We must all start our golfing legacy somewhere, so I have put together a beginners guide to golf.
Getting the white dimpled ball into a hole signalled by a flag in a field isn't everyone's idea of an enjoyable time, however, millions of people around the world like doing nothing better on a Sunday morning.
The aim is simple; take the fewest hits of the ball to sink it into the hole. In practise it isn't as straight forward, believe me.
The Warm-up Routine
The Warm-up technique of any Sunday morning golfer is simple. Turn up 10 minutes before you are due out and head straight to the first tee, there take out the driver and swing the club back and forth. Repeat several times. Now you are ready for that drive.
If you are new to golf then you maybe unaware of the specific footwear that all golfers must adhere to while on the course. Most golf clubs state that proper golf shoes must be worn. Proper golf shoes are spiked shoes (not football boots, I have seem a pair of Puma King's worn of the course before) or the increasingly popular rubber-dimpled shoes, these are shoes that can be worn on the course and the street.
Most clubs have a strict dress code and they encourage their members to police this code (I myself have felt the blunt force of a dressing down by an old, stubborn, bitter, sullen pompous member for having an untucked shirt). This side of golf displeases me, but even I must draw the line at 'shirts v skins' fourballs. At the posh private golf courses, a top with a collar is the norm along with a pair of trousers, no jeans. At your local municipal, anything goes.
Most golfers opt to wear a glove as this gives them more grip of the club in wet conditions (or if your in Manchester, whenever your golfing). The glove is usually worn on the dominate hand, i.e. right hand for right-handed golfers and the left for cack-handed golfers.
The glove is not mandatory, well known pro golfer's that don't wear a glove are Fred Couples and Lucas Glover (honestly, I didn't make that up). Also, I though I'd mention my dad prefers to spit on his hands than wear a glove. We don't shake his hand after the game.
It is compulsory at every course I have played that all golfers must have their own bag with bats in, sharing is prohibited. This is so the club can charge exorbitant fees to rent the shitest clubs you will ever see, honestly, these are worse than the Dunlop starter set.
The number of clubs allowed in the bag must not exceed 14. Why? The ban originates from the hipsters in the 30's that would carry varying lofted clubs for the perfect approach shot. Maybe it took to long to select the right club. It is left to the golfers to police this rule among themselves and usually comes into play on the 18th hole by the losing party who declares the two point penalty on the leading score or a void game (a tactic I have implemented a few times).
There are many types of golf balls on the market. There are balls for spin, balls for length and balls that wobble and steer away from the hole. The ball cannot be changed during the course of a hole, only when it is deemed lost or damaged. It is advised to mark your ball so that it not confused with anyone's else's.
The rules of etiquette in golf could fill an entire library. There are many rules that must be adhered to at private courses and there are members who would love to pull a rule-breaker up. But for the average golfer the simplest rule to remember is to avoid slow play.
Slow golfers are the most hated and loathed on the course. I understand that newbies need time to bed in, but if you are hacking your way towards the hole and holding up a group of golfers, wave them through. You'll be thanked by the party behind and revered as a good saint.
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