Want to take up golf but don't know where to begin? Coach Oliver Morton shares his simple tips on the best ways to get started in our beautiful game
Golf provides what other sports can’t. It allows people of all ages and abilities to enjoy time together and be competitive. It unites families, facilitates friendships, challenges you, keeps you physically and mentally healthy, and can take you to some of the most beautiful places on the planet.
But sometimes people experience the barriers before the benefits, meaning golf loses them forever. So, to help, I wanted to share some simple tips on how to get into our wonderful game…
1. How to get into golf: Just play
Everyone has different reasons for why they play golf. But what unites us all is that we have fun doing it. That means playing the game and recognising what you enjoy about it.
Don’t wait until you’re “good enough”, get out there and give it a go. The ability to play well will develop over time.
If you are concerned that you won’t be any good, or you’ll hold up the course, fortunately we’re in an era that makes it easier than ever to experience golf in different ways. Seek out facilities like Top Golf and TrackMan simulator studios that allow you to enjoy the game without losing balls and taking up your whole day.
Once you feel like you’re ready to get onto a real course, head to one that’s relatively short and not a demanding championship layout – think short tennis or five-a-side football. Par 3 or ‘executive’ courses are great as they usually consist of nine short holes that you can get round in under two hours. They often have equipment you can hire too.
If you don’t have one in your area, simply head to your local course and start each hole from where you feel comfortable – check with the facility if that’s OK though. Don’t worry about playing from the tees. Tee it forward and progress back as you improve.
2. How to get into golf: Learn
Simply put, seek out a coach. It’s much easier if you have someone who can advise you on how to hit the ball better, guide you on equipment to buy, provide information on which club to join and help you understand the rules and etiquette.
Couple the process of learning and improvement with the other inherent benefits golf provides.
3. How to get into golf: Invest
There’s no point in sugar coating it, golf requires investment, but so does anything worth doing in life. Getting married, having children and maintaining lifelong friendships all require a commitment of appropriate time and resource.
The key is to understand the value of the investment. You’re investing in your social life, your health, your education, your family – get them involved too so you can all enjoy it together – and who doesn’t enjoy buying new toys?
The essential thing is to have someone that can advise you on the wisest way to invest.
4. How to get into golf: Reflect
What I’m referring to is the importance of taking some time to regularly reflect on why you play the game. The reason I say this is that I come across too many golfers that are disconnected from their ‘why’ and have lost motivation and enjoyment as a consequence. As I said, golf is meant to be fun, so it’s vital you understand why you play and stay connected to it.
To sum up: start playing, learn the nuances of the game, learn how to play better, invest some time, invest some money, and stay connected to why you play. I promise it’ll be worth it.
Oliver Morton is an holistic coach based at the Archerfield Performance Centre and founder of the Leading Edge Golf Company. If you have any questions for Oliver, leave them in the comments below or you can find him on Twitter.