First time on the course? Here’s what to expect
If you’re new to golfing, heading to a full course may seem intimidating, but if you’re serious about golfing it’s important to get out there and see what it’s like. So grab your clubs and let’s explore a golf course!
Lay Of The Land
Golf courses follow a standard and each hole is set up with certain specific elements. These include the teeing ground where you initially hit your ball, a fairway – the area between the tee and the green, the rough and other hazards that you should try to avoid including sand traps and water hazards, and the green with a flagstick and cup where you end your hole. Of course, while all holes have these elements they are arranged in different ways and various lengths over the 18-hole course to make the game challenging and fun.
Many courses also include a driving or practice range with bunkers, greens, and driving areas. This section is separate from the course itself and is a great place to warm up and get to know your clubs.
Keep It Under Par
When you come up to your first hole, you’ll notice a sign with the hole number and name and the word par with a number. That number is there to tell you how many strokes the hole will take, also known as par. This doesn’t account for any handicaps, which can be factored in later. By setting a par for each hole, your golf course is providing you with a standard to play to. Of course, it’s more fun to get a hole in one, but you can challenge yourself to get below par as you play your game.
Join The Club
Another benefit of going to a golf course is the clubhouse. Even many smaller courses include a clubhouse where you can find refreshments, dining options, and a place to relax after a long game. Many clubhouses include their own golf store or pro shop. It’s generally included for the convenience of the golfers so that you won’t have to stop at a golf store on your way to the course if you forgot your hat or need extra balls. It’s important to note that dress codes can vary by location, so it’s a good idea to check with your clubhouse you go.
Cart or Not?
When you’re on a big course, you may want to hire a golf cart for the day. If it’s a smaller course or a nice day, you may want to walk. Either way, the choice is yours. If you do decide to use a golf cart, remember there’s a certain etiquette to follow that includes staying behind golfers, avoiding loud noises, avoiding wet turf, and using common sense so everyone can enjoy their game and do their best.
That’s all there is to it – well-planned holes that you can walk or drive to with recommended pars to shoot for, and lovely clubhouses with their own pro shop or golf store where you can stop for equipment and advice. Now that you know what to expect, it’s time to play, so grab your clubs and get out there!