At a time when golf is in the limelight after the Olympics, many intend to or have already started playing golf. Golf is an unusual sport because of the many aspects to it. Here are a few tips to help with the journey:
Learn basic etiquette and rules: Learning the basics rules of golf may seem like a task because of all the technical jargon, however they are easily available on the internet. Your local golf professional or teaching pro at your practice facility or club will also be able to give you a basic framework to begin with. The R&A website is also a great resource to work with, they have an entire rulebook to go through and you can even quiz yourself at the end!
Find a coach/ get help: Many people take lessons to begin learning how to play while others choose to self learn via the internet. There are many different ways to swing a club and play golf. The important part is to find what works for you. Stay with the same idea or method instead of mixing up various ideals or rapidly skipping from one to the other. Having the basics right will go a long way in getting better at the game. An extra set of eyes in the form of a coach will ensure at least the basics are being learnt well before you get on the golf course.
Practice before you get on the golf course: Spend some time at the range getting the ball airborne as well as spend some time chipping and putting to learn all aspects of the game, before heading to the golf course. You can also start working on getting a handicap once you are able to hit balls and chip and putt decently. Regular practice will help with this.
Practice more short game: most beginners make the mistake of beating balls all day at the range, but any pro will tell you that they practice their chipping-putting much more than their long game. To become a better player, having a good short game arsenal is far more important than hitting the ball long or hard. You can recover many shots on the golf course just by having a solid chipping and putting base.
Budget: While golf in the country is slowly but surely becoming more accessible to everyone, it is a slightly more expensive sport than usual. Caddies, balls, equipment and practice facilities all come with a fee. A good idea might be to set aside a budget based on your capacity, interest and time commitment to the game.
Anisha is a professional golfer from Kolkata currently playing on the WGAI pro tour. Apart from being a professional golfer, she has completed her Bsc. International Relations from Grinnel and Univeristy of London. Anisha had been teaching at a school for the underprivileged all through her high school and is regularly fundraising for charitable causes. Her favorite hobbies apart from playing golf are reading, swimming and cooking. She can be found playing her golf regularly at Royal Calcutta Golf Club and Tollygunge Club.
Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to Anisha Agarwalla.
Anisha is an ambassador for Golf Partee, the collection of polo shirts that she loves can be found here.