Spring is here on Hilton Head Island and the azaleas are blooming!
If you have a golfer in your life, you know what that means: golfers gonna golf. But what about the rest of us? I’m here to tell you that this game is not just for the most committed players — it’s for everyone! Below are some tips I’ve compiled for anyone who is curious about trying golf.
1. Approach the game with “play” in mind.
Golf has a lot of rules and mechanics, and it can be easy to find yourself intimidated. Don’t be! Heed the parameters, but don’t strive for perfection; it will make you crazy. If you can remember that this is supposed to be fun, and to focus on staying relaxed and light-hearted, your body will perform on a subconscious level with very little thought or tension. This is the zone you want to be in.
2. Don’t be afraid to test the waters.
Now is actually a really good time to try your hand at golf. This is a sport with social distancing baked right into it, as the natural safety boundaries of golf meet today’s social distancing requirements. The open expanse of the green has plenty of room for you to be with friends and family, and staff are cleaning the equipment daily.
3. Work backwards.
A saying we have in golf is: “Build your game from the hole to the tee and find victory.” First, you learn to putt the ball into the hole. Then, you learn chipping from just off the green. Next is pitching, which is the high, short shot (20-40 yards) you will need to land softly on the green. Finally, you will learn to execute that elusive but elegant full swing, where you may go 40 or more yards. Don’t worry — you will fall in love with the game long before you get to the really challenging part!
4. Find a Coach.
Fundamentals take time, but if you learn them right, you will find golf much more enjoyable to play, no matter the level. Don’t take it from me, this is straight from Jack Nicklaus himself!
By Doug Weaver, Director of Instruction, Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy
North Carolina and South Carolina PGA Teacher of the Year, Doug Weaver is the Director of Instruction at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy. He conducts “Where Does the Power Come From?”, a free interactive clinic and demonstration every Monday from 4-5 p.m. at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. Volunteer for a free lesson and some will win prizes! Call (843) 338-9598 or (800) 827-3006 or go to www.palmettodunes.com for more information.