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Course suggestions for a total beginner


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#1 Malby

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Posted 06 September 2002 - 02:33 AM

Hi,

I've just picked up golf as something to challenge me, and to get me outside and off the computer...

I've had a few lessons now, so I'm starting to be able to hit a ball straight at the driving range

I have a couple of questions..

1) what are some good beginner courses in the Vic/Melbourne Metro area... That don't cost a fortune, and will be friendly to my lack of course knowledge, not to mention have friendly people at them who won't scream abuse at me for my 150 shot effort?

Should I be seeking out other beginners and playing some rounds with them? Or should I be attempting to play with people who know what they're doing? My problem is I don't know anyone who plays.. My friends all take the "Point and laugh at the man with the golf club, hang on, we know them" stance of ridiculing me... I got back from a lesson the other night, and a house mate says to me "Aren't you over the whole golf thing yet?" (Meanwhile I'm thinking, over it? I haven't even got to play a game yet!)

2) Are there actually golf clubs that don't charge thousands of dollars for membership, and what, if any, are the benfits of membership at a club?

3) do I have to be a member of a club to get a handicap? What is the easiest (read: least painful) way of getting a handicap


Someone I spoke to mentioned I try out my luck at Burnley public course, (aka Richmond Golf Course)..

I have no idea what I'm doing.. do I just turn up, try and get a tea time, and start making a fool of myself?

I think it would be easier if I had a friend or two who actually played golf!



#2 james

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Posted 06 September 2002 - 05:00 AM

Burnley (aka Royal Burnley!) is an excellent place to learn: its short, simple, and you won't lose your ball. Best to go there during a non-peak time (such as very early in the morning or mid-afternoon) so that you won't hold up the field.

Other courses I suggest are Wattle Park, Freeway Golf (in North Balwyn), and Royal Park. These are all public courses where the standard of play is very low - therefore people won't be as scathing of you as you learn to play.

Generally people are accomodating of beginners if they make an effort to fit in. That means keeping an acceptable pace of play, making yourself aware of the rules of etiquette, and being considerate of others on the golf course.

As for clubs - don't worry about that yet. Until you're a competent player, there is no need to go to a club, because you'll only cause grief for yourself and other players there! At private clubs, people aren't as inclined to be sympathetic toward beginners. Once you can break 100 for eighteen holes, on a reasonably difficult course (ie. an ACR of over 70), you'll be able to fit in at a club.

You'll be able to find a club to suit you in your local area I assume. Only the most elite clubs charge thousands of dollars: the rest are very affordable. Go to the Victorian Golf Association website: www.golfvic.org.au which has a list of member clubs. You can then contact the clubs direct, to establish which ones you're interested in.

There is no point getting a handicap until you can play to within about 30 shots of par. No fun being on the maximum handicap (27) when you can't play to it! You can get a VGA golfpass, which gives you a handicap based on your rounds on public courses.

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy this great game.



#3 Ben

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Posted 06 September 2002 - 07:53 AM

Hi Malby,

One thing I would suggest, especially since you have a coach, is NOT to take advice from people on the course. The last thing you want is your head filled with different information! Best to get it from one source who you are paying and knows what they are talking about smile.gif.

As for courses... just dont play Yarra Bend, it sucks wink.gif Sandringham isn't too bad, but it gets very busy.

Cheers

Ben



#4 Malby

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Posted 06 September 2002 - 09:29 PM

Thanks for the replies guys.

I sent an email round work, and one of my work mates has apparently played for some time.

We're going to play next week. He reckons I should expect to shoot about an 80 on the par 35 9 holes... I asked him what he gets around the course and said between 38 -42, so I'm pretty confident I will get _atleast_ double his score...

I shall let you know how I go!



#5 admin

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Posted 07 September 2002 - 10:06 AM

Hi Malby,
If you need a listing of golf courses in Victoria, you can check out our course database for contact details including websites and emails plus user reviews - http://www.iseekgolf.com/courses/index.php

Good luck with your golf and let us know how you go...

Jason



#6 endzaz

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Posted 11 September 2002 - 06:56 AM

Malby
Although I have been playing for a number of years I only joined my first club 12 months ago and have found some interesting things.
I figure that what you should do is try playing a few of your local courses until you get a feel for one that seems right for you that includes price, condition and people. Then take the plunge and join up. If you want to spend the time practicing etc it makes much more sense economically to join up. If you've chosen the right club, the people you play with will be understanding of your "L" plates because they've been down the same road.
Do learn the rules (play and ettiquette) or ask when unsure. Let faster players through especially if your playing socially or learning.
WhenI joined I didn't know anyone in my club but the pros at the course usually would pair me up or find a playing group for me when I rang up. I found that these people were more than accommodating as far as me being a beginner and were only to helpful and pleasant in helping me fill out my handicap cards, even afterwards I have had no trouble joining in a group. It is good to play with better players if you are willing to take the time to pick up ideas along the way and listen. The main thing though is to take care of your own game and enjoy yourself.
In this past year I have played quite a few competitions at different courses and with different people. The golf course is like everyday life in that you may end up playing with 'losers' who challenge your mental approach or really good people who you can enjoy meeting. (a handicap isa more economical way to play other courses if you pick open comp days)
The best idea is if you enjoy the game go play it, if the enjoyment stops take a break and don't get to frustrated the enjoyment quickly returns. Cheers endzaz 8O



#7 miike

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Posted 11 September 2002 - 09:13 AM

When I started playing this damn game I used to go out on my own at the crack of dawn and play . Great learning experience as I had the course pretty much to myself , no one to laugh at my duffed shots, could take all the time I needed.

Still do it.



#8 hind0

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Posted 11 September 2002 - 07:29 PM

To start with look for a course that is relatively short, has minimal bunkers and has very few hazards.

You want to enjoy the game before you get to the point where it frustrates the heck out of you (though it's still fun at this point).



#9 Malby

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Posted 12 September 2002 - 08:06 PM

Well.. I played a game this morning at Burnley.. Its a par 35, nine hole course with 1 par 3, and 8 par 4's.

I hit a 68. It frustrated me at times... The first 3 holes I hit between 10 -12 shots on each hole... After that I slowly got better.. I even managed to get par on 2 holes...

My putting was what saved me at the end... I couldn't get on the bloody green, but once I was on the green I was pretty confident. I 3 putted only once.. I did a beginners introduction to golf... The instructor said she was very impressed with my putting, said I was very solid on the green, and was surprised when I said I'd never played a single game of golf or anything. So I'm fairly "happy" with the putting (If you can ever be happy?)

Its the full swing side of things I had problems with smile.gif

Need to practise that. I ended up giving up on my 3/5 wood because I was hitting them every where but straight (I didn't even touch the #1). However, even 3 and 5 iron shots were poor.

However, I will say one thing. It was bloody fun. We went out at 6:30 am.. I woke up at 4:30 this morning because I couldn't sleep out of excitement that I was playing my first game!

Looking forward to getting out there again. Now I have a tiny experience, its not like the driving range where you hit a bad shot, and go "Oh well" and tee up another shot...

I'm so glad I got into this game!



#10 hind0

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Posted 13 September 2002 - 12:03 AM

Great to hear that you're so excited about the game Malby. Don't worry too much about your score right now, just concentrate on having fun and getting more consistent.

If your short game is good then it should not take you too long to get better with the longer clubs. And it sounds like you're a natural on the greens.






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