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Rodoalo

Driving Range to the Course - When?

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Hey guys, how are you? 

I am a beginner who is slowly getting into golf and I've been going to the driving range in order to practice some shots. I do not hit well yet, but I would like to know your stories on how did you pass from hitting on the Driving Range to play a course. I mean, I wish to know how you knew you were ready for playing a course and starting the process of getting your own handicap. I get anxious of playing a course!

I still haven't got clubs, since I will be bringing them with me on April when I visit Miami, so nowadays I have practiced with clubs borrowed from the driving itself.

 

 

 

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I started with a par 3 course, then started on the driving range. 

When at the range, I made myself a smallish fairway using the distance  poles/flags. I did not try to make the whole driving range a fairway. Once I felt comfortable, keeping my ball flights in, or reasonably close to my make shift fairway, I figured I could handle an 18 hole course. 

The bottom line is, at some point a golfer has to play an 18 hole course. The golfer may, or may not be ready for a full 18 holes.  It really doesn't matter. The golfer just needs to get their feet wet. 

Main thing is, the golfer just needs to have fun. Don't take anything serious the first few times out playing 18 holes. Don't worry about anything, especially other golfers on the course. They were all beginners at one time too. 

Edited by Patch

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Like Patch said, just go out looking to have some fun. Find some par 3 courses, if available, and play those. Find some less challenging regulation courses and go there. Ease yourself into this. 

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I think when you are comfortable enough with the basics then there should be nothing stopping you from getting out on a course. Like has been said maybe try a par 3 or a even short 9 hole course.

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and jump in and crack on. I spent too much time on the range before i made the jump mainly because it was a complete unknown to be on a course and i kept thinking "what if i'm rubbish, what if i hold others up" etc.

Simple fact is every golfer has been there and got the T-shirt. It's natural to get anxious or nervous about getting on a course for the first time but you'll find most golfers are pretty accepting of new golfers. Let people play through if you feel you are holding them up, tell them you are just starting out. You'll be amazed at how many "veteran" golfers will help you out. Those that are off with you for being new (unfortunately you do get them) are best just ignored.

Enjoy the ride.....its damn addictive.

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Thanks for the replies!

I have a 18 holes course and 9 par 3 holes course 45 minutes away from my home, I may be starting over there on the par 3 course. Plus, this course has a driving range.

I got discouraged the other day because they told me (by the phone) on the local golf course of my city that the course was not for beginners and that if I hadn't had a handicap, I wouldn't probably be able to play. I know I am a beginner, but I certainly know the etiquette rules they do care about the most: keeping a quick pace, ready player rule (2019), divot and green marks fixing, etc. I know I can prove them I play, not greatly, but at least taking care!

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40 minutes ago, Rodoalo said:

I got discouraged the other day because they told me (by the phone) on the local golf course of my city that the course was not for beginners and that if I hadn't had a handicap, I wouldn't probably be able to play.

Do you know anyone who is more experienced that you could play with?  They could take you out for the first time and you can play best ball.  That gets rid of the anxiety of holding everyone up.  If you hit a poor shot, just pick it up and go to your friend's ball and play from there.  No penalty for poor shots and if you happen to hit a great one, it's a confidence booster.

My father and I started getting my brothers into golf and the first time we all went out, we did a 2 vs 2 best ball round.  One of my brothers was paired with me, the other with my dad.  Kept the pace up, anxiety low, and it was a good way for them to learn and transition to the course.

Best of luck!

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I think you have the right idea. The only thing I have to add is that don't be afraid to pick up your ball. Yes, you want to play by the rules and you will need to follow rules to keep a handicap. If a hole is too difficult, however, just pick up your ball and move on. Move either to the next hole or closer to the green (or even on the green) on the current hole. 

Lastly, it's not common for public courses here in the US to require a handicap. However, I know that when I was living in the Netherlands, my favorite public course there did require a handicap before they'll let you play. If you call one of those courses, and they say you can't get on without a handicap be sure to ask them where they recommend you play to establish a handicap. If the person on the phone doesn't know or won't say (first off, that's a terrible business model) make an appointment at that course with the pro. If you have to book a lesson. But they should let you interview the pro for free. (If not, again terrible business model) Talk to the pro at the course you want to play, ask him/her what you need to do to get on. What your next steps should be etc.

When I was living in The Netherlands I didn't have a handicap, but I was able to speak with the pro. He quizzed me on some golf etiquette stuff, and had me demonstrate that I could hit a ball reasonably well. He ended up giving me a signed business card to inform the clubhouse that they should allow me to play there. I was able to establish my handicap at that course after that. 

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6 hours ago, Foot Wedge said:

Do you know anyone who is more experienced that you could play with?  They could take you out for the first time and you can play best ball.  That gets rid of the anxiety of holding everyone up.  If you hit a poor shot, just pick it up and go to your friend's ball and play from there.  No penalty for poor shots and if you happen to hit a great one, it's a confidence booster.

My father and I started getting my brothers into golf and the first time we all went out, we did a 2 vs 2 best ball round.  One of my brothers was paired with me, the other with my dad.  Kept the pace up, anxiety low, and it was a good way for them to learn and transition to the course.

Best of luck!

 

6 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I think you have the right idea. The only thing I have to add is that don't be afraid to pick up your ball. Yes, you want to play by the rules and you will need to follow rules to keep a handicap. If a hole is too difficult, however, just pick up your ball and move on. Move either to the next hole or closer to the green (or even on the green) on the current hole. 

Lastly, it's not common for public courses here in the US to require a handicap. However, I know that when I was living in the Netherlands, my favorite public course there did require a handicap before they'll let you play. If you call one of those courses, and they say you can't get on without a handicap be sure to ask them where they recommend you play to establish a handicap. If the person on the phone doesn't know or won't say (first off, that's a terrible business model) make an appointment at that course with the pro. If you have to book a lesson. But they should let you interview the pro for free. (If not, again terrible business model) Talk to the pro at the course you want to play, ask him/her what you need to do to get on. What your next steps should be etc.

When I was living in The Netherlands I didn't have a handicap, but I was able to speak with the pro. He quizzed me on some golf etiquette stuff, and had me demonstrate that I could hit a ball reasonably well. He ended up giving me a signed business card to inform the clubhouse that they should allow me to play there. I was able to establish my handicap at that course after that. 

Thank you all for your messages!

I have a friend of mine who plays well, doesn’t have a handicap but I guess he has played on the local golf course. It is also good to play with somebody else.

Furthermore, I may consider scheduling a meeting with a professor under 20 (those who are allowed to sign your application cards for handicap) in order to demonstrate that I will take care of my play despite not having handicap. They have told me the ideal is having a handicap or having had one, but I think there are ways of demonstrating them I play and I know etiquette, but I believe I need some more practice of driving range and chip and putt.

Getting a handicap requires being a member of a club, and my nearest club is really, REALLY expensive. For now I may play without handicap, and without being member, paying green fees. 

 

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Moreover, classes are quite expensive here and you need to be member of a club.

The cheapest golf course I have is 30 minutes drive from here but it is located in a dangerous zone (risk of getting your car stolen, or other robberies). My parents wouldn't lend me the car for sure lol (disadvantages of still being a youngster). This course is really really cheap, cheap membership and cheap classes. It is my chance of getting a handicap, but I'll let this for the future, when I have my own car lol!.

I thought of buying some foam balls/whiffle/birdieballs and getting to the park to practice at least. 

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Rodoalo said:

I am a beginner who is slowly getting into golf and I've been going to the driving range in order to practice some shots.

If you are like I was and you've gone to the range several times, hitting an occasional good shot and some bad shots and you just can't stand not knowing how it translates to a course, then you're ready to give it a try.

  • Read up on course etiquette before you go so you don't feel out of place.
  • Try to go when the course isn't very busy - in the U.S. that means NOT Saturday and Sunday before noon (and sometimes not Saturday or Sunday at all), don't know about where you are.
  • Even better would be finding an experienced player to play with (but keep group small).
  • Whatever you do, don't slow down others.  Pick up if you get to double par, or if you are at 3,5, or 7 (depending on par 3, 4, or 5) and not on the green, pick up and drop your ball on the green so that you get a putt of two.
  • After you play, be sure to have a mix of range time and playing time - it's hard to get past beginner without a mix of both.
  • Have fun, remember at some point everyone was a beginner.

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1 hour ago, gbogey said:

If you are like I was and you've gone to the range several times, hitting an occasional good shot and some bad shots and you just can't stand not knowing how it translates to a course, then you're ready to give it a try.

  • Read up on course etiquette before you go so you don't feel out of place.
  • Try to go when the course isn't very busy - in the U.S. that means NOT Saturday and Sunday before noon (and sometimes not Saturday or Sunday at all), don't know about where you are.
  • Even better would be finding an experienced player to play with (but keep group small).
  • Whatever you do, don't slow down others.  Pick up if you get to double par, or if you are at 3,5, or 7 (depending on par 3, 4, or 5) and not on the green, pick up and drop your ball on the green so that you get a putt of two.
  • After you play, be sure to have a mix of range time and playing time - it's hard to get past beginner without a mix of both.
  • Have fun, remember at some point everyone was a beginner.

Thank you for your reply. I have studied the new rules of golf and I have seen the main objective of them is speeding up the pace. The fairway strike with lost golfs balls is another good rule to know (even more when you are a beginner and you're more likely to lose balls)

Edited by Rodoalo

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23 hours ago, Rodoalo said:

Hey guys, how are you? 

I am a beginner who is slowly getting into golf and I've been going to the driving range in order to practice some shots. I do not hit well yet, but I would like to know your stories on how did you pass from hitting on the Driving Range to play a course. I mean, I wish to know how you knew you were ready for playing a course and starting the process of getting your own handicap. I get anxious of playing a course!

I still haven't got clubs, since I will be bringing them with me on April when I visit Miami, so nowadays I have practiced with clubs borrowed from the driving itself.

My personal experience is definitely not something to go by. Getting kicked off the course for golf incompetence isn’t fun 🤪 😂

Honestly, it doesn’t matter what is your skill level as long as you’re willing to pick up on a hole when pace of play is lagging. If you're keeping up with the group in front just keep trying to get to the green.

That said, golf isn’t all that much fun when every shot is duffed. I’d say when you can get at least 1/3 shots to your max distance with any given club, it’s maybe time to try your luck on a course?

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I actually played on an 18 hole public links course before I ever got to a driving range.  My pals who were my foursome played a  8/hole max rule and no more than 3 putts. The idea was to have fun.   We just enjoyed the game more than we were determined to get so focused in on who won each round.  We were friends.  Some of us took lessons, some really focused in on getting better equipment.  As a result, we improved as we could.

Perhaps lack of you tube, golf blogs and little on TV other than the Wide World of Golf and the occasional tournament televised by Shell, made it less focused. I had no chance for club tournaments as the private clubs were too expensive to join or even play. I was lucky in that the Milwaukee County public courses were inexpensive.  Start there, find instruction, don't worry about other golfers (even your friends). Use your growing knowledge of the game, make notes on what worked  and what went wrong.

If you decide to follow one method of approaching the game, don't change methods at the first time it goes wrong. And, I guarantee it will go wrong at some time.

And, keep in mind what one 2 time major PGA champ told me when we were paired together playing a public course one morning.  "ALWAYS keep in mind at every level that this is a game.

Good luck in the years ahead.

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I just started a few years ago. Took two lessons, went on the driving range a few times and then ventured out on a very short public 9 hole course on my own. I went at a time where no-one was around. Did this for 10-15 rounds and then ventured on to a bigger course. After 2 years, I have still yet to play 18 holes, but enjoying it more, as I don’t tire myself out too much. Although the range can be helpful, I don’t think it really compares to playing a course.

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Perhaps lack of you tube, golf blogs and little on TV other than the Wide World of Golf and the occasional tournament televised by Shell, made it less focused. I had no chance for club tournaments as the private clubs were too expensive to join or even play. I was lucky in that the Milwaukee County public courses were inexpensive.  Start there, find instruction, don't worry about other golfers (even your friends). Use your growing knowledge of the game, make notes on what worked  and what went wrong.

Thank you all for your messages! Unluckily golf clubs in Uruguay are not public, they are all semi-private, open to the public but paying a considerable fee. About what you said, do you all guys think you can manage to teach yourself through videos, nowadays? Found some great instructors on youtube such as Rick Shiels, who focus on almost every aspect of golf!

 

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Sounds like you need an extended vacation in the U.S. - we have too many golf courses that need players.

I found some internet videos/teachings helpful when I was learning if I was trying to address specific problems, like how to fix a pull.  But you have to fix these things, as Hogan said, by digging out of the dirt.

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On 3/12/2019 at 7:28 PM, Rodoalo said:

Thank you all for your messages! Unluckily golf clubs in Uruguay are not public, they are all semi-private, open to the public but paying a considerable fee. About what you said, do you all guys think you can manage to teach yourself through videos, nowadays? Found some great instructors on youtube such as Rick Shiels, who focus on almost every aspect of golf!

 

I'm 66 years old, and back when I was in my late teens, I learned the game by reading instructional articles in Golf Digest, with some occasional instruction from an Uncle who was a country club pro and played the occasional Tour event before WWII. 

I had the advantages of living at home, having a good job that paid me decent money, easy access to a practice range which I frequented 5-6 days a week, sometimes twice a day, and inexpensive public golf courses to play! 

You have greater challenges than I did, but I have no doubt that if you really want this you'll find a way to get it done! I wish you good luck.

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