After learning the basics of golf and practicing every day in short golf ranges, it might be the time for you to play in an actual golf course. If you want to make sure your early experiences on the golf course are positive ones, it is always best to know your strengths and limitations.
How to play in a real golf course
You might be overwhelmed when you see a real golf course for the first time, but this should not discourage you from playing golf. If you want to become a professional golfer, you must be accustomed to real golf courses so you can improve your strengths in playing.
- Start in a small golf course
Golf is hard enough without needing eight shots just to get to the green. Start on a par 3 or “executive” course before you try an 18-hole championship course. On a par-3 course, all the holes are par 3s, meaning holes are usually less than 200 yards. Executive courses typically have multiple par-3 holes and their par 4s and 5s are shorter than what you would find on a championship course. Give yourself some time to get acclimated here before taking on a bigger challenge.
- Play three holes
In a way, golf is a kind of endurance sport. You need to build yourself up to playing 18 holes. Consider starting by playing three holes of a nine-hole course late in the afternoon when the course is less crowded and rates are cheaper. The course might not charge a three-hole rate, so just play until you start getting tired and then come back the next day.
- Choose the right course
Do not start on a course that is going to have you discouraged before you reach the first green. A good beginner course is flat, short and doesn’t have many hazards or forced carries- that is, waste areas or hazards you have to hit over to get to the fairway. There will be plenty of time to test yourself on tougher layouts. For now, focus on your positive momentum.
- Move on up
Feel free to play from the forward set of tees, playing the course at 5,500 yards or less will save you time, frustration and golf balls.
- Keep up the pace
Most golf courses ask that you finish 18 holes in four and half hours. However, you can do better than that. One way to maintain a decent pace is to limit yourself to a certain number of strokes per hole. As a beginning golfer, there is nothing wrong with picking up your ball if you are holding your playing partners up.
Over time, you will get acclimated to real golf courses. Just remember to start small but finish big. Learning to play golf doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and patience to learn and improve your skills. Always challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone and be the best golfer out there.