Golf can be a lot of fun. Some people take it very seriously. We just have a good time once a year when we are in Hilton Head. We stay at Bluewater Resort, which comes with Golf Privileges at Golden Bear Course in Indigo Run and The Country Club of Hilton Head. We’ve also played at Shipyard Golf Club. They have three nine-hole golf courses. You can play a combination to make 18 holes.
They are all a lot of fun. There are huge live oak trees and lots of birds. Golden Bear has the added hazard of trying not to put a golf ball through someone’s window. Shipyard has the hazard of trying not to put one into a car. The fairways are actually wide enough so that someone with moderate skill should not be challenged with glass breaking liability, but I am pretty unskilled.
Golf Privileges means you don’t have to pay for the golf when you stay at the timeshare resort. You just pay for the golf cart. My husband won a set of clubs and he bought me a nice set at Goodwill.
So, if you would like to try golf, here are some tips for real beginners.
Don’t be late.
Tee time means the time you should be poking in the tee and hitting your first ball. It is not the time you should be pulling into the parking lot. This is not a doctor’s appointment. Get there in plenty of time to check in, get a golf cart, load up your clubs, get some icewater… Run back to the car because you forgot the sunscreen…
We like to get there early enough to whack some balls at the driving range and practice on the sand trap and putting green. Maybe even earlier and grab a sandwich.
Practice on the practice range. Play on the golf course.
If you hit a bucket of balls before you go out, you are all warmed up and you don’t have to take a lot of practice swings. It sucks the fun out of things and turns the game into work watching someone swing and swing and swing.
Golf is spending time together. Watch your partner, not your phone. My husband is way better than me, but he still likes it when I tell him what a great shot he made.
Get a late tee time.
If you are the last tee time, you don’t have to rush because nobody is breathing down your neck. You can take your time. Every once in a while they will come chase us back because they want their golf cart back so they can go home.
Let people play through.
If someone fast comes up on you, ask if they’d like to play through. Then you don’t have to rush and they don’t have to wait.
Don’t worry about losing balls.
It happens. Some jump into the water. Some end up in back yards. Some hide under the leaves. Some disappear into another dimension. We keep score on how many balls we lose to how many balls we find. We have an extendo tool to grab balls out of the water. Once my ball skipped across two lanes of traffic and ended up in the median. Wow! That was the motherlode! I must have found 30 golf balls! But spending half an hour looking for that great pink ball I found in Hawaii… No. It’s not fun for anybody. I am told there is a rule that you can only spend 5 minutes looking for a ball. That really should be enough. Give up. Have fun.
Don’t worry too much about the score.
Don’t laugh. We don’t write any number on my score card over seven. I can keep wacking, as long as nobody is waiting, but seven is the limit. We congratulate ourselves when we do well and have selective memory for the rest.
Don’t be intimidated.
You have as much right to be out there as anyone else. If it weren’t for all of us terrible golfers, the good golfers would have to pay a lot more to keep the golf course maintained. But, use good manners.
This is a great article: Ten pace-of-play and golf-course-etiquette tips for beginning golfers
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