In the past few years a lot has been discussed and
written about how to get more people to play golf.
Part of the problem is the equipment they start playing with and
partly it is the courses they have to start playing on. Making both the equipment and courses simpler so kinder to
beginners could encourage more people to take up the game.
First letís discuss a golf course thatís
more suitable to beginners than todayís conventional par-72 model. A more ideal solution is that the course need not be so long
with plush conditioning or even have nine or 18 holes. The course might have say four, six, maybe 12 holes with
those holes being enough to give novices a feel and understanding of what
playing on a conventional golf course would be like.
Its shorter holes would allow beginners at least to have a chance
of occasionally reaching greens in regulation strokes. The course would require a considerable smaller total amount
of land, cost much less to construct and have an annual maintenance budget
a fraction that for a full-size course.
The entire playing area could be like a fairway rather than having
individually elevated tees, elaborate green complexes and long grass
rough. There could be a large
fine-quality green near the courseís starting point for learning and
practicing putting and chipping. This
green most likely would be natural grass, but if easier and less costly
maintenance is desired could have an artificial or synthetic surface.
Adding to the playing strategy of the courseís holes could be
obstacles that are steep walls in line to the targets.
These walls could be of any selected material that is stable, such
as stone, block, bricks, even wood. This
would be cheaper than constructing and maintaining conventional sand
bunkers. These walls would be
clearly seen on approach shots and if a playerís ball stopped close to
and behind a wall, they could then be penalized by having to play sideways
from a line to the target. This
is much like a golfer in a deep sand bunker near its green-side wall must
turn and play sideways from the direction of the green.
Where water exists or it could be created there could be water
Now what equipment should beginners start
playing this course with? The
standard set of 14 golf clubs is a heavy load for anyone to learn all at
once. And thatís without
getting into the fact that each of those 14 can be hit in a myriad of
ways. So why shouldnít beginners begin by using the club easiest
to hit and so with the greatest likelihood of providing satisfying results
at an early stage of participation? This
club is a utility or hybrid club. Itís
called a hybrid because the club is something between an iron and a wood
(metal). They are about the
same length and loft of a middle iron with weight lower in the head than
most other clubs.
hybrid club itís easier than with any other club for beginners to get a
ball airborne, even hit from off the ground without a tee, in the
direction they are aiming. A putter is certainly not easy to master, but not hard for
most anyone to make contact with and get a ball rolling generally in the
desired direction. Thatís
why most kids even quickly get satisfaction and lots of fun from putting
in miniature golf. A putter
could be used and practiced on the putting green close to the courseís
This brings us to the ball beginners should
start playing with. It is a
ball similar to a golf ball in some ways in how it performs, but very
different in other ways. Beginners
typically start playing with a golf ball much like the ball played by the
best golfers in the world. Itís
the same weight, same size, same look, but one with big drawbacks
initially to beginners. This is because the best results in getting the standard golf
ball airborne and compressed sufficiently for distance are obtained from a
fast and consistent swing. And
if beginners donít hit a golf ball in the clubís sweet spot, which
they often donít, a golf ball will not go very far, perhaps running
along the ground and might even somewhat stinging their hands.
None of these are in the least bit rewarding to beginners. A ball lighter and safer than a golf ball is far better for
neophytes on all of these counts. Such
a ball is available and beginnerís courses should be designed to fit
them playing this ball.
Whenever a beginner becomes accomplish enough
as a golfer, they can move on to the increased complexities, more
demanding courses, much higher costing equipment, increased playing fees,
longer playing time and the vastly increased difficulty of golf.
Or some could continue to play this just-described ďpastoral
pastimeĒ for as long and as often as they wish.
To get more free information about any and all
of these matters: a course more suitable to beginners; a club easiest for
beginners to learn with; a ball friendlier to beginners; contact me now,
Bill Amick at 1-386-767-1449, firstname.lastname@example.org
or P. O. Box 1984, Daytona Beach, Florida 32115 USA.