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How to Move a Beginner to the Course - Page 3

post #37 of 67

I was taken to a range after work to hit with a few buddies, then I bought a cheap set of box store clubs and started going to the range myself.  This went on for two weeks, then I played in a work scramble for charity.  That was the first time playing on a course.

That was over 20 years ago.

 

I would just go mostly with other beginners or whoever I could find.  Finally hooked up with a guy that was retired and loved to play.  We played just about every week, at least ever time we could for about five years or so.  Then he died and I gave up the game.  But during that time I was able to teach my sons the game.

 

Before Larry passed away he upgraded his clubs and gifted me with his old set. 

About four years ago my younger brother started playing, and last year he convinced me to play a charity scramble with him and two other guys from work.  Two weeks after that game I ordered clubs that fit me a little better and started playing again in earnest.  My kids are grown now and me and my sons play when we can, but one is in the military and lives in another state.  Last year we got to all go on Father's Day, it was the best Father's Day I ever had.

 

I understand why some folks would want lessons, I am sure I would be a better player today with them.  But it is also great playing with someone that will help you along.  And it is even better when you get to help someone else along.  A golf score is a relative thing.  What I might consider a great day on the course, others might have to seek profession counseling to get over.

 

Take new golfers with you, play when others don't if you can.  Pick-up when you have too, play best ball if you have to, don't keep score if you have too.  Try and stay out of others way as best you can. 

 

People who demand that you have hours of professional lessons before you set foot on a course don't play the same game I do.  And that's OK, pay your money, play your game.

post #38 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

Though it worked for your wife, I think that it's ridiculous to suggest that everyone - or even most people - should start by spending 4-6 hours getting instruction before they ever get the chance to PLAY the game. Who on earth would do this? Could you imagine any other sport starting that way?

 

You visit a bowling alley, they rent you shoes and you grab a ball, and you throw it down the lane.

 

You want to play disc golf, you grab a disc, and you throw it.

 

You want to play basketball, you dribble a bit, and throw the ball towards the hoop.

 

You want to play baseball, tennis, ping pong, pool, darts… you start playing. The vast majority of people are not going to spend 4-6 hours practicing a sport they might not even enjoy!

 

That's why I've asked the question.

 

heres the problem with comparing those to a true beginner trying golf - with each of the other sports - bowling, disc golf, bball - theres going to be a measure of success with every attempt.  even in bowling, if someone throws a gutter ball every time, at least theyve thrown the ball.  they throw two gutter balls and then their turn is over and then next person goes. 

 

with golf and a true beginner, theres a good chance that they wont even hit the ball.  i remember having a summer job and some of the guys were ribbing me for playing golf, and i challenged one of the philistines to try and to hit a ball more than 100 yards.  we teed a ball up and he grabbed my driver and missed 8 times in a row.  i told him to slow down and just try to make contact and not kill it and he still missed it 5 more times.

 

with the other sports, you literally cannot fail (unless youre in a wheelchair or something like that).  you can suck at it, but at least you threw the bowling ball, you threw the frisbee, you tossed the bball, 

 

i think that someone should go to a range first and learn how to make contact before they go on to a real course.  someones first golf swings should not happen on a "real" course.

post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

Though it worked for your wife, I think that it's ridiculous to suggest that everyone - or even most people - should start by spending 4-6 hours getting instruction before they ever get the chance to PLAY the game. Who on earth would do this? Could you imagine any other sport starting that way?

 

You visit a bowling alley, they rent you shoes and you grab a ball, and you throw it down the lane.

 

You want to play disc golf, you grab a disc, and you throw it.

 

You want to play basketball, you dribble a bit, and throw the ball towards the hoop.

 

You want to play baseball, tennis, ping pong, pool, darts… you start playing. The vast majority of people are not going to spend 4-6 hours practicing a sport they might not even enjoy!

 

That's why I've asked the question.

 

heres the problem with comparing those to a true beginner trying golf - with each of the other sports - bowling, disc golf, bball - theres going to be a measure of success with every attempt.  even in bowling, if someone throws a gutter ball every time, at least theyve thrown the ball.  they throw two gutter balls and then their turn is over and then next person goes. 

 

with golf and a true beginner, theres a good chance that they wont even hit the ball.  i remember having a summer job and some of the guys were ribbing me for playing golf, and i challenged one of the philistines to try and to hit a ball more than 100 yards.  we teed a ball up and he grabbed my driver and missed 8 times in a row.  i told him to slow down and just try to make contact and not kill it and he still missed it 5 more times.

 

with the other sports, you literally cannot fail (unless youre in a wheelchair or something like that).  you can suck at it, but at least you threw the bowling ball, you threw the frisbee, you tossed the bball, 

 

i think that someone should go to a range first and learn how to make contact before they go on to a real course.  someones first golf swings should not happen on a "real" course.

 

At least he "swung the club".....  Made a stroke....

post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by 14ledo81 View Post

At least he "swung the club".....  Made a stroke....

Yeah but nothing happened. With the other sports, the ball/Frisbee moves. Maybe not well, or accurately, but they moved the ball. A whiff in golf? Over and over and over? Go to the range.

I know when I was starting I would not have wanted to be on a real course swinging and missing more than I was making contact.
post #41 of 67

I see true beginners on a 500 yd par 3 I practice on. Not uncommon to see them ground 4-5 balls just to get to the green on a 50 yard hole and that's followed by bladed chips before they get a putter out. However on the next hole they may get lucky and thin it over. Most have no idea what they are doing but it is fun for them and IMO good experience.

post #42 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post
 

I see true beginners on a 500 yd par 3 I practice on. Not uncommon to see them ground 4-5 balls just to get to the green on a 50 yard hole and that's followed by bladed chips before they get a putter out. However on the next hole they may get lucky and thin it over. Most have no idea what they are doing but it is fun for them and IMO good experience.

 

"500 yard par 3"? :-D (I know you probably just hit an extra 0).

Edit: Well after reading it again I guess the whole course is 500 yards? :doh:

 

Seems there are many people commenting on this thread that assume a beginner HAS to play out the holes and should stay off of the course until they can reach the hole in some arbitrary number of strokes (decided by somebody but I'm not sure who).

 

As I said before I can take anybody to any course and the group behind me will never be held up.

post #43 of 67

Yeah 500 total yards and I agree nothing says they have to finish every hole. That's why I stay out of their way when I am out there. I am on their turf and no reason they should feel intimidated by a guy carrying a wedge and a putter on a rinky-dink par 3. I introduced a friend to golf at 68 a few years ago. We did some putting a few times and he bought some clubs. We headed out to the par 3 one day to mess around. I thought he would just chip and putt but to my surprise he tossed a ball down and whacked it from the tee. He actually cleared a ditch on a 65 yd hole and dang near hit the green. I don't think learning golf has to be an intimidating experience where a seasoned golfer should scare someone new away from getting out there or banish them to the range. Lots of courses have cool beginner programs. I think I mentioned earlier that 500 yd par 3 course hosts adult beginner leagues.

post #44 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post

 

heres the problem with comparing those to a true beginner trying golf - with each of the other sports - bowling, disc golf, bball - theres going to be a measure of success with every attempt.  even in bowling, if someone throws a gutter ball every time, at least theyve thrown the ball.

 

My only point in typing that up: you don't need six hours of instruction to not whiff 50+% of the time. Get the person comfortable so they're not gonna whiff all the time, and then get them on the golf course (at the right time and with the right conditions).

post #45 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

My only point in typing that up: you don't need six hours of instruction to not whiff 50+% of the time. Get the person comfortable so they're not gonna whiff all the time, and then get them on the golf course (at the right time and with the right conditions).


 

 

i agree.  i guess my take home point is, a persons first experience swinging/hitting a ball shouldnt really be on a real course.

post #46 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post
 

i agree.  i guess my take home point is, a persons first experience swinging/hitting a ball shouldnt really be on a real course.

 

I too agree. Which is why I had to respond, because you quoted me as if I was saying to just throw someone out on the golf course. I just said they didn't need six hours of instruction first.

post #47 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 14ledo81 View Post

At least he "swung the club".....  Made a stroke....

Yeah but nothing happened. With the other sports, the ball/Frisbee moves. Maybe not well, or accurately, but they moved the ball. A whiff in golf? Over and over and over? Go to the range.

I know when I was starting I would not have wanted to be on a real course swinging and missing more than I was making contact.

 

I actually agree with you.  Just playing devils advocate.

 

I also can't see how it could be fun for anyone to whiff continually on a course.

post #48 of 67

I think @Abu3baid has it pretty much covered as in the above post. The only thing i would think to add to his list as 7. maybe would be to advise on etiquette and how to play "ready golf", just simple things when needed such as putting your bags on the side of the green closest the next tee so you dont have to walk around it and waste time. Also etiquette that isnt always obvious, such as not standing on the lines of peoples' putts

post #49 of 67

I picked up golf at age 53. Took early retirement and my wife signed me up at the community college for a six week group lesson, twice a week at the driving range. So I  had six practice sessions by week 4, including one on etiquette when a group of us went over to a  nine hole muni and had a good time.

 

Got my son into the game the same way. Took him to the range for a few weeks. He hit so many shanks, the owner moved us to the far end station to protect the other hitters. LOL. Later to a beginners par 3 where everyone is there to learn. He hit a few greens and scored a par the last time before he moved out of town and no longer plays.

post #50 of 67

How about considering when the new player FEELS he or she is ready to step onto the first tee?  I'd say most guys want the clubs and directions to the first tee.  And that's fine and I'm totally ok with that.  OTOH, my wife needed considerable time learning before she'd get within 200 yards of #1 tee on any course.

 

While my wife was learning, we spent most of the learning/practice time in real conditions at two great practice facilities.  We used the hole-back-to-tee method.  The key to the wife believing she was ready to play a course was gaining confidence hitting driver off a tee. I feel this was key:  If you can't get a ball off a tee and flying reasonably in the right direction, you might want to delay that first round of golf on a real course until you can.

 

From there, we hit a local executive style course.  And darned if she didn't nearly HOLE one, (with a good swing, mind you!) on a par-3 her first time out.  Literal tap-in birdie.  That's all she wrote.  Now, we play as much as we can, take golf vacations together and she loves the game.

 

dave

post #51 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave s View Post
 

How about considering when the new player FEELS he or she is ready to step onto the first tee?

 

 

I feel this was key:  If you can't get a ball off a tee and flying reasonably in the right direction, you might want to delay that first round of golf on a real course until you can.

 

to your first point, if they feel ready but are unable to accomplish your second point, then i think what they feel is irrelevant.

post #52 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

I too agree. Which is why I had to respond, because you quoted me as if I was saying to just throw someone out on the golf course. I just said they didn't need six hours of instruction first.

I actually disagree. I've taken several friends out on the course for their first experience playing the game. I think it's the best way to get someone hooked. Get three other guys to go and explain to the rookie how pace of play works and that he might need to just pick up his ball on a few holes. Tell him not to worry about keeping score. Just relax, have a couple of drinks, and enjoy the day and hanging out with the boys. I've never had anyone say they didn't have a great time. On the other hand, someone could easily go to the range for the first time and get aggravated that they are mishitting every shot and never want to play again. If they've been on a course and had a good time they are much more likely to put in the range time or get lessons to improve. Get them on a course ASAP. Just make sure you are there to supervise and teach them proper etiquette. 

 

Another good way is Topgolf. I went with three friends a few weeks ago. One of them had never swung a club in his life. The next day we went out and bought a set of cheap clubs. 

post #53 of 67

I have introduced a number of adult friends to the game over the years and I've always tried to start them out at the range for as many sessions as they are willing to do(usually 2-4 times) before they hit the course for the first time. Without the option of a par 3 or executive course I would attempt to persuade the beginner to perhaps tee off from the 200 yard marker or at a minimum play from the most forward tees. If they agreed to play from the forward tees I would also play there with them just so they don't feel belittled being the only one up there.

 

With my son it was easy. He started at age 5 in junior clinics and we started playing par 3's the following year. I'm lucky that in my area we have numerous par 3 courses and one executive course. Even better is that two of those par 3 courses are nice and short with nearly every hole under 100 yards. They were perfect for junior and adult beginners! The year after that we played the executive course which was a little longer and by the end of that year he was playing 9 holes on my regulation home course from the most forward tees.

 

I give my Father in law a lot of credit for how he did it. He took up the game when he retired and I never told him he couldn't play on a regulation course until he could hit the ball decent but that's basically what he did. He spent the first 3 months hitting balls a couple times a week and joining my son and I when I took him to the par 3 courses. It made his transition to the regulation courses much smoother.

 

I've been on the other end of the spectrum where I've had buddies that just want to go out and "try it" for the first time. Those were some long, long, long painful rounds!!! Avoid that at all costs!!!!

post #54 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
 

 

Though it worked for your wife, I think that it's ridiculous to suggest that everyone - or even most people - should start by spending 4-6 hours getting instruction before they ever get the chance to PLAY the game. Who on earth would do this? Could you imagine any other sport starting that way?

 

You visit a bowling alley, they rent you shoes and you grab a ball, and you throw it down the lane.

 

You want to play disc golf, you grab a disc, and you throw it.

 

You want to play basketball, you dribble a bit, and throw the ball towards the hoop.

 

You want to play baseball, tennis, ping pong, pool, darts… you start playing. The vast majority of people are not going to spend 4-6 hours practicing a sport they might not even enjoy!

 

That's why I've asked the question.

I know this was your post from over a week ago, but I take this into consideration when I say "Unleash them and let them have fun". The same way I learned how to swim, with a swift kick in the ass. If somebody wants to learn how to play golf, take them out on the course and let them swing away. If they show interest in wanting to get better, then let them decide whether to take lessons. The groups behind you won't mind much if they're hacking around so long as you do your best to maintain a reasonable pace of play and allow people to play through when appropriate.

* When I use you I obviously don't mean you, Erik. You as in the general public/golfer.

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