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Learning to golf
Old 02-21-2013, 08:56 PM   #1
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Learning to golf

So, I spent most of my time doing illegal activities in my teens and twenties.

But apart from a few rounds at par 3 and driving ranges, I never learned to golf. It was more like creating hazards for flying animals.

I'll be in a very golf-friendly area in the spring: should I sign up for lessons from a pro?
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:15 PM   #2
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Yes. Look for a place that gives group beginner lessons.

I think a half dozen hands-on lessons as you get started would help most people enjoy the game more.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:30 PM   #3
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Lessons from a pro is a great idea. And I would spend lot's of time working on what he/she has taught you at a driving range. When you do play a course, tackle the easy one's first. You will enjoy it a lot more if you do.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by steelyman View Post
So, I spent most of my time doing illegal activities in my teens and twenties.

But apart from a few rounds at par 3 and driving ranges, I never learned to golf. It was more like creating hazards for flying animals.

I'll be in a very golf-friendly area in the spring: should I sign up for lessons from a pro?
I think a better way is to find a 3 to 5 day golf school, especially for a newbie. I took one a number of years ago as an experienced golfer and it helped my game tremendously. For a newbie I think it would be even better in that you'll be starting from scratch (pun intended). Anyway, I had to unlearn some things.

They'll work with you on proper grip, alignment, stance, swing and tempo all in one fell swoop. You'll hit a gazillion balls over those few days as well as spending some time on the putting greens and the course. Well worth the effort to get a good start IMO.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:12 AM   #5
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My local community college had a golf class for 1/2 a unit. Was a really cheap way to get 16 weeks of classes, and I learned a lot even though most lessons were on a football field.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:09 AM   #6
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Practice, practice, practice before going out on the course.
When you get to the point of having two over par on a hole, be considerate of others behind you; pick up the ball and move to the next tee.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:14 AM   #7
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So, I spent most of my time doing illegal activities in my teens and twenties.

But apart from a few rounds at par 3 and driving ranges, I never learned to golf. It was more like creating hazards for flying animals.

I'll be in a very golf-friendly area in the spring: should I sign up for lessons from a pro?
Didn't see any mention in your post of "you want to learn to play golf". Usually that is a factor. One advantage of using a pro is he or she will tailor the lesson(s) to how much commitment you really want to make.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:32 AM   #8
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My suggestion is to spend some time on golfwrx.com, watch the many videos there and read read read, before opting for lessons. Also, if you get yourself a large mirror and videocam, that will help because its very hard to feel whether you are using good mechanics or not, seeing exactly what you are doing is much better. Further, I would recommend getting a copy of "Finally: The Golf Swing's Simple Secret" by J.F. Tamayo. Its inexpensive, a fast read, and packed with some of the most useful advice to help you improve quickly, plus 50% of the books profits go to charity.

I played a lot as a teen and was reasonably decent, but hung em up during my working career, except for maybe a 1X/year corporate scramble. I am looking forward to retiring and hoping to play well again, at least get down below a 15 hc.

Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:42 AM   #9
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I highly recommend adding a foot wedge to your club selection...
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:52 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sanfanciscotreat
Practice, practice, practice before going out on the course.
When you get to the point of having two over par on a hole, be considerate of others behind you; pick up the ball and move to the next tee.
One way around that is to find a course that isn't crowded so you can enjoy it. I am a member where it is not crowded so I play 2 balls a hole. I don't think I would enjoy playing golf if I had to wait all the time on people.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:10 AM   #11
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Thanks all, these are great comments and tips. I think I will look for lessons locally once it begins to warm up here and before I head south (near Myrtle Beach). And Michael, yes I do want to learn to play golf
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:29 AM   #12
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The lesson route is the way to go. DW and I started a few years ago and have yet to take new lessons, but this spring our schedules will allow it and we intend to. In the meantime we looked at a lot of video, went to the driving ranges, and went out onto the courses. We are fortunate where we are that there a several "beginner/inexperienced" friendly courses and have been able to receive a few informal lessons for free, but we intend to go for paid lessons.

The best thing about it has been the change in attitude towards beginner golfers. I tried learning the game about 30 years ago and was essentially yelled off of the course, so that soured me on the game for a long time. Then a few years ago we went on vacation to a resort that had a golf course. We did the driving range and the folks kept encouraging us to play a round, but we were too embarrassed. But they were persistent and even offered to let us play for free, so we did and really liked it. If someone was behind us we let them play through; when we finished and made it back to the resort, several of them came up and thanked us and encouraged us to keep learning. One couple offered to play with us the next day, which we did. Generally speaking the nicer attitudes towards beginners that we see now is a big encouragement to keep playing and improving.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:42 AM   #13
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I think a better way is to find a 3 to 5 day golf school, especially for a newbie. For a newbie I think it would be even better in that you'll be starting from scratch (pun intended).
+1.

I've been playing golf for 48 years, and I think starting with a group of new beginners is a good idea (vs a pro right off the bat). If you find you like it after the group lessons, you can always go to a pro.

Golf is a great social activity IMO, though you can play alone for practice during weekdays at many courses. And it's a pastime that's easy to learn, but very hard to get good at, so it provides a lifelong challenge (a good feature IMO). The strokes come off easy at the start (which is encouraging) and then it gets progressively more difficult to lower your score. Then one day you're the pro...if you live long enough.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:45 AM   #14
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Practice, practice, practice before going out on the course.
When you get to the point of having two over par on a hole, be considerate of others behind you; pick up the ball and move to the next tee.

You must be playing with better people than I did (when I played).... we did 4 over per hole... and we usually were not holding up people behind us...
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:49 AM   #15
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Practice, practice, practice before going out on the course.
When you get to the point of having two over par on a hole, be considerate of others behind you; pick up the ball and move to the next tee.
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You must be playing with better people than I did (when I played).... we did 4 over per hole... and we usually were not holding up people behind us...
While I agree with practice, practice, practice - I would have lost interest if I wasn't out on the course more often than not. Driving ranges and putt-chip practice greens are great for warmup, but pretty boring otherwise. As long as you aren't holding better players up, that's the key...

...golf 'etiquette' has changed I take it. We were always mindful of not holding up groups behind us (unless the holdup was ahead of us too), but never established a number of strokes. And whatever happened to letting groups play through? I'd avoid 'picking up' if at all possible...YMMV
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:56 AM   #16
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You must be playing with better people than I did (when I played).... we did 4 over per hole... and we usually were not holding up people behind us...
As long as the group behind you wasn't launching little white missiles into your group, I would say you were moving just fine. I would think 4 over is plenty good as long as the group members weren't thinking it was the final round of the Masters. If beginner groups play "ready golf" and forego the formalities, they can get a lot more whacks per hole in before picking up.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:02 AM   #17
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As long as the group behind you wasn't launching little white missiles into your group, I would say you were moving just fine. I would think 4 over is plenty good as long as the group members weren't thinking it was the final round of the Masters. If beginner groups play "ready golf" and forego the formalities, they can get a lot more whacks per hole in before picking up.

We usually played at a cheap course that allowed carts on the fairway... we would drive right up to the ball, hop out, take a swing and go to the next ball.. Heck, sometimes we did not even worry about if it was our turn or not...

Now, when putting we did follow the rule of farthest out putts first... but had a generous conceed rule... about the length of a driver...
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:07 AM   #18
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Thanks all, these are great comments and tips. I think I will look for lessons locally once it begins to warm up here and before I head south (near Myrtle Beach). And Michael, yes I do want to learn to play golf
Never had a doubt, steely.

At one of those executive programs (Penn State) a couple of golf lessons were included. The pro suggested not trying to learn to play "correctly", but instead trying to find the best use of his time to build an "acceptable game" (his terms). He did mention something about old dogs and new tricks. I didn't make it to the second lesson because they unexpectedly offered gliding sessions, and I jumped at the opportunity. Family and friends that golf show this is an excellent way to get out and spend time with others.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:17 AM   #19
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Never had a doubt, steely.

At one of those executive programs (Penn State) a couple of golf lessons were included. The pro suggested not trying to learn to play "correctly", but instead trying to find the best use of his time to build an "acceptable game" (his terms). He did mention something about old dogs and new tricks. I didn't make it to the second lesson because they unexpectedly offered gliding sessions, and I jumped at the opportunity. Family and friends that golf show this is an excellent way to get out and spend time with others.
Now that's one thing I messed up on while working. There were plenty of opportunities to get started on conference trips, but I was still trying to get myself arrested. I like your pro's advice, it could also work for ER!
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:13 AM   #20
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...gliding sessions...
Handy skill to have while employed...
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