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Been a really, really long time since I played, and am nervous to just go out on busy course and...

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

It's been YEARS since I last played (and even then, it was on a small 9-hole course) and I've just recently started investing time, money and my attention back to golf. I never took lessons at any point, and have always "tried to fake it 'til I made it" while playing. Unfortunately where I live now there's no not-so-busy course around, and I'm nervous to just go to an 18-hole place and potentially look like a complete doofus in front of people. So my question is this...

 

- Should I just buy a roll up putting green (for inside) and driving net setup (for outside) and practice off the course until I feel comfortable to properly swing/aim/etc.? Or go to a driving range even???

 

- Should I only tackle the busy, 18-hole courses after getting some lessons from a legit golf instructor?

 

- Should I try to play on very low traffic/overlooked tee times, to not feel so much pressure?

 

My biggest concern is indirectly screwing up the game for others. My next concern is being so self-conscious about my what surely will be bad first few games to not focus on the game itself and improve.

 

Any advice would be appreciated!

post #2 of 26

I don't mind playing with a less skilled player as long as he or she plays fast. Pick up the ball after your past triple bogey and not on the green and don't act like your surprised you hit a bad shot. We all know how it was when we started and were just glad were not their. Good luck!!!

post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottcarmichael View Post
 

It's been YEARS since I last played (and even then, it was on a small 9-hole course) and I've just recently started investing time, money and my attention back to golf. I never took lessons at any point, and have always "tried to fake it 'til I made it" while playing. Unfortunately where I live now there's no not-so-busy course around, and I'm nervous to just go to an 18-hole place and potentially look like a complete doofus in front of people. So my question is this...

 

- Should I just buy a roll up putting green (for inside) and driving net setup (for outside) and practice off the course until I feel comfortable to properly swing/aim/etc.? Or go to a driving range even???

 

- Should I only tackle the busy, 18-hole courses after getting some lessons from a legit golf instructor?

 

- Should I try to play on very low traffic/overlooked tee times, to not feel so much pressure?

 

My biggest concern is indirectly screwing up the game for others. My next concern is being so self-conscious about my what surely will be bad first few games to not focus on the game itself and improve.

 

Any advice would be appreciated!

 

Yes on the lessons but the only way you'll ever feel comfortable is to get out and play. If there are twilight times where the course is less busy then that might be the way to go for the first couple of rounds. 

 

Yes on the hitting net but practicing on a driving range would be more beneficial. I would do both along with the lessons.

 

Don't worry about ruining it for others. You can be less-skilled and still play fast and/or let people play through. Everybody had to start out the same as you. Of course you'll be self conscious, but so what? As long as you don't let that stop you, you'll be fine.

 

Good luck.

post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottcarmichael View Post
 

It's been YEARS since I last played (and even then, it was on a small 9-hole course) and I've just recently started investing time, money and my attention back to golf. I never took lessons at any point, and have always "tried to fake it 'til I made it" while playing. Unfortunately where I live now there's no not-so-busy course around, and I'm nervous to just go to an 18-hole place and potentially look like a complete doofus in front of people. So my question is this...

 

- Should I just buy a roll up putting green (for inside) and driving net setup (for outside) and practice off the course until I feel comfortable to properly swing/aim/etc.? Or go to a driving range even???

 

- Should I only tackle the busy, 18-hole courses after getting some lessons from a legit golf instructor?

 

- Should I try to play on very low traffic/overlooked tee times, to not feel so much pressure?

 

My biggest concern is indirectly screwing up the game for others. My next concern is being so self-conscious about my what surely will be bad first few games to not focus on the game itself and improve.

 

Any advice would be appreciated!

Welcome to the forum @scottcarmichael .

 

I would go out with a friend if you can and play scramble style.  That is take your tee shot, then move your ball to your friend spot if you had a miss hit or if the ball ends up in a bad place.  Tell the others that you have not played in a long time and want to get comfortable again.  The others can play their normal game and you won't be holding them up.  Play 9 holes at first.

 

I've done this with new players and it really works wonders.  If you have a good hit, but its in the rough, move it to the fairway.  If you are struggling to get the ball in the air from the fairway, tee it up again right in the fairway.  This is a method some instructors use with new players.  Try to play reasonable fast too and don't think too much.  Have fun and tell us how it goes.

post #5 of 26

What @boogielicious said. Just go have fun. If you're lagging behind just pick up your ball and drop it next to your buddy. The game is just that, a game, it's supposed to be fun. Remember that and don't get stressed. Last month I was going through hell (or as some people call it, a swing) and I couldn't play worth a crap. I still had fun and picked up the ball whenever I needed to to keep the game moving along. No biggie, it's a game.

post #6 of 26
You should probably hit the driving range first, just so you know what to expect. Then maybe go to the course when it's a bit less busy.
post #7 of 26
+1 (or is it 3 by now...?) on the driving range for no other reason than to knock off much of the rust and get an idea of how you might be hitting the ball - allows you to have some initial expectations when you hit the course. Don't expect to fix everything in one or two range sessions. Following that, I agree completely on the "get on the course and play".

What @boogielicious suggested is a great idea. As others have said, many (if not most) golfers will understand and not have issues provided you're not taking forever and know when to pick up and move to the next hole (or just pick up in the fairway and drop on the green for some putting practice). Lastly, play smart and within your abilities until you're back in the groove. In other words, don't try "drawing it around that tree from the rough and running it up to the green" or "carrying a water hazard from 190 out" until you're ready. Punching out to the fairway or laying up for a lesser risk/skill shot will do wonders.

Give it a go - everything will fall back into place soon enough. No matter what, have fun - you're golfing after all!!
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies - at least now I have a better understanding of what I should do (and in what order):

 

- Practice at a driving range several times

 

- Practice on my own, at home

 

- Maybe get a refresher lesson or two

 

- Then on the actual course, play at a decent speed and don't get hung up on stuff I won't be able to make even if I swing a dozen times

 

I appreciate all the helpful advice!

post #9 of 26

One thing to remember. You are never the worst player on the golf course at any given time. Just have fun, and enjoy yourself. You are there to please your self, and what others think is irrelevant. . Besides even the better player hits more bad shots they want. 

post #10 of 26

Don't worry about keeping score the first few times you play. It may work to help relieve any pressure you might unintentionally place upon yourself while you're getting used to moving the ball down the fairway again.

 

And don't feel bad if you play bad.

 

I've been playing off and on for 20 years. I've yet to break 100 but I still go out there and have a good time. (Lessons are in the works for this winter hopefully)

post #11 of 26

I agree with what some of the others have said.  Above all, remember you are out there to enjoy yourself.

post #12 of 26

Practice, lessons and then more practice.

When I first started playing, my instructor went over the basics, grip, posture, swing technique.

We worked only with the pitching wedge and a 9-iron.

 

I borrowed my roommate's clubs and off to the park where I could hit these two clubs.

I had a shag bag and would hit in one direction and then hit them back.

A few hours of practice after work for a month.

 

The next lesson I worked with mid-irons and then another month of practice.

The next lesson was working with long irons and woods.

After a spring of practice, I played my first round of golf in July.

 

I continued to practice and found a par three and an executive course and played several times for the rest of the summer.

This method gave me confidence and set my expectations at a real level which I found enabled me to make improvements at a moderate rate.

 

This has enabled me to enjoy my journey of playing the game of golf for many years.

 

Practice, practice and lessons are the means to enjoy the game.

Then when you buy those new clubs at some point, you will more likely not become disappointed and less likely become frustrated.

 

Club Rat

post #13 of 26

As Club Rat said: practice, and lessons.

 

A couple of lessons can go a long way in getting you oriented to the game. Getting the basics of grip and stance are half the game for beginners. Plus, a good pro can quickly tweak you out of any body movements that put wobble into your swing.

 

A great way to start is at a par 3 course. There you focus on hitting the green and scoring, and don't have the temptation to swing too hard trying for 300-yd. drives.

 

As others have said, when you get to triple bogie just pick up our ball.

 

Once you have been playing a little, play nine holes on a slow day and do a little on-course practice. Driving range helps groove the swing, but on-course play helps you handle situational challenges: uphill and downhill lies, shaggy rough, etc.

 

And don't try so hard you make yourself miserable. You're out there to have fun. :dance: 

post #14 of 26

I agree with all.  I walk on to courses as a single a lot and get matched up with all kinds of hackers.  I never care unless they are super slow.  It never fails that people give you all their excuses on the first tee.  I've had a guy tell me for 3 holes how bad he sucks.  He kept asking my buddy and I what we usually shoot.  It was quite annoying.    A little golf etiquette is nice too!

 

I always told my wife to pick up her ball when she's twice the par.

 

On a side note... Every time I play as a single and get matched up with a married couple, they are always some of the nicest people I've ever met.  Maybe couples that golf together have happy marriages?  

post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkNballs View Post

 Maybe couples that golf together have happy marriages?  

I'm super nice to my wife, too, when she has a club in her hand... d4_w00t.gif

Lol - couldn't resist. All kidding aside, my wife just started playing a few months ago out of the blue and it's great being able to share this with her. Costing me a fortune, but it's still fun.
post #16 of 26

If it were me, I'd definitely hit up the range to get a feel for my swing again and to get my muscles reacquainted with the golf swing. Once you start to feel comfortable swinging a club then you're probably good to go with an actual round. Even if you don't play well, no one's gonna care as long as you maintain a proper pace of play.

post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkNballs View Post
 

I never care unless they are super slow.  It never fails that people give you all their excuses on the first tee.  I've had a guy tell me for 3 holes how bad he sucks.  He kept asking my buddy and I what we usually shoot.  It was quite annoying.    A little golf etiquette is nice too!

 

I will definitely keep this in mind, as it will be evident if I'm doing poorly (don't want to annoy other players).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grndslmhttr3 View Post
 

If it were me, I'd definitely hit up the range to get a feel for my swing again and to get my muscles reacquainted with the golf swing. Once you start to feel comfortable swinging a club then you're probably good to go with an actual round. Even if you don't play well, no one's gonna care as long as you maintain a proper pace of play.

 

I will do that (hit the range first) and then go do an actual round.

 

A nearby course has a nice free putting green so I practiced for over two hours on that last Saturday and it made me feel more confident. This weekend I'll probably do the range deal (it's like $7 a bucket).

post #18 of 26
I'm in the same boat as you. Haven't played in about 30 years! Remember when woods were actually made of wood? Anyway I signed up for a "Get Golf Read" class locally which is only $99 for 5 lessons. It just covers the basics but is cheap and they get you on the course for a few holes. It's a PGA program. Should help get my feet wet.
Jenaro
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TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Practice Range › Instruction and Playing Tips › Been a really, really long time since I played, and am nervous to just go out on busy course and swing away (and messup horribly). Advice?