Advice To A New Golfer
By Kickntrue on 10/21/09
My wife has recently taken up the game of golf and I've discovered what some of your probably already know - a wife won't take golf advice from her husband. I can't really blame her that much- she's a professional meeting planner but I can't really say I'd listen to her if I was planning a golf tournament (despite the fact that she's run about 20 of them), not to mention the fact that taking lessons from a 14 handicap should always be done with caution.
Still- it leaves me in a tough spot. I want her to enjoy the game but her only teachers are the other hacks on the range and the 2 seconds of golf she'll watch before she demands "the boring crap" be turned off so we can watch something "good" off the DVR (like Flash Forward).
The other big issue, the biggest really, is that for any new golfer- when you start spouting off even the most basic golf advice- there is no way for it to be WAY too much. Think about it- you give a kid a baseball bat and tell him to hit the moving ball. In golf, the ball is sitting still yet you're trying to accomplish the same result, yet the process for "getting started" seems to be incredibly daunting.
SO (there is a point to this) - my question is, with a beginning golfer- what is the one single piece of advice you'd offer?
[ comments ]
HAHA! i golf with my in laws too much for my liking and she is always giving him pointers which never help and only make him madder, and to boot they are both atleast 30 handicappers both.
on the advice i will say it before someone else does.
But for real advice dont keep score first 3-4 rounds just see if you can have fun out there.
side note - Flash Forward is getting dumber by the episode.
oh ya... beer does not make you a better golfer so take it easy on the booze if you really wanna play the game.
To Relax. Most of us know the feeling. You hit 25 great shots at the range (because they don't matter), but can never bring that on to the course.
While she'll never admit it, your wife is probably trying her best to improve and enjoy golf, but if that's not happening, it can be frustrating. So anything you can do it make golf enjoyable/fun will go a long way towards her improving.
Suggest she get a professional lesson or two. Then she can build on that foundation, if she wants, or keep hacking away.
LESSONS - from someone other than YOU!!!
my wife and I took a golf class at the local community college, it was her first experience with golf and she really enjoyed it. I was just taking it for fun 'cause I already knew how to play (at the time I was a 30+) :) but guess what, I actually learned a few things. The main reason a wife wants to learn the game is to spend time with her husband, so do the lessons together, it will help her, and it won't hurt your game, and she gets to spend time with you at the same time.
My advice is to start with really light golf clubs. The golf swing is a precise, muscle memory motion. If the club head is too heavy, it is harder to control. And we all know how little you need to miss by to create a bad shot. The easier to control the club for a beginner the better the muscle memory, the more success. As the swing improves due to repetition, go to more standard club sizes.
Assuming your wife is not a natural and/or gifted athletically:
Try (ha!) to figure out what she wants to get out of the game. If you can, wait for her to ask for help, no matter how many skulled, chili-dipped, shanked, topped, fatted, shots she hits. Then, and only then, preface anything with the reminder that you are not good either.
The single piece of advice I think would help most beginners who actually wish to take up the game seriously would be to not swing "at" the ball. A lot of beginners' swings appear to end at contact with the ball (which usually involves decelerating to it).
However, this advice is similar to telling a young pitcher not to "aim" the pitch. Neither piece of advice on its own is meant to be the magic key, and only when added to other sound swing/pitch techniques will it actually produce results.
To clarify: it doesn't matter how good the generic "you" are, "you" are "not good" in the sense you don't play or teach golf for a living (I assume).
Didn't you say she is your wife? so she really isn't going to listen to any advice from you now is she? what self respecting wife you take advice from her husband... that being said you should tell her to have fun and enjoy the outdoors, the rest will come with time if she keeps it up....
teach from the hole, out. start with short putts. when they start to excel at that. move on to longer putts. go through all the areas of the game. chipping, pitching, and eventually you'll get to the full swing.
make up little games also to help make it more interesting and fun.
Tim Horan says:
"Spot on" Backquak - My wife started playing about four years ago and although she had always been able to hit a ball (taught by her father) up until four years ago she had no interest in playing the game of golf. I on the other hand after many years of society golf decided about 8 years ago to rejoin a club and play more. and more and more. My wife just had to start playing or leave. We did a golf clinic in Spain combining sight seeing with tuition and golf. She plays as much as I do and we both have a lot of fun from our golf both together and apart. Key word here is FUN. I am fairly lucky...my wife listens to my golf advice...what she does with it is her affair!
Tim Horan says:
@hackman - great idea! - my only concern here is the impatience to get on and play proper golf. I have obsevered the younsters at the junior academy at our club and the short game does not hold their interest for long; they are champing at the bit to get on the long course - come what may! So I guess your idea with a smattering of "real golf" experience would be a balanced approach.
Something I saw on a TV show just this week that I thought was brilliant:
When you finally make it out onto the course, have her play her own 2-ball "best ball". Meaning, let her hit two tee shots, and keep the better of the two. Then, from whever that better tee shot ended up, let her hit two iron shots from there, and keep the better one. This way, she gets twice as much practice time from any given round, and she doesn't get punished quite so much for lack of skill. This is especially helpful for shots like chips and long putts, where she might only get the ball a third of the way to the cup because she doesn't have any "feel" for how much power is required yet. She can immediately make an adjustment and try it again, almost guaranteed to be a much better shot.
Granted, this is slower (especially if you have to find two balls in the deep rough), so I wouldn't recommend trying this on a packed course, but I still think it's a much more fun and less demoralizing way to start.
My suggestion is find her some female friends who golf, this way neither of you ruin each others time on the course. My wife "ONCE" asked me to come golfing with me, my response was "should you call the divorce lawyer or should I"? After she gets to a point she is comfortable playing, then and only then, should it be considered to bring her out. That is just my point of view. I dont golf to spend time with my wife, I golf to get peace and quiet. If I want to spend time with her, I would take her to the closest Louis Vuitton or Tiffany's, the course is my sanctuary and she respects that.
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