Golf: A Beginner's Guide
Since the 1st lockdown we saw in the UK, the number of adult golfers in the UK who played either a 9-hole or 18-hole course went up by 2.1 million players to 5.2 million in 2020. Many of these were new to golf, finding that they had time on their hands and fancied giving the wonderful game of golf a try. Golf is an addictive game for most people, but some just cannot fathom out how to use their lob wedge or their driver and come to the decision that it may not be the game for them.
With this in mind, we've written up a few handy tips for those that are new to golf and do not want to spend a fortune on equipment, lessons, golf courses and more likely, lost golf balls.
Getting a hold of the equipment:
A typical new set of clubs, with a golf bag, trolley, balls and all is going to set you back around £750 in total so it may well be worth investing in a previously owned set which you may well get for under half the cost of a new selection. With a premium set of clubs going for over a thousand pounds just for the irons, £500 for a driver and £350 for a putter you could easily spend close to £2000 just on equipment, what a waste if after a round or two the game is just not for you. Used golf clubs are a great way of getting into the sport without spending an arm and a leg on a full set of new clubs. Used clubs won’t lose much value and you can easily sell them on if you realise that golf is for you and you're ready to upgrade to a new set.
Finding your local course:
England has the most amount of golf venues in Europe by far with nearly 2000 registered 18-hole golf courses, Scotland has over 600, Ireland has over 400 and Wales over 150. There is plenty of choice about where you can play, and this too can be very important for a new player to the game. As a rule, although not exclusively true all the time, the shorter the overall yardage of a course indicates that it’s relatively good for beginners. This is maybe not so true if you play on what’s called a lynx course which is often a course found by the seaside, so it’s affected more by wind and the rough tends to be thicker and more problematic. Overall, though try to look for a local course that allows visitors and is under 6500 yards in total. Avoid anything over 7000 yards in length to start with.
Golf Club Memberships:
Golf club memberships start at around £800 per year and give you year-round access to the course where you can play as many times as you like as long as you book. With more exclusive golf courses costing upwards of £2000 per year for your membership, you need to be sure that the game is for you before you commit. Try playing several courses as a guest of a member or as a visitor first rather than joining a golf course.
Once you have the bug and the equipment all sorted then you could be ready to join a club where you can start to work on getting a golf handicap. This is a scoring system that allows you to compete with other golfers in competitions on a level basis and although there is not enough time left in this article to explain exactly how it works it’s something you will need to know when you transition from a brand-new golf player to an experienced golf nut who lives and breathes everything to do with the famous old game.