Nobody is the same, but it’s like riding a bicycle, it looks hard to start with, but with practice and once you have grasped the principles, then it comes easier.
Here in Thailand clubs actually encourage beginners to play.
Apart from being a great sport for every one of both genders and all ages, you are always trying to improve your game.
So how do you get going?
In a recent survey by a number of golf professionals and golfers in Thailand, they were asked is there a fast and easy way to learn to play golf? Well I have selected a few of their replies….
‘I would highly recommend that once you have the basics down by learning with a pro, you spend some time on the golf course with the pro. I find it very frustrating when I cannot figure out what is going wrong on the course, especially when it seemed to be working just fine on the range. Someone knowledgeable can diagnose a problem quickly to allow you to try to correct it whereas fixing your own problems on the course can be next to impossible.’
‘I also suggest that you begin your learning from the smallest of shots and gradually increase the size of the shots and length of the club. Those who try to learn with a driver are about as likely to do it as if one were to try to learn juggling by using nitro glycerin. As the length of the shot increases body movements are added one at a time. Thus each new short game shot teaches more of the body actions. The elbows are trained after the hands, the shoulders movements are then added to the actions of the hands and elbows etc, until all of the body motions have been learned.’
‘There will always be room for improvement, and so once you are feeling comfortable with what you are doing, try to keep records of scores i.e. score card, and set yourself challenges each time you go out to play.’
‘I have been playing for 3 years and I've got every book, DVD, CD, all the gear and still got no idea ! All this stuff just mushes your brain up, information overload.
What has worked for me is a regular lesson each week, trust and practice what you have been taught and play at least once a week on the course with good players who have the patience to play with a starter. Ask a few friends to recommend a PGA pro and use him and stick with him. Don't keep changing instructors. Most of all have fun playing golf and don't take it too seriously. Just when you think you've mastered it, it all falls apart, that's why all the tour players still have coaches and keep changing their swing and equipment. It's a continuous learning process no short cut.’
‘Join a country club! There is a significant difference between daily fee golf and private clubs. My game improved 20 strokes in six months by playing regularly at a club. A private club is a liberating experience; you can play more often, in a more flexible playing environment, under better course conditions, with other like minded enthusiasts. You won't feel pressured to play 18 just because you paid a greens fee, so you can slip in an hour or so of play when your schedule permits. Only time for five holes? As long as you don't interrupt play, have a go at it! If a country club is not an alternative, try an annual membership at a daily fee course so you can play more often. You'll learn why golf often becomes one's passion!
‘The best way to learn to play golf and the best way to learn correctly is to learn the game from the green back to the tee. By this I mean be willing to learn how to putt, chip and pitch the ball, be willing to take the time necessary to gain control of the ball in these areas of the game. Why? Skills in golf are learned, earned and acquired. Learning the short shots using short swings greatly accelerates this process. Find a PGA professional who is willing to instruct you in this manner.’
‘Contrary to what most pundits will tell you, start at the hole and work your way back with the help of a willing teacher. Get a good feel for putting first, then chipping and pitching, and move back to 100 yards, then all the way back to the tee. It's a target-based game that relies on accuracy. Starting by blasting balls on the range, like I did as a kid, will set you up for a long learning curve, fraught with frustration. Most strokes are taken within 100 yards. A good short game will build confidence, and the game is a lot easier and more fun if you're confident.’
‘If you have never picked up a club before I would say go to a driving range borrow some clubs grab a bucket or two of balls and imagine you are ten years old and have some fun.’
Well there are few of their suggestions. OK from my point of view, too many lessons can feel like you are back at school. When I started to learn, I went out to a par three course such as the Bangkok Golf Club, with a mate who was also learning and we took just three clubs…an eight iron, a wedge and a putter….and just went around those nine holes for two months. Then we felt confident to hit the big time by venturing onto our first 18 holes. Just like riding a bike, just a bit more expensive. For a full list of golf courses across Thailand, why not check out Golfasian.