You’ve just retired. You’ve never been much interested in golf but now that you have some time on your hands, you’re wondering if you should pick the game up. Your friends play a lot and you feel a bit left out. So the big question for you is “Am I too old to start playing golf?”
In short – no way! Of course, you’ve got to be realistic about the skill level you may actually achieve but golf is a game for everyone…young and old, beginners and experts. You’re never too old to pick up the great game of golf. You’ll have the wonderful opportunity to spend time with your friends and spouse on the golf course and perhaps travel to play beautiful courses across the country and the world.
There are two things you need to do to get started:
1. Take some lessons. Don’t just go to the driving range with your golfing buddies and have them give you some tips. You might get your game to a level where you can get on the course but you will soon get frustrated. Trust a golf professional so that you can learn solid golf fundamentals. Every golf course has a staff golf professional that can give you private lessons. You could take a golf clinic but I’d suggest you take a handful of private lessons so that you can get the special attention you need to get started the right way.
2. Learn golf etiquette. New golfers sometimes feel intimidated by the informal rules and etiquette associated with golf. While there is no reason to be intimidated, it is essential to learn basic etiquette so as not to upset others that you might play with. Most golfers are very patient with beginner golfers that will hit the errant shot. However, they will get frustrated if you are oblivious to your shadow on the tee and green, walking or moving while they are preparing to hit, or other etiquette miscues. Simply talk to one of your golfer friends and they can give you the short list of etiquette. Better yet, walk with your friends for a couple of rounds and watch how they act. You’ll get some great exercise and learn the game as well!
When you are ready to play, consider playing when a course is less crowded – usually late afternoon on weekdays. That way you won’t feel stressed about slowing down play. When you are just starting out, it’s also OK to simply pick up your ball if you’re struggling on a hole. Don’t slow down play. Not only is it disrespectful to other golfers, it also will stress you out. Simply pick up your ball and wait to play with your group on the next hole.
Don’t worry about your score when you’re just starting out. Simply enjoy the game and the challenge. You’ll get bit by the golf bug before too long…it only takes one of those well-struck shots that feel soooo good to get you coming back for more. Golf is a great game and it does not discriminate on the basis of age!