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Old 07-17-2014, 10:58 AM   #21
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Well sometimes the "old farts" don't realize that unless they tolerate and welcome new bees such as yourself, there won't be a golf course for them to play on either.... Besides all the other questions you asked you will learn soon enough... I will suggest a few other things for you to consider that may improve your enjoyment of the game while starting out. 1) lessons and driving range time 2) while starting out find some courses that are open layouts with less woods to lose balls in. 3) find times in the day where course traffic is lower so you can "do your own thing" and just occasionally wave a group through. Where I play, the old farts and their illegal 5 man groups play early. I go in the afternoon and face little traffic. 4) Don't take the game seriously. One day you will finally think you got the hang of it, and then the next day, you play like you never have swung a golf club before. 5) If there are any par 3 courses you may want to try them out as the distance from tee to green will not be daunting. Even 2 dribbles will get you close to the green, provided no water is in the way!


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Excellent advice here. All I would add is looking to a beginner's set of clubs once you decide you like the game. There are excellent deals on ebay for both used/new clubs.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:13 AM   #22
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Excellent advice here. All I would add is looking to a beginner's set of clubs once you decide you like the game. There are excellent deals on ebay for both used/new clubs.

That is true... I have never seen a bad golfer become good from just buying expensive clubs... Kind of like golf balls, too. I'm a middling skilled player and it hurts to say the truth but I play just as well with a "rock flight" as I do a ProV.


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Old 07-17-2014, 11:19 AM   #23
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Oh, boy, a golf thread!


When DW and I started golf, we enrolled in a golf clinic (8 one hour session over two month period). Then, we practiced one more month before going to a 9 hole course with my brother to show us what to do on a course. I recommend a similar route for you. If you are a beginner and prematurely starts playing in tough 18 hole courses, it can really sour your experience.

On 5 minute golf ball search rule <--- it's a guidance, suggestion at best. If course is really busy and golfers are waiting on every hole, I just move on. You will learn to do the same in time. Otherwise, you won't be making too many friends in that course . Go buy cheap used balls so that losing a ball (or dozen) isn't going to upset you.

Have fun!
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:25 AM   #24
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Oh, boy, a golf thread!


When DW and I started golf, we enrolled in a golf clinic (8 one hour session over two month period). Then, we practiced one more month before going to a 9 hole course with my brother to show us what to do on a course. I recommend a similar route for you. If you are a beginner and prematurely starts playing in tough 18 hole courses, it can really sour your experience.

On 5 minute golf ball search rule <--- it's a guidance, suggestion at best. If course is really busy and golfers are waiting on every hole, I just move on. You will learn to do the same in time. Otherwise, you won't be making too many friends in that course . Go buy cheap used balls so that losing a ball (or dozen) isn't going to upset you.

Have fun!
Good advice thank you. I never thought of a golf clinic of sorts. Like I said it really is just not typical for most folks here to play, but, we like to adapt to where we are going to be.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:27 AM   #25
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Take it from a life-long golfer....the 19th hole is the best one of all.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:42 AM   #26
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Take it from a life-long golfer....the 19th hole is the best one of all.
And where I excel...
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Old 07-17-2014, 02:53 PM   #27
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Timely thread. I am retiring here soon and have several friends who keep encouraging my wife and I to take up golfing (so we can golf with them). But I felt/feel the same way as the OP. I didn't want to look like a fool out there. So this thread is good for me too--very educational!
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:01 PM   #28
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As mentioned take some lessons first then spend time practicing on the range. When you're ready to go out on the course for the first time pick a time when it's not busy (usually a weekday afternoon), check with the pro shop for the best time. That way you can take your time and not worry about holding up anyone behind you but if it happens just wave the group through. At my golf club the first 1.5 hours of tee times on weekdays are reserved for those members who play fast (3.5 hours or less), which includes about 75% of the membership. I find the pace of play at private clubs to generally be much faster than resort or public courses. The one thing that wrecks more golf games is over thinking. Hit the ball, find it, and enjoy!
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:35 PM   #29
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If ye dinna ken - I'm nae golfer - but I really like Robin (Profane) Williams on the Scottish invention of golf. BTW - he swears.

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Old 07-17-2014, 05:09 PM   #30
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I had planned for golf to be an ER hobby as I enjoy being outside and thought it would be a good way to meet new people. I took lessons and went to a women's golf clinic before going out on the course. For a month or so went out with a group of ladies who met on Saturday mornings for 9 holes. Then something went terribly wrong with my (already poor) swing and I was unable to get any height on the ball at all. I took more lessons, played a few times with my son, and spent many frustrating hours on the driving range trying to get my swing back to the point where I could at least hit the ball 75-100 yards, but nothing worked. Very frustrating because I pretty consistently hit the ball straight, but it would just slide down the fairway 25 yards on most swings. So I pretty much have given up on golf, sadly. Someone told me that there are similarities in throwing a ball and swinging a club, so I guess it makes sense that I suck at both of them.
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:35 PM   #31
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I had planned for golf to be an ER hobby as I enjoy being outside and thought it would be a good way to meet new people. I took lessons and went to a women's golf clinic before going out on the course. For a month or so went out with a group of ladies who met on Saturday mornings for 9 holes. Then something went terribly wrong with my (already poor) swing and I was unable to get any height on the ball at all. I took more lessons, played a few times with my son, and spent many frustrating hours on the driving range trying to get my swing back to the point where I could at least hit the ball 75-100 yards, but nothing worked. Very frustrating because I pretty consistently hit the ball straight, but it would just slide down the fairway 25 yards on most swings. So I pretty much have given up on golf, sadly. Someone told me that there are similarities in throwing a ball and swinging a club, so I guess it makes sense that I suck at both of them.
After playing golf since I was a caddie in my early teens, I am convinced there is a certain degree of natural ability that you inherently need to play golf, even at the very basic levels. Some people have it, some don't.
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:39 PM   #32
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For beginners, you'd be surprised at how well you can hit the ball by just using a 9 to 3 swing vs winding up with a full back swing like you see the pros do on TV. Thats also a good way to get your swing back if it starts to go off the rails for some of the more experienced golfers. Take it easy and don't try to kill it, let the club do the work.
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:47 PM   #33
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Like any other activity involving physical coordination, it is going to take some time to get to a level of enjoyment. That's why it is important to take some lessons, and practice, practice, and practice before getting to the courses. And it is important to pair up with a patient golf partner who can show you the way.

Taking a page out of pb4uski, having a user name like pb4ugolf (practice before you golf ... or pray before you golf ) will help.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:51 PM   #34
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Give it a try. It is a great. and frustratingly difficult, game. The pros make it look so easy. I know many gifted athletes who think their gifts will translate to golf and oftentimes do not. One exception seems to be hockey players - they seem to pick it up well - I guess that it is similar hand eye coordination and if you can hit a moving puck with a hockey stick then hitting a stationary golf ball is a piece of cake.
You may be onto something there. I took a friend out for his first 9 yesterday. He said that he'd been to a range a few times, but it sounded like years ago. He's a good athlete and had played some hockey. I was ready for some whiffs and worm burners, but his first tee shot went over 100 yards--into the trees, but still nicely in the air. 4th hole, after a mulligan, he bounces onto the par 3 green,and 2 putts for a par. On #7 he made a 50 foot putt that had some break. Overall, it was really impressive.

Anyway, I also advise starting on the driving range, and taking lessons. Then play a round with an instructor, who can teach you the rules, etiquette, and answer all questions you have in a more organized manner than most golfers can give. And they'll know a good time to take you out and watch behind so you don't have to worry about holding up irate golfers.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:42 PM   #35
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When I lived in California and played a lot of golf, I used to play golf occasionally with an amateur hockey player who was part of our group of friends. Not only were his shots all over the place, but he was "rough" on his clubs.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:05 PM   #36
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Definitely start on a driving range... With a friend who can get you set up. Then go out on a short course with your friend. If you enjoy it, then you can pay an instructor.

One thing to remember, the swing will feel awkward.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:33 PM   #37
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USGA: Etiquette

Start with Etiquette. Above is link to USGA (US Golf Association) Etiquette Section of The Rules. As someone who has taken the USGA Rules test, I'd advise you not get too hung up on the rest of the Rules at this point. Just play the course as you find it and play your ball as it lays (lies?). And do it quickly (but don't hurry).
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:35 AM   #38
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DW and I started playing golf several years ago, to add a "shared" activity for us to have. Also, I decided my body wasn't going to keep up with my pride for playing full court basketball and flag/tackle football with our sons and their friends. So far we have never had any issues with being newbies from other golfers or the courses we ave played .Perhaps because we tend to frequent "budget" courses - meaning places where the green fees are< $30. There are at least a half dozen of these courses within 20 minutes of us so it works out well.

We have only taken a few lessons but plan to take more. My past sports activities and my current workouts, has helped me progress. I try to get to a driving range at least a couple of times a week, that definitely helps. I doubt I'll get to be a "scratch" golfer, but I still enjoy just being out in the fresh air and moving all over the course.

As a newbie, I try to do the following:

- Go to courses when it is less crowded times - the course staff can easily tell one when those times tend to be.
- Keep moving on a crowded course. When I started I'd bring 30 balls with me so that I wouldn't spend time looking for lost balls (I've been able to cut that down to about 20 ). Also, my guideline is that if I haven't made it halfway on the course when the group behind me is on the tee, I'll wave them through. When I'm on the green I don't spend minutes checking the green and trying to line up the putt.
- Cut down on the number of clubs I have. 3 drivers, 2 hybrids, 6 irons/wedges and a putter at most. On "Executive" type par 3/4 courses I'll cut down to 2 drivers, a hybrid, 4 irons/wedges and a putter. My time at the driving range has taught me that I don't get much different distance from certain clubs. A smaller selection moves the game faster.
- Spend more time at the driving range working on clubs that I use for fairway shots than driving or putting. Those are the shots I find most difficult and make the biggest difference in my score.
- I don't put pressure on myself. I go for little victories, like making it onto the green in the same number of shots as is par for the hole, or finally being able to drive the ball over that water hazard. Just being out and moving about is good enough for me.
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:56 AM   #39
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All good information. Thanks to everyone for chiming in.

We chatted about it last night and we decided to wait until we get to Florida to take our lessons. DH has a pretty heavy work schedule as well as randomly getting called in for OT so instead of chancing his missing lessons, etc. we will wait until our schedules are clear.
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:16 AM   #40
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So happy to read this thread and find many keen on golf. It's a great game - one you can play with friends or loved ones or even on your own. For beginners, best to take some lessons first. When you are ready to play on the green, play with your instructor or a very patient seasoned golfer friend. Your first few games should preferably be played on a weekday during non-peak hours. I note that you have raised a lot of questions but not much on safety. Be careful on any golf course as one can be hit by an errant golf ball. Your position is behind and not in front of the player. Sometimes, even standing behind may be dangerous for eg. If the player in front is trying to hit the ball out of some trees, the ball may hit the trees and ricochet backwards. So, be careful and stay alert and keep safe.
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