How you can help beginners

Golfers who are new to the game - and not just juniors - need a tutor as well as a pro coach. Here's how you can help.

Bob Warters's picture
Thu, 11 Dec 2003

Beginners need help

With golf having such a high profile – and sportsmanship and role model being current buzz words in the wake of England’s World Cup rugby triumph, chances are that thousands more will be muscling in on our beloved game in the coming year.

That means more beginners in our midst – golfers of all ages, who might very soon provide us more experienced campaigners with a future club pairs-winning partner. So here’s some advice on how to treat our new generation of golfers…

We‘ve all been there

Yes, We all had to start somewhere, so remember you were a beginner once. Remember how tough it was for you to pick up the rudiments when you first picked up a club.

Have patience

Nothing comes easy, especially if you don’t have natural hand-eye co-ordination. So be patient with a beginner…they’re usually dead keen to learn but naturally want to hit great shots from Day One.

Adopt a beginner

If you have the chance, take a new golfer under your wing, especially a youngster, encourage them. This may mean a few frustrating rounds, not played to your usual standard, but they will be forever grateful to an experienced golfer who showed them the ropes about the Rules, the etiquette of the game and how play smart with good course management.

Beginners practice a lot.

They practice harder than you do

Newcomers, especially juniors, tend to practice harder and more frequently than we experienced golfers tend to, so don’t knock it. Spare a little time to join them on the range and make sure they get the basics right – stance, grip, alignment and balance are the keys.

Join a group

Encourage a beginner to take set of group lessons with a professional where they will be in the company of others at a similar standard. It’s also important for them to have a putting and chipping lesson. A good short game will paying dividends faster than being able to hit the ball far while being inconsistent.

Recommend other courses

Recommendations of other courses to try in the area will always be appreciated. It’s important to get experience quickly outside your own comfort zone.

Buyers’ guide

What to buy and where to buy it, is information the beginner will forever be grateful for. There are many pitfalls regarding shafts and lofts we have all fallen for so recommend they start with a good 3-wood or a driver with high loft.

Scorecard nous

How to fill in a scorecard correctly is vital advice. Many beginners find this a nightmare at first, especially as they are responsible for someone else’s card. Take the time to explain the correct procedure, how to identify where handicap strokes are obtained and the vagaries of the stableford system.

Be competitive

Encourage them to enter as many competitions as possible and not to be nervous at playing alongside strangers. If they have a talent for the game, explain that the word ‘bandit’ when whispered in the direction of an inexperienced golfer, is really a compliment.

Don’t be a bore

And finally explain that the worst thing you can be is a golf-bore – describing your round shot-by-shot, hole-by-hole. When the eyes start to glaze over, you’ve just lost a future pairs partner.



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