I admit it, I golf and I like it. When I started, some of my friends and acquaintances said “that’s a game for old folks”. Really? Have you watched the likes of Rory McIlroy, Michelle Wie or my favorite Bubba Watson? None of these players can be called older. They are strong, in good physical shape, and have nerves of steel. I started golfing late, at 50, so I could have an activity I could enjoy with the hubby and other, like minded friends. So here’s my list of things you need to know when you want to take up golf.
1) Clubs – You will need some clubs. Women think they need to use women’s clubs but you should go to your local golf store and try a few different ones before you buy. I use a men’s driver because I like a heavy club if I’m trying to hit a longish distance. For a fairway wood I use a woman’s club because I like the weight and feel of that club, not to mention I can get a good whack with it.
2) Grips – Clubs are divided into three parts, first the grip, this is the piece at the end that you hold onto. For older hands, I suggest getting clubs with oversized, softer grips. I recently got some of mine changed and I love them and it’s much cheaper than buying new clubs.
3) Shafts – The shaft is the long middle piece of the club between the grip and the head. These are usually made of graphite, have a bit of flex to them, and are pretty light weight.
4) Heads – The head of the club is the part that strikes the ball and is made of a titanium alloy so it can stand up to a lot of bashing, especially when you hit the ground instead of the ball. Striking a golf ball after a particularly tough day can be cathartic so you want it to stand up to hard hits. There are many sizes, types and degrees of loft and I hope that whoever teaches you about golf will also tell you about the uses of the various clubs and when and why you would use each one.
5) Balls – Of course balls are important, they come in a multitude of colours and there are some made by as many companies as make clubs. I do prefer ladies balls which aren’t quite as heavy as men’s. Fortunately it doesn’t matter what ones I use as I have a hubby who has an eagle eye for lost golf balls and we now have a hundred dozen balls in the garage. That’s right, I have about a hundred egg cartons filled with golf balls. I am very blasé about losing balls and never spend anytime trying to hunt them down.
6) Tees – We also use tees to stand our balls on the first time we hit them at every hole. These come in a variety of sizes and colours so you can colour co-ordinate with your balls but really it’s all about personal preference.
7) Courses – I’ve been really lucky and have played some absolutely beautiful, big courses. But they can be intimidating for the new golfer or heck, for anyone and I don’t recommend you learn on one of those. I’d go to a nice little par 3 course or an executive par 4 to learn the game. They’re great for women, especially older women as we don’t hit as far as the men but we do usually hit straighter. On the big courses I often play “best ball” with a friend or the hubby. This means we both hit but we take the best shot and both hit from there. This way we don’t hold up the group behind us and is more fun. There is nothing worse than being rushed on the course, after all I paid my money same as the next guy, just some days I really get my money’s worth.
8) Lessons – I advise everyone to take a few lessons and not from your partner! It’s like having hubby teach you to drive, it just doesn’t work. But a few lessons from a good pro will really boost your enjoyment of the game. Your instructor should also teach you proper golf etiquette.
9) Relax – Whether you walk the course or ride, you will enjoy the fresh air and exercise and even some wildlife on occasion. Except alligators keep away from the alligators. You will have on that cute little over priced outfit and the fancy shoes and look just as good as the pros. Remember you’re not headed for the pro circuit so enjoy yourself and start golfing.
10) See you at the 19th hole for a cold one!