infuriating partners, but boy, do you mind yourself at the course! That’s what makes Golf so interesting. The constant drive for a flawless game. And you do not play a round like that without any preparation. Avid Golfers will tell you that the first time you play, you are getting to take part in something sacred. Granted they make it sound like you are joining the Freemasons, but nevertheless, golf is a game of the gentlemen and ladies and you want to play as one.
So what are the things that you need to take care of when you play golf for the first time?
Get Your Own Stuff
How odd would it be if you are trying to look suave and keep borrowing stuff? Very odd. Which is why you should shop for the right equipment before you start playing golf.
What should you do ?
- Talk to a professional and find out what clubs you might need to play on the local course. You can carry up to 14 clubs.
- Do not go for the state-of-the-art clubs right away. Go for a cheaper set (unless you’ve got big bucks to throw) and practice till you get a feel of the game.
- Once you play a few rounds you will be able to form a blueprint of the weight and grip and other particulars of the clubs you desire to have.
- You can even buy used clubs for the first time foray into the murky lands of golf.
- Apart from the clubs, take plenty of golf balls and tees as well. You would need something to use as a ball mark and also a ball mark repair tool.
Dress For The Job
If you want to own the game, dress for it. Just like you wouldn’t cheer for a supermodel in a potato sack, people won’t cheer for golfer in inappropriate attire. What is that a pro wears for golf? Nothing fancy.
What should you do ?
- Collared shirts and mellow slacks or shorts of proper length for men.
- For women, the same with an option of sleeveless shirts and skirts also added.
- But it’s always best to call ahead and confirm the dress code with the course which you are planning to play at.
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Reserve Tee Time:
This is not necessary everywhere, but it counts as good golf etiquette, especially if you are a newbie. Call ahead and inform them that you are a new golfer.
What should you do ?
- Ask for the rush playing times and try to book a tee time in the rest of the periods.
- Ask for the charges and dress code. Once you mature in the game, you can take to booking online reservations.
- Also ask for the rules of the club so that you don’t end up making an embarrassing mistake. Once you reserve the time, show up at least 30 mins before to check, make the payments and prep.
- If you end up late and lose out on warm-up, you might end up feeling drained even before the tee-off.
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Play with experienced folks the first time
Find somebody amongst family or friends or even a good nature veteran to guide you through the first round of golf.
How will it help ?
- They will help you out with time tested techniques and etiquette and help you learn the ropes of the formidable game.
- Also, observe their game and find what you are doing wrong. You learn faster when you apply yourself to the process.
- You can also consult with the marshals on the course who are always ready to advise noobs with knobbly knees.
Don’t be a slowpoke
Do not be the snail amongst jaguars. Up your ante. Look sharp and assess your shot while others, ahead of you, are playing. Decide your club. Line up your putt.
How will it help ?
- This way, you will be ready when it is your turn.
- If you find it absolutely difficult to make quick decisions in the first round, don’t keep the group behind you waiting.
- Explain to them that you are new to the game and allow them to play through if they are fast.
Don’t be distracting
The importance of being empathetic to your playing partners is the key to playing good golf. You want to be civil and not hog their attention when they want to keep it on their game,
- So get out of their line of play and keep your distance while they take the shot.
- Don’t crowd around other groups’ line of play with your carts.
Maintain the golf course
Your game might be your business but the golf course is public. It is very important that the turf remains unblemished by your play.
- Repair the divots on the fairways.
- Make sure to rake the sand bunkers.
- See that the group ahead of you is not the target of your shot.
- Think of the golfer behind you and see whether the spot you are leaving is somewhere you would have been comfortable playing from. If yes, then you have done a good job of cleaning up.
Lost Balls and Out of Bounds
Make use of provisional balls if the ball has gone out of bounds or is missing. Do not go looking for the ball for more than five minutes. Be a darling and do some research on this matter.
Scuttling around, looking for a golf ball while others wait is not very chic.
That doesn’t mean you run around in skirts yelling “Sparta”! No. You help players find balls. Pick up the lonesome club lying at a spot and return it to the owner.
Let others play through if you are slow. Be nice and do not swear like a sailor.
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Have a marvelous time
Golf is, after all, a game. Do not apologize for your game. Remember, you are new. As long as it doesn’t get in anybody’s way, cut yourself some slack. Being grumpy and under confident is not the attitude for the golf course.
Honor among thieves is a matter of choice but honor amongst golfers is a matter of responsibility. Golf is meant to be for people who can handle their temperament on the course.
So when you head out for your first game, channel the Joker, cool as you please and always ready with a smile.