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Learning to play golf from scratch

  • 30-09-2020 2:01pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,994 ✭✭✭ colm_c


    I'm considering taking up golf, both from an exercise perspective, social perspective and a business perspective (been offered to a golf day with clients).

    Now, I've never played golf, other than mini golf with the kids.

    Where would I start? Obviously I don't want to spend loads incase I absolutely hate it.

    This might be tricky in covid times, but leave that aside for the moment.

    Based in Dublin if that matters.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,308 ✭✭✭✭ prawnsambo


    Buy yourself a second hand set of clubs. You'll find sets on eBay, Done Deal and Adverts. With eBay you'll probably have to use AddressPal or something like that to avail of cheaper postal rates from UK sellers (or even just to be able to buy them - UK sellers are notoriously bad at international postage).

    You'll usually get sets of irons and then add driver and putter. Fairway woods/hybrids can be added as and when you want. Very unusual to see full sets for sale. Target price for a decent set of irons would be between £150 - £200. Plenty of choice on eBay, but bear in mind that your height can be a factor. If you're average height - 5' 7" to 5' 11" then standard lengths would be fine for you. Good makes are Titleist, Taylormade (don't touch RSi, PSi or M1/M2 irons), Mizuno and Ping.

    Then get lessons.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,994 ✭✭✭ colm_c


    Presumably any club will do one on one lessons?


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,308 ✭✭✭✭ prawnsambo


    colm_c wrote: »
    Presumably any club will do one on one lessons?
    Pretty much. Even at driving ranges too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 331 ✭✭ Dr Devious


    Get a lesson first on the basics, then hit the driving range several times and take it from there. BTW its easier hitting balls on the range as you have a perfect lie and are hitting the same shot one after the other, not just quite as straightforward on the course. Accept that its more vexing than rewarding in the beginning ...... and years later too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 365 ✭✭ rooney30


    I read the thread title initially as “ learning to play golf off scratch “ Though to myself , Christ that’s ambitious


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  • Registered Users Posts: 900 ✭✭✭ seamie78


    was going to say I wouldn't start from scratch


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,855 ✭✭✭✭ MetzgerMeister


    rooney30 wrote: »
    I read the thread title initially as “ learning to play golf off scratch “ Though to myself , Christ that’s ambitious

    Same! :D

    OP - FYI in golf "scratch" means you play off a handicap of zero :)

    IMO I think you should get a few lessons from the get-go. A lot of people (myself included) pick up bad habits in our swing and it's nice to have everything correct from the beginning so that you're not swinging incorrectly and getting frustrated with golf as a result.

    Best of luck and hope you enjoy it!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,114 ✭✭✭ PhilOssophy


    Agree with what has been said, I'd also say go to a par 3 and start there, get the basics of putting, chipping, and maybe go to the driving range to hit a driver. Once you have the basics, then head to one of the million courses which offer pay-and-play rounds.
    (One more tip - familiarise yourself with the rules on letting people play through, etc. Best to take your time and learn the game but not delay others in the process)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,994 ✭✭✭ colm_c


    Thanks folks!

    As I say, totally green! Oops another golf pun!

    Will chat to some trainers and take it from there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,855 ✭✭✭✭ MetzgerMeister


    Another tip - practice your swing etc. in a driving range rather on-course if you can help it.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 350 ✭✭ Skyfloater


    The golf pros' at some Driving ranges will do beginner group lessons over several weeks during the year. Or at least they did precovid. There's loads of golf instruction videos on youtube. Yon can learn an awful lot before you ever get to a driving range. It helps to have some grasp of the jargon and basic concepts before your first lesson.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,142 ✭✭✭ blue note


    Some good advice for you here OP. Just on the exercise part - in terms of time spent it's very inefficient for physical exercise. I'd liken it to gardening. Someone who spends their life in the garden will more often than not be very physically healthy, because you'll be moving about, digging, lifting things, etc. Same with golf, it's a very healthy way to spend a few hours on a weekend from a physical point of view. But if you're thinking of taking it up to lose weight or anything, it's not that type of sport. To be honest I'd say to any golfer, you should be doing a bit of physical exercise each week on top of golf for a properly healthy lifestyle. But that can be a 5k run however often you want. You can have your run done and be showered in half an hour if you're fit enough.

    But anyway, where golf really excels to me is on the mental side of it. It's an extremely healthy pursuit from that point of view. Once you're on the course you're there for a few hours, it's great at destressing you, refreshing being out in the open for so long. And it's sociable. Especially these days when your social circle has probably diminished, you'll regularly get to chat to new people or see your friends. I'll often come home after a round and not really be able to tell the wife what I chatted about for 4 hours, but you really feel like you got a break while you were playing.

    And on the advice - just be ready for it to take time. Lots of time to get better. I started as a kid, but I suspect if I started as an adult I'd quickly enough go from hitting it anywhere and everywhere to having some decent connections, having some sort of a swing, generally being able to get the ball out in front of me. And from there I'd think that I'd progressed significantly in my first couple of months and would expect to again in the next couple. When in reality getting to the stage where you're having a few bogeys and double bogeys in the round probably won't take that long. Getting to the stage where you're getting mainly bogeys I suspect will take a good while. So I'm just saying now, expect to hit a stall in your progress early on. If you can push through there you could have a fulfilling lifelong hobby.


  • Registered Users Posts: 474 ✭✭ Green Mile


    I’m the exact same op, I’ve decided to start from scratch myself only recently.

    I expressed my intent with people and out of the blue was offered an old set of clubs to mind/use.

    I’ve watch lots of YouTube lessons online. There are really good basic lessons on YouTube.
    I’ve gone up to the driving range (celbridge) about 10 times or so now to practice what I’ve learned. Only last week someone came up with me and commented on two bad habits I naturally have so I’m working on them at the moment.

    I haven’t gone on a golf course yet, I’d hate to hold people up or annoy others who just want to play a normal game so I want to get a bit more confident first.

    Christmas is only around the corner so I hope to get a pair of shoes and other bits and bobs. Hoping there’s a “golf for dummies” book that I can get too as I haven’t a clue about the lingo such as Birdy, Eagle, Barkies and Bites to name some.

    Keep me posted op, you seem to be in the same situation as myself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,331 mike12


    Everyone has a friend who plays golf and as the last poster said if you mention it them they all have a shead full of clubs.
    You basically need a iron to get you started at the range.
    I would also get a putter and wedge, if you are close to the airport driving range then it's a great facility you can practice your putting and chipping there which you sort of need to do from the start.
    If you don't you end up on the course getting very frustrated on the short shots.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,855 ✭✭✭✭ MetzgerMeister


    mike12 wrote: »
    If you don't you end up on the course getting very frustrated on the short shots.

    So true!

    You can have the best long game in the world but if your short game is a disaster, that's where you will drop shots each and every time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,445 ✭✭✭ daheff


    Cheap

    I'd start with going to the driving range a few times, rent a club and give the balls a whack.

    Small initial outlay for the driving range there.

    A little more cash

    Then if you enjoyed it or are really determined to play look to buy a cheapish set of clubs....some that will do you for a few years as you learn. Don't spend too much.. couple of hundred.

    Play some pitch + putt, some par 3 with those clubs. Practice swinging the clubs in the back garden to get some rythym going. Keep going to driving range & practice with these clubs.

    More cost

    If you are still keen & enjoying golf at this point I'd start thinking of lessons.

    And new clubs once you've done some lessons.

    Golf is about muscle memory & knowing what to do. I've heard of lads decide they want to be a pro and needing 10000 hours of good practice to get to scratch.


    Don't go spend buckets of money on top clubs and lessons before you play a bit.....you might not actually like it...it's very frustrating


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,114 ✭✭✭ PhilOssophy


    Don't worry about getting out on the course lads, pick a very quiet time and even go play 5-6 holes before dark. But go whenever, just let people play through and nobody will mind what you are doing.
    Nobody minds slow play once it doesn't hold them up! :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,855 ✭✭✭✭ MetzgerMeister


    Nobody minds slow play once it doesn't hold them up! :D

    Well there's an oxymoron if I ever saw one :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,832 ✭✭✭ DuckSlice


    Something all beginners should take on board is don't be offended if someone more experienced than you gives you advice during the round on your speed of play etc.

    examples:
    -when you come to the green and are chipping always make sure you have your putter with you.
    -your bag at the side you will be leaving the green.
    -Sorry you stepped on my line there, it doesn't make a difference to me, just be more aware when finishing out. some people get angry when you do this.

    Ive given this advice to beginners a few times for them then to get pissed off with me. Obviously depends on the tone it is said but if its said in a polite way dont be offended.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,114 ✭✭✭ PhilOssophy


    And that "repair your pitch mark" sign isn't an course furniture.....


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,142 ✭✭✭ blue note


    And that "repair your pitch mark" sign isn't an course furniture.....

    Probably not much of a problem for beginners. But by all means if your land a good one on the green have a look for the pitch mark. But if you can't find it just putt. You probably didn't make one.

    Not the worst habit to be in though to repair an occasional extra one. Don't be doing it when you should be hitting your shot or anything. I remember holding the flag for a beginner before who had heard that you sold repair pitch marks. I was day dreaming waiting to hear the sound of the putt. After a while I looked to see what was keeping him and he had, after addressing the ball, gone 10 feet away from his ball to repair a random pitch mark.

    But if you're walking over to your ball and not going to be putting first and walk by one, fix it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 331 ✭✭ Dr Devious


    I played with a beginner a few weeks ago, first hole, a par 4, he hits the ball 5 times and he's now about 30 yards from the green, fair enough, next thing he's rummaging in his bag and he takes out a range finder to see how far out he is. OP please don't be like that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,114 ✭✭✭ PhilOssophy


    Dr Devious wrote: »
    I played with a beginner a few weeks ago, first hole, a par 4, he hits the ball 5 times and he's now about 30 yards from the green, fair enough, next thing he's rummaging in his bag and he takes out a range finder to see how far out he is. OP please don't be like that.

    Yeah, we all know those guys! All the gear and the theory but can't hit the ball!
    If you want to get distances, etc OP get a watch! It'll save everybody's sanity


  • Registered Users Posts: 556 ✭✭✭ Local_Chap


    I didn't want to start a new thread so hope mods don't mind I throw my question in here.

    Have been playing golf the last while but mostly with friends clubs.

    Would I be wasting my time getting something like this?
    https://www.mcguirksgolf.com/p/macgregor-cg3000-steel_graphite-stand-set-gents-lh/p-mac20c0104macgcg3000steelgraphstandsetgentslh

    I play off my left and there is very little available on done deal/gumtree etc.

    Any suggestions are much appreciated


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,795 ✭✭✭✭ Richard Hillman


    Hit a driving range to find out what works for you and then find a Pitch and Putt course. Pitch and Putt is great for finding your way around the game. The holes are anywhere between 30-70 yards. You'll become more comfortable about your ball striking and you'll be chipping and putting a lot.

    There are also a handful of Par3 courses around Dublin. Usually ranging between 100-200 yards for each hole.

    Also don't trying and hit it like the Pros. A half swing will do for the time being.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,114 ✭✭✭ PhilOssophy


    Local_Chap wrote: »
    I didn't want to start a new thread so hope mods don't mind I throw my question in here.

    Have been playing golf the last while but mostly with friends clubs.

    Would I be wasting my time getting something like this?
    https://www.mcguirksgolf.com/p/macgregor-cg3000-steel_graphite-stand-set-gents-lh/p-mac20c0104macgcg3000steelgraphstandsetgentslh

    I play off my left and there is very little available on done deal/gumtree etc.

    Any suggestions are much appreciated

    Seems a reasonable deal to me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,581 ✭✭✭✭ PARlance


    Local_Chap wrote: »
    I didn't want to start a new thread so hope mods don't mind I throw my question in here.

    Have been playing golf the last while but mostly with friends clubs.

    Would I be wasting my time getting something like this?
    https://www.mcguirksgolf.com/p/macgregor-cg3000-steel_graphite-stand-set-gents-lh/p-mac20c0104macgcg3000steelgraphstandsetgentslh

    I play off my left and there is very little available on done deal/gumtree etc.

    Any suggestions are much appreciated

    Adverts is probably the best for second hand golf equipment imo. You've also got golfbidder or somewhere like The Golf Studio (cellbridge) that seems to have a good name for 2nd hand clubs.

    That set might be perfect but you could grow out of them fairly quickly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,308 ✭✭✭✭ prawnsambo


    Local_Chap wrote: »
    I didn't want to start a new thread so hope mods don't mind I throw my question in here.

    Have been playing golf the last while but mostly with friends clubs.

    Would I be wasting my time getting something like this?
    https://www.mcguirksgolf.com/p/macgregor-cg3000-steel_graphite-stand-set-gents-lh/p-mac20c0104macgcg3000steelgraphstandsetgentslh

    I play off my left and there is very little available on done deal/gumtree etc.

    Any suggestions are much appreciated
    You should have no difficulty getting left handed clubs on eBay. UK site obviously. Always see lots of left handed clubs there.


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