Beginner Golf Courses: Are All Courses the Same? Video
When golfers start to play the game, clearly they want to test themselves out on the golf course as quickly as possible. We’ve really got to be careful that we take our time and actually we choose and select the right golf course quite carefully. I often consider that learning to play proper golf is very similar to learning to drive a car. And I can guarantee that when you were learning to drive a car if you drive a car, the instructor or the teacher or the person that was taking you out in the car for the first time, didn’t head for the highway when it was rush hour traffic at 5 o’ clock in the afternoon and teach you to drive with thousands of other cars around you on the most difficult stretch of road. They’ll have taken you to a nice quiet area maybe a private road or a parking lot where there was nobody else around and you learn to apply your skills and you learn to drive that car in a very controlled, quiet environment, on an easy stretch of road first.
And then as you get better you improve your skills, therefore you make the road a bit more difficult and then ultimately you get to a position where you can drive down a five lane highway at night with the rain, with three other people in the car and your skills your driving skills, just happen naturally. And that’s the way we want to learn and progress as golfers. When you’re standing on the range mat hitting golf balls, you probably have quite a few different thoughts in your mind about the things you should be doing. So doing that on a very difficult golf course, on a very long golf course, on a very busy golf course is really not the place to be.
The place where you should start playing golf is on the driving range. The next step from the driving range out on to the golf course really needs to be done quite carefully. Play on a very short golf course, something that’s not too difficult, maybe pick a time of day when it’s quite quiet, either very early in the morning, very late on in the afternoon. The one thing that golfers hate the most when they’re learning to play golf is being rushed by other golfers, so feel free to stand to the side, let a group of more experienced golfers go through and then take a turn on a golf course.
I would also encourage you to actually look for shorter or maybe even just par three golf courses. Now par three is the description of a hole that should be played in three shots, so a good player, a professional player would hit the ball on to the green in one shot and then take two putts to get the ball in the hole making their three. Par fours would be two shots to get on the green and two putts for the professional. Par five would be three shots to get on to the green and two putts for the professional. So clearly the par three holes are shorter and therefore slightly easier for the beginner. You'll actually be able to see where the flag is and maybe your good shots would reach the green. Whereas if I’m playing on a par five it might be 300 yards this way, turn through the gap in the trees on the right hand side, another 200 yards over that way, jump up and over the lake, round the bunker and then there’s the green and the flag all the way over there. And it might take you 25 minutes to get there, you can’t see the flag off the first shot, and you can get a bit dispirited when you start playing golf that way.
So you start off, find a nice, easy simple par three golf course, maybe just play nine holes first as well. That would still take you about an hour and a half to two hours anyway, so don’t take a big chunk of golf all in one go and play a five hour round on a seven thousand yard golf course. Find a golf course that’s two thousand yards, nine holes, par threes, take it steady. Learn your trade that way and as you get better like the driving the car analogy, as you get better, make the golf course better and more difficult and ultimately that’s the best way and the fastest way for you to get better at golf.