7 Things I Wish I’d Known About Golf Before I Started

7 Things I Wish I’d Known About Golf Before I Started

For over 20 years, I have introduced complete beginners to the game and guided them through their golf course. I’ve always been very interested in why people get into golf, but what I find really fascinating is their experience of those difficult early days of picking up the game.

Golf is a multifaceted sport, and it can bring out all kinds of emotions, from frustration to elation. Last year I decided to create an easy route for women to enter golf, so I created a 3 week course that covers the basics of the game and provides women with the tools and confidence to knowing how to keep practicing, meeting others like minded women and an understanding of how to improve and progress.

In 2022, Emma introduced the game to more than 100 women

(Image credit: Emma Bpoth)

My 3 week class format has introduced over 100 women to the game, 60 of whom are now part of my weekly practice clubs. Having the privilege of being part of their introduction to the game, I wanted more information about their experience as a beginner, so I asked them the question above.

A few women responded with golf-specific language like bogeys, birdies, types of game formats, but after some discussion we concluded these things weren’t necessarily useful to know at the learning stage when handling a club for the first time. However, below are ideas and collaborative points that have come up time and time again.

1. Golf is hard

A common opinion from a range of women with different abilities and sporting backgrounds. This has always been said with real surprise by women who had already practiced other racquet sports such as tennis and squash. The hitting surface is small and the ball is even smaller. Playing golf is also more than just hitting the ball with one type of club. There’s a lot to learn and work on, but the rewards are in the difficulty of golf. It’s good to challenge yourself because when you make small improvements and feel the joy of hitting the ball correctly, the satisfaction comes from knowing it’s a difficult skill and one that takes practice and dedication.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

2. You need a sense of humor

You will miss the ball very much! You’ll hit it all over the place and think everyone is judging what a terrible human being you must be because you can’t hit a little white ball where you want it to go. So, it’s better to be able to laugh at yourself. As stated before, golf is tough and no matter what level you reach, whether it’s winning the Women’s Open or playing the Longest Drive on Toptracer, you’ll always be hitting jaw-dropping shots that will make you think, ” What was that ? But life goes on after your terrible blow and the world keeps spinning, so you should take comfort in the fact that it won’t be long before you do another terrible blow.

Unless you’ve sold all of your material possessions and are training 12 hours a day to “succeed,” you’re not good enough to get worked up about bad moves. So do your best to see the humor in chess and try, try again.

3. Golf is for everyone

Who knew? Not many of my ladies who have started golf recently, that’s for sure. Golf can seem very inaccessible and the ‘Private, No Entry’ signs on the doors of the majority of golf clubs do little to shake off that image. Golf, however, is on the rise in terms of female participation, it was one of the first outdoor sports allowed after Covid which saw participation rise from 14% to 28%. The perception of expense can also put many people off, but most golf clubs, driving ranges and teaching professionals will provide equipment for free or at a low and affordable rental price, as it is in the market. everyone’s interest in encouraging more people to play golf.

There are still some justified misconceptions about the type of person who plays golf, but it really is for all ages, shapes and sizes. Everyone can find pleasure in playing golf, whether it’s at their local driving range once a month or playing a course regularly with friends.

Emma teaches at Winchester Golf Academy

(Image credit: Emma Booth)

4. You will need lessons

Imagine trying to drive a car or perform a dance routine without being shown the steps. This is what it’s like to try to play golf without proper instruction. I’m not talking about your partner or a friend telling you to “keep your head down” or “watch the ball”. I mean instruction from a PGA Qualified Professional who has a passion for coaching beginners.

Golf can be very overwhelming at first. If golf was an elephant you had to eat, a pro will help you take it one bite at a time! You will leave your 30 minute or 1 hour session not only hitting the ball better, but understanding what you need to work on to improve. That’s not to say you can’t just enjoy a hit with no clue, of course you can, but if you value your time and want to see faster progress then a lesson is the way to go. follow.

5. It’s a journey not a destination

You never win at golf and you never finish golf, those are two truths about the game. Even if you win the day’s competition, you’ll still walk off the course and think how much better your strokes or score could have been. If only… Golf is a game of mistakes and progress can sometimes feel very slow or even like you’re stepping back!

My ladies regularly describe golf to me as an emotional roller coaster and they can’t believe they’re getting into it, yet they keep coming back for more. This is because golf addiction lies in the overall physical and mental challenge of the game. Accepting from the start that golf will challenge you in a way that no other sport has before will keep your spirits up. free to take up the challenge of the day.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

6. How fun it is

How can something be both the most boring and the most fun, but golf is just that. The laughter from my group sessions each week is a testament to the fun that golf brings. There is so much to play in golf and so many formats to play that it never gets boring and you never hit the same shot twice. Golf will always surprise and humble you in equal measure. Learning to golf with friends is a truly special experience that will provide you with many years of good times and laughter.

7. You wish you had started earlier

New golfer: “How old were you when you started?”

Me: “I was 5 years old”

New Golfer: “Oh, if only I had started at this age!”

This is a very common exchange that I have with adult learners. The feeling of regret and what could have been, filling their minds and clouding their current ability to learn. There is no turning back though. I just started piano lessons and I understand that “if only” feeling.

The reason this line of thinking is so appealing is that it skips the right part of effort and misses all the hours of work that must always be put in regardless of age to become good at something. So accept the stage you are in, challenge yourself here and now because that’s all we have, as the saying goes, “The best time to plant a tree was a while ago. 20 years. The second best time is now.

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