News 5 (Budget-Friendly) Must Haves for Every Golf BeginnerPlay and Grow Pros: BREC Blog
So… you are interested in taking up golf? We can’t blame you! There are so many different reasons as to why it is such an attractive hobby and sport that continues to skyrocket in popularity across the map for all demographics. But, be forewarned. It is also deeply challenging. So, here are five tips, and shall we say tricks, to help you navigate your way into the game of golf. And in the most cost-efficient way – because let’s be completely transparent here, Golf seems like an expensive hobby to take on. But take a word from our experts, it doesn’t have to be!
It is a good idea to understand what patterns are required in the sport and why things are the way they are in Golf, that way you can ease into the flow and not feel you are a complete newbie out on the course. There are definitely a lot of rules, traditions and needs in this sport but we are going to keep it simple for you.
1. Dress the PARt.
Dressing for golf is sort of like visiting Texas, you may want to buy some cowboy boots, but please don’t buy a 10-gallon hat. You are out in the weather, you need to be comfortable, efficient, and aware of long-held traditions (that means no t-shirts).
Since you are going to be on your feet a lot, golf shoes are a big benefit, but aren’t a necessity. So simply, wear your most comfortable pair of tennis shoes! No need to go out and buy a special pair of shoes.
Wear a collared shirt and shorts (or pants for that 1 cold day in December) *Weather resistant materials are recommended because we have the luxury of living in Louisiana – don’t regret your outfit choice 2 holes in!
This is your opportunity to buy the cutest dri-fit tank, golf skirt and hat. You’re welcome for the excuse you’ve been waiting for)
NO EXCEPTIONS ITEM: SUNSCREEN!
Golf has always made the claim that beginners, novice, accomplished, and championship golfers play the same course, use the same equipment, and all adhere to the same rules and time-honored traditions; therefore, we dress the part. Again, that means, no t-shirts; or anything with questionable logos. If you feel like you are tempting it, chance is you probably are.
2. Bunker down and do your homework.
Okay, that was easy right. So far in total we are at $FREE.99. But still, this is all new. “Do I just show up at a golf course and go out and play?” Do you show up to a restaurant on a Friday night at 7 p.m., without reservations? Didn’t think so... the same applies for golf. We call them “tee times”.
Preparation Part 1: Book your tee time.
Call the golf course you wish to play, give your preferred time you wish to tee off and your request is booked (if it is available) OR because it’s 2023, visit their website, and book a tee time! Golfing at a BREC course? Visit golf.brec.org and you can easily book your tee time there up to 72 hours prior to your chosen tee time.
Quick tip: More prestigious courses = Quality Amenities = More challenging = higher fees
Instead, choose a course more suited to your level of development, you may find paying less isn’t all that bad an idea.
Preparation Part 2: There's a few must haves you'll need.
- Golf Balls (duh, right?) Price check the course’s rentals for golf balls or purchase your own.
- Golf Tees
- Water - don't over think it, just bring it.
- Golf Gloves – this will help you grip the club better and prevent blisters. Even the pros are known to use some that aren’t over $10!
Preparation Part 3: We didn't forget about the clubs.
There are three routes you can take.
- Your friend is offering you to borrow their clubs because they probably haven’t seen the light of day in twenty years anyway. Outdated equipment is like traveling backroads instead of using the interstate. It will get you there, but that’s about it. And there’s nothing wrong with the back roads.
- You go online and, “What! A golf club costs how much!” Take it easy.. if you are simply in experimental mode wanting to test if this may be something you may or may not take up, then golf courses will rent you sets to borrow while you play.
- You’re in it for the long haul or you just got that tax refund and you want to know what this is going to take to get a decent set of clubs at a reasonable price. That world exists, but it takes some shopping and some advice. Find someone that you know who plays golf or call one of our courses, you trust their advice and make a purchase. Always choose the best value that fits your budget.
Here's what we would suggest!
Any beginner's set that includes: Wedge, 9 and 7 irons, 5 Hybrid, 5 Wood, Driver and Putter
3. Don't be a novice of the knowledge.
As we mentioned, all golfers use the same equipment and adhere to the same rules and time-honored traditions, whether Pro or Joe Blow. Out of all modern day popular sports, golf has, without doubt, the richest history and traditions associated with it.
While there is a slue of do’s and don’ts’ in the Golf world, we don’t expect you to know every single one. But in order to not ruffle any feather’s out there here are our top 5 “should knows” for stepping onto the greens.
For those who love a good fun fact - Here's a quick history lesson.
Whilst the exact origins of golf is a hotly debated topic, it is generally accepted that it developed during the middle ages in Holland. However, the game only became widely popular in the late 19th century when it grew throughout Britain and then into the United States.
1297 - The earliest account of a golf-like game taking place is in the Netherlands on February 26, 1297. In Loenen aan de Vecht, a game was supposedly played that involved a leather ball being hit by a players stick into a hole several hundred yards away. The winner of course was the player who could do this in the least amount of strokes.
1457 - The modern day game is said to have originated in Scotland with the very first mention of play from 1457 as part of an Act of Scottish Parliament. King James decreed an edict that prohibited people from playing ‘gowf’ or futball as it distracted the people from their archery practice.
1650 - In December of 1650, settlers of Fort Orange near present day Albany, played the first ever round of ‘colf’ in America. According to scholars, the Dutch settlers played the game year-round, even on the ice during winter.
1739 - The earliest known record of modern-day golf in America comes from a 1739 record for a shipment of golf equipment to a William Wallace in Charleston, South Carolina. After this, the next mention comes in 1779 in the form of a gazette advert in New York in which golf clubs and balls are featured.
While there are a slew of do’s and don’ts’ in the Golf world, we don’t expect you to know every single one. But in order to not ruffle any feather’s out there here are our Top 6 “Should Knows” Before Stepping Onto the Greens:
- Always remain patient with other golfers. Not everyone will play to your standard or as fast as you.
- Try to keep noise levels down on the golf course. Whilst talking is perfectly acceptable, any loud noises should be avoided, especially while putting.
- Safety is an issue, so always be on your guard. Yelling “fore” if an errant shot from a player is heading toward unsuspecting players is a necessity; especially if it is heading in your direction, react quickly.
- Be courteous by letting the person further from the hole play first is a basic protocol in golf, but if it is safe for someone to go ahead and play first for the benefit of keeping your pace of play steady (and not holding up play on the golf course).
- Never walk in “the line” of a player’s putt to the hole.
In other words, the route that a player’s putt rolls to the hole is sacred to the player. The belief is that such steps alter the putting surface and may cause the player to miss a putt as a result of that “misstep”. However, for the sake of pace of play, there is a thing known as continual putting: a player putts and their ball is near the hole for a tap in, if you don’t step in someone’s line, go ahead and finish putting. That speeds up play.
- Do your best to not delay the game.
Typically, beginners take more shots, which adds on more time. Nothing will irritate other players on the course more than slow play. It might even prompt a course marshal to venture your way and tell you that your group needs to speed up and keep play moving along briskly. Here are some tips to avoid delays:
- Get to your next shot as quickly as you can, analyze the shot and decide what you will do in a timely manner
- Keep it to one practice swing
- If you swing and miss or continually “flub” the shot, pick up and advance at least 50 yard and play your next shot from there
- If you are putting, and have already made 3 putts, pick up your ball and move to the next hole
- Tee off closer to the green on longer holes, you are not mandated to always tee off from the tee box if you are in the newbie stage of your game.
4. "A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open."
Great, now we are feeling a little more prepared. We have our attire, our musts, our tee time and what not to do’s. We are basically Tiger Woods at this point.
Well, not so much - it is not uncommon that as players finally make it out to the golf course and try to get in a round of golf, they discover something… how terrible they are. People make it look so easy! That’s to be expected, golf is a hard game to learn, much less to try and master. Like most hobbies, it takes a lot of practice and patience. But time well spent becomes less a burden and more of an investment if you go about it right.
Be open-minded, have patience and be prepared for the amount of effort that the game involves. Golf requires a lot of mental energy learning a process, then trying to physically execute that process requires coordination and discipline... which takes us into #5.
5. Even Michael Phelps had to take swimming lessons.
Get support. Find someone you know who can teach you the fundamental basics of the golf swing and putting. Whether that is a friend, relative, or even a Pro. (Shameless plug – we have those) Getting lessons from a Professional will likely fast track you in your development and allow you to learn proper techniques with greater ease. You will get out of golf as much as you put in, therefore, be economical with your time and find regularity to practice. Again, it is a process, learning good habits and unlearning bad habits. Learning from YouTube isn’t the answer this time.
Benefits of learning from a pro:
- You are learning correctly the first time. Habits are hard to break, so having an instructor thoroughly watching your execution of things like your stance and swing, they are able to point out the flaws and teach the proper way immediately.
- You’ll learn the golf lingo in layman’s terms – it is their job to bring it to your level of knowledge and explain the rules, terms and traditions in a simplified manner.
Check out our Spring and Summer Player Development opportunities at the link below if you're wanting to start your journey with a pro.
We could really go on days about this stuff! Have any questions? Give any of our courses a call! It’s our job and our absolute pleasure to get anyone started in their golf journey no matter their age or experience level.
We promise you once you get started golf will become more than a game. When Covid hit the golf courses were completely filled, whole families got out and played together. Think about the social capital in things like that. Research is showing that walking is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself; walking 18 holes will burn over a full pound off your weight. Plus, simply being outdoors and away from all the “screens” in your life is worth it alone. And then, if it is something you want to do, decide to be formidable at it. That’s top-notch quality of life stuff. So, are you ready? Let’s do it!