Beginners Welcome? Really?
You have some time between jobs on Saturday and want to get out with your youngsters to play a few holes. This is a busy time of year and taking a beginner to the course on Saturday morning can be very intimidating for them and embarrassing for you. Where do you go? The range is another alternative, but that gets boring when you both want to play the course. You might want to consider taking them indoors.
Besides the obvious benefits of indoors like no bugs, no chasing after mulligans, no lost clubs, and many more consider these tips you might want to consider to get your beginners into the game...
- Make it fun. It's okay to move your ball. I mean just pick it up and take it where you want to hit your next shot from. Get out from behind the tree. Drop it on the other side of the water. Take it out of the bunker. Don't count the drops...just swings. On most indoor simulators you can drop the ball left, right, or further back as far as you like. Besides all our lies are level and mulligans are easy to take.
- Be prepared to stop. When it stops being fun for your beginner, it's okay to just stop. Better to try again next weekend than create a barrier that keeps them away from the game for the rest of their lives. Most indoor facilities charge you only for the time you spend in the simulators and not a penny more.
- Play together. The game is a great time to get to know the beginner. If you're headed outdoors take several clubs each and put them in a bag on a pull cart and walk to each shot together. But, indoors provides the added benefit of going to each person's ball for each shot, even if your balls lie on opposite sides of the course.
- Best Ball is Better. Some call it a "Scramble" others refer to it as Best Ball. The game is where you all tee off, decide which shot is better, and everyone plays from there. The benefit is that everyone on the team plays the same number of shots. No one gets too tired too soon. This works outdoors and in the simulators too.
- Help them play the ball in front of them. It's easy to critique the shot they just played, but that adds weight to their thought that they're not cut out for golf. Instead, chat about what they can expect on the next shot. Perhaps a comment about distance or direction will be helpful. By the way, simulators can help them always know the exact yardages and elevations even if you don't have one of those fancy golf watches.
- Remember your goal is to sell the benefits of golf. This isn't time to work on your game, although you might learn something from the simulator regarding your yardages. It's also not a time to show just how much farther you can hit the ball than they can. This is a time to help them embrace the game and for the game to welcome another beginner.
If you know a beginner, encourage them to take a class like Connect Better. It's a great way to connect to this great game for life and then take it outside.