Golf for Beginners – A Course I Have Just Completed

June 13, 2017

golf-beginners If you have been following my post over the past few months you will know that I recently started playing golf. The game has really grabbed me and I have been spending most evenings practicing on the driving range and playing on the course during the weekend.

I have officially got a handicap… drum roll please. I’m officially a 24 handicap, which I’m pretty pleased with. Basically with a 24 golf handicaP I get at least a shot on every hole and on some holes (strokes from 1-6) I get 2 shots. Hole rated with a stroke of 1-6 are the most difficult on the golf course so getting two shots is awesome!

Last month I enrolled in a golf for beginners course and had an absolute blast learning how to improve my game, both from a skill level and at the mental level.

It’s incredible how much of golf requires a strong head. Unlike many sports that are purely physical, golf is really influenced by the mental game. For example, a 200 yard drive counts the same as a short 3 foot putt, but the latter is arguably a lot more difficult to do because the mind plays all sorts of games with oneself when there is pressure.

The other day I had my first real chance for a birdie, this is a score of one under par for a hole. The hole was a par four. I had hit a pretty good drive up the left side of the fairway. I had a 6 iron left to the green and just struck it perfectly. The ball tracked the flag from the moment it was airborne. It landed on the green, about 6 yards short of the flag and roll up to the cup stopping just 3 feet short. I seriously thought that it was going in.

Anyway, by the time I got up to the green I was bricking it! I could really feel the pressure, even though it was just a practice round, this would be my first birdie. A big thing for a golf beginner.

I took my time to read the putt from all angles and all it needed was a good firm roll just right off centre. But as I got over the ball my mind was racing and I just knew I was going to miss it.

Taking the putter back felt like an eternity and as I hit it I knew I had messed it up. The ball shot past the cup and then to top it all off I missed the return putt for a par. I was absolutely gutted!

I tell this story as it gave me a great appreciation of how important the mental game is to golf. I have bought Dave Pelz’s awesome book on putting to help me 1. get better at putting and 2. get a stronger head so that my mind doesn’t play games on me.

Anyway, as I was saying the course I have completed for golf beginners was super useful. It consists of a number of useful videos on how to get started in golf – i.e. the dress code, rules and etiquette. It then covers instruction on how to hold the club and hit the ball effectively. These videos are pretty detailed and really instructive – you will learn how to shape the ball with a draw or fade, as well as how to hit your driver far. Finally the course completes with information on beginner golf equipment and clubs, this page I found really useful: http://www.golfguideforbeginners.com/best-beginner-golf-clubs/

I will be publishing how I get on here later this year. Hopefully my handicap continues to drop!

Happy golfing!

Finding the best golf ball for a beginner

June 29, 2016

golf-balls-beginnersThere are so many things that make up a golf ball. Compression. Layers. Dimples. And obviously price. Where do you start in finding the best golf ball?? Especially for a beginner!

I love the game of golf and have been playing for years. I must’ve started when I was 10 years old and have always tried playing at least once a month. There were times when I played once a week and got my handicap down to a 7. My lowest handicap ever. Now I’m 42 and I chop all day long. I’m playing off a 19 handicap now and I still actually like the beginners golf ball – something that can help me as much as possible. One golf website I visited spells out all the pros and cons for you in plain text and offers a handful of best golf balls for you if you are just starting the game. Or are just not a great golfer, but try get as much enjoyment out of it as possible!

This is a really interesting video, which shows what is inside a golf ball.

My whole family plays golf and my best mates. My brothers are good players with them all being single figures and can whack the golf ball properly! I can’t actually compete. In both score or distance off the tee! BUT when it comes to my mates I clean up. They are dreadful. My best mate Mark barely gets the golf ball out the shadow and also uses a putter that Noah handed down to him. Basically if you blow at it the putter face will crack. Poor guy. He also likes to address the ball with his hands practically lying on the ground so heaven knows how he actually makes contact! However we do actually have a lot of fun when getting together and playing golf.

Another of my mates is a good player although he struggles to actually find the bottom of the cup! It’s almost a case of the closer he gets to the hole the more he panics and stresses! That is because of the thing called “expectation”. If you’re 2 feet away from the hole you are almost expected to make it, not possible to miss. That’s where your mind plays tricks and you bugger it up properly. The further away you are the better. Less expectation!

Anyway I’ll send them both to www.golfassessor.com to start by finding the best golf balls for beginners so they can start to get their games right and actually improve!

I’m Officially Addicted to Golf!

May 6, 2016

golf-beginning-againSo after a 10 year hiatus from playing golf, I recently got back into the game. And now I’m addicted again!

For some weird reason I started playing golf when I was 12 years old. If I recall correctly we had a student living with us at the time and he was really into golf. One day he invited me to the driving range and the rest is history. I was hooked!

I quickly became a decent golfer and by the age 15 I was playing in competitions for my province and had made the first team at my school … which was a big deal as most of the other players were 17 or 18 years old.

But when I turned 18 and discovered partying, girls and alcohol, I slowly lost interest in spending 5-6 hours of my saturday hitting a small white ball around a very big field. By the time I was 23 and left South Africa I had all but given up golf. In fact when I left SA I didn’t even take my golf clubs – they are still stored in my parents garage!

But recently I was invited on a golfing weekend with some colleagues. Initially I was apprehensive. “Would I still be able to hit the ball?” “Am I going to make a fool of myself?” “Would I still have the touch around the greens?”

I quickly got over myself and said Yes!

Well, the long and short of it was that it was an amazing weekend of golfing in Spain. What an incredible destination with awesome golf courses. From the moment I stepped up to the first tea and made contact with the ball I knew I was hooked again. Sure I was a little rusty, particularly around the greens, but I still had the ball striking and long game to carry me through.

On the last day I broke 80, which was a major surprise. My colleagues now think I’m a complete ringer.

So I’m back into the game! Now I need to get all the golf equipment, which ain’t cheap and sign up for a golf membership.

Off to the driving range I go!