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How to Move a Beginner to the Course - Page 2

post #19 of 67
As a recent new member (joined my first ever club March 2013) I played my first rounds pretty much by myself and had a few lessons before jumping in to my first competition which was a stableford comp.

The very next comp I entered was a medal and this was a complete shock to the system! I look back on that round now and am just grateful at how patient the other three were that day!

I think there is merit in seeking some kind of "professional" assistance before being unleaded in full blown club competitions but I did most of my learning playing in the evenings while the course was pretty much all my own.

But yeah, that first medal round still breaks me out in a cold sweat! :)

Oh...also, new beginners need to learn the rules too.

Regards

Mailman
post #20 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

I read somewhere the other day that new golfers should take "five or six lessons, at least" before they ever step foot on the golf course.

 

I was like… WHAAAAAAAAA?

 

But that begs the question: how do you take a beginner from being a beginner to getting them on the golf course? How does your plan change if you don't have a local executive course that can serve as an intermediate "first step"?

I'd take them out for 9 holes(or less) on the least busy tee time I could find. I'd probably do this multiple times before attempting 18 holes. I surely wouldn't even bother with keeping score. I would make sure that they learned about keeping up the pace and all other aspects of golf etiquette right from the start.

post #21 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

I read somewhere the other day that new golfers should take "five or six lessons, at least" before they ever step foot on the golf course.

 

I was like… WHAAAAAAAAA?

 

But that begs the question: how do you take a beginner from being a beginner to getting them on the golf course? How does your plan change if you don't have a local executive course that can serve as an intermediate "first step"?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RH31 View Post
 

I'd take them out for 9 holes(or less) on the least busy tee time I could find. I'd probably do this multiple times before attempting 18 holes. I surely wouldn't even bother with keeping score. I would make sure that they learned about keeping up the pace and all other aspects of golf etiquette right from the start.

 

I think the idea of a "no pressure" round: quiet course, no scorekeeping, etc. is probably the best way to go.  That's how I got interested in the game, anyway.

post #22 of 67
Best advice I agree is there is no strict rule, a beginner can play with any level of people as long as they know basic etiquette and know when to pick up so they don't hold other players up on the golf course.
post #23 of 67

A couple of courses here have beginner packages. It's not straight up one on one lessons as much as group lessons that eventually lead from the range to the course. Some may be part of the Golf Ready program. What I've seen, which isn't much, is $20 gets you a simple "lesson". Everything is a la carte so if you just wanted to get the basic this is how you grip a club thing you could start there. I see them out here and there if the course hosts the GR programs. The course I learned to golf on back in the day actually has a really good beginner program that takes them from the range to their 500ish yard par 3 course over a couple of days. They actually have adult leagues on the par 3 courses, they have two and the longer one is really fun to play at 1100 yards. They also do singles night on the range.  Don't remember the details but for around $15 you get a couple of beers and a bucket. I've seen a lot of noobs taking their first swings there. Not as intimidating with the party vibe.

post #24 of 67

BEST way is to play a best ball scramble outing if you have the opportunity.     Nobody cares if you've never played golf before in a scramble - there are always a couple guys who carry the foursome.     Granted, most people don't have this opportunity, but I enjoyed it so much, I went out & found a set of used clubs at the local flea market the next weekend for $20, went to the range a few times after work & then went to the cheapest course I could find the next weekend ... had no idea what to do or where to start, so I had to ask the ranger where the FIRST tee box was - LOL.    It wasn't busy, so I had a blast and the hook was set - the rest is history.    As others have said, I think the most important thing is to TIME a newbies first trip to the course when it isn't busy.

 

Some people are genuinely scared to make the transition from lessons to the course.   A woman I work with has taken lessons for over a year - probably 20 or 30 lessons.    Her instructor has taken her to a course to play 2 or 3 holes on occasion ... but she has never played a round on a golf course.    She seems very apprehensive about it & declines invitations - granted this is an extreme case, but some people have a fear about playing "the big course".


Edited by inthehole - 4/21/14 at 12:32pm
post #25 of 67
Actually I would think it would also be in a golf clubs best interests to get beginners up to speed if for no other reason than to protect the course itself from unnecessary damage and also out of curtesy for other members (not holding others up while you play military golf).

Mailman
post #26 of 67

When my friend, Frank (RIP), got me hooked years ago, we would go to a course and play, but it was clear that additional work was needed. We would go to the driving range and challenge each other in little competitions, but let's face it, the range can get boring. I think you need to fall in love with the game first. Once you have that burning urge to drop the work you are supposed to be doing and hit the course, then, you will want to improve and seek help. It is, after all, one of the two things that you don't have to be good at to enjoy someone once said.

post #27 of 67

When I was starting I had the advantage of having a couple of nice executive courses in the town I was living in.  One par 3 and 4 holes, with the par 4s being up to about 300 yards.  The other was a par 3 course, but the 9th and 18 were par 4s (about 330 and 400 yards, respectively).  About half of the par 3 holes on the second course were over 200 yards, so they played like par 4s (at least!) to the people who played there.  Those two courses were great for a beginner, very low pressure, the other players were nice and most of them were almost as bad as I was.  It was much better than the courses where every hole is around 100 yards.   I played those two courses at least once a week for a few months and then played some full-length courses.  In the next place we lived I got away from the game and unfortunately haven't played much since.  But those were great little courses to learn on.

post #28 of 67

I think you should get a beginner out on the course as soon as they can hit the ball OK.  

 

Best thing to do is try to get out when it's really quiet and just play, re-hit some shots if they go wrong, just a general practice, nothing strict etc.

 

Do you guys often play 2 balls/hit an extra ball if it didn't go well etc.

 

I do this all the time and I can't help but think it helped me improve massively

post #29 of 67

I'd take someone on the course with me as long as they'd at least swung a club a few times. I'd only take them if they understood there are rules about pace of play, and that they'd have to pick their ball up and move it to where mine is if I tell them to.

 

I've always thought it was stupid to just take someone to the range a million times. I think people get the golfing bug the first time they write down a score on a hole. Then you have a mark to beat every other time you tee the ball up until you can complete an entire round and by then you're hooked.

post #30 of 67

I cannot remember how I got worked up to a full course as that was way too long ago.  I was out of golf 100% with out one swing of a club for 14 years do to a Job change and starting a family. It was just one thing that I just got out of to move on to other things.  When I go back into the game was with a job change as well.  We had a charity golf  scramble for work and that was my first time back. I played scrambles for 4 times to ease myself back in and then it was game on.  I thing adding a weaker person into a scramble will get them swings and give them good lies to hit from to build their confidence.

post #31 of 67

I can't think of a single recreational activity that I would recommend buying 5-6 lessons as a starting point. Before I invest that heavily, I want to know that the activity in question is something I intend to pursue for the long term. When I started playing the guitar 7-8 years ago, I fooled around with chord progressions and tabs online. Once I got the hang of that and started to enjoy myself, I invested in lessons. When I started playing tennis 25 years ago, I hit the ball with my dad at the park courts for a few years before he bought me private lessons.

 

When I took up golf, I played countless 9 hole rounds with friends at our local executive courses, before graduating to full 18's. It wasn't until a few years ago that I decided golf was worth the investment of lessons.

 

Absent an executive course to introduce a newcomer to the game, I would probably adopt the modified version of golf that several others here have suggested. Liberal mulligans, tee from the fairway, pick up when you are feel done with the hole, etc. etc.

post #32 of 67

Having taught this difficult game for years at a Resort and Privately, I can say that two of the biggest items that a beginner should learn before he/she walks on a course is: a) Etiquette and b) Distance control. Etiquette, like a good personality can make for an enjoyable round of golf with strangers who have played more, or other beginners' as well. Anyone who doesn't think that golfers pick up habits from other golfers has never taught the game. LOL All of us at one time wanted to putt like Nicklaus, or chip like Watson, spit like Woods. Whatever...  Irritating things like walking in someones' lline or taking a swipe at the green after a bad putt only to dislodge a beaver tail of sod, come to mind as lack of etiquette.   Distance control comes with hitting range balls and understanding the relationship of loft and distance. Lessons at a beginners stage can be mostly productive, as long as the instruction isn't mind numbing. Good golfers have by practice and repitition learned to eliminate alot of the unnecessary thoughts that creep into a golfer's mind. Any beginner in my humble opinion should spend 1/3 range and 2/3 chipping/putting to better learn the "feel" aspect of golf and not this ridiculous notion of hitting it 350 yds. Any wonder why 90% of the golfing public still can't break 100 even with todays equipment?

post #33 of 67
I have introduced about 5 people to golf.

I take them to the range, let them hit rentals, give them some quick tips and see what happens. Usually it takes about 30 balls before suddenly one is struck solid and BAM they are usually hooked. A couple more times to the range and we hit the course.

Look... As golfers, we all think "dang if I had only had lessons from day one, I would have progressed so much faster..." But beginners haven't realized this yet. Let then go out with thief make shift swing, they will hit 2 good shots all day and those 2 good shots will make their day. Once you get the feeling, you get hooked, and it isn't about chasing 90s, 80s, 70s until a little further down the line, at which point, lessons probably couldn't hurt. (But at this point, they will be willing to pay for them)
post #34 of 67

If you don't have an executive course - or a par 3 course - you can modify the course you normally play on. Focus on approach and scoring.

 

On one hole, have the player drop a ball in the fairway 200 yards out, and hit an approach to the green. Next hole, 150 yards out; then, 120 yards out. Play the par 3 holes as is. (Playing inside 200 yards at the beginning also cuts down on the frustration of looking for wayward tee shots).

 

Ask the player what shot he or she plans before they hit it.

 

This plan borrows from End Game focus, which is used by Russian chess masters to train young players. After the beginners learn the basic chess moves, the master then puts them through a number of practice games in which only a few pieces remain on each side. The master wants the students to focus on the end goal of chess, achieving checkmate against your opponent.

 

Similarly, the end goal of golf is to get the ball into the 4.25" hole, which the inside 200 approach emphasizes. (Of course, this works best on days when the course isn't overly crowded.)

post #35 of 67

I marshal at a premium golf course in Indio, CA during the winter. Promise me…please…do not take a total beginner on an 18-hole championship golf course with no lessons, no understanding of etiquette or pace of play. That is a recipe for disaster for them and for the golfers behind and around them, and yes, us marshals. While six lessons before hitting the course is a bit much, I would definitely encourage them to join a clinic for beginners where they learn the basics, how to behave on the course and get an understanding of the different aspects of the game. If there isn't an executive or muni in the neighbourhood, I would suggest a 'pitch and putt' would introduce shotmaking, the short game and how to behave on a course. At the age of 10 I was a beginner and junior member of a nice golf club that actually assigned me to a 'senior' member who was my mentor. My senior took me on the course for my first round and showed me how to move, behave and play a full golf course. While doing so he introduced me to the unwritten part of the game like etiquette, where to walk, where to leave my clubs, pace of play, and how to relate to other golfers. I wish there was more of that today. It would help grow the game via young people, give them confidence on the course and off, and teach them how to relate to older folks and us marshals. Good thread. Thanks for bringing this up.

post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu3baid View Post
 

 

1.  I think that without an executive course you don' take the beginner to play 18.. Play just 9..

2.  Play best ball with them every time out

3.  Convince them it is ok to play from the red tee's until they get better

4.  Don't cloud their thoughts with all the rules in golf

5.  I think more importantly as you have fun, you start feeding them thoughts of taking lessons and telling them how much they will improve if they put effort into it and even take lessons

6.  The other thing that helps is if there is someone that is decent playing with them too, because they will see nice shots and start thinking about how cool it would be to hit shots like that!

+1 on this.  

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