Golf for beginners

Last week I hade the chance to take some Golf lessons in Club de Golf de Oliva Nova (Valencia). The level was beginner. Playing golf is like learning how to drive; you need to be aware of a thousend things at the same time, but after practicing you just do it mechananically.  This sport does not look at the phisical strenth, but precition and technique, sorrounded of a beautiful green landscape.

Before we start, we need to go over some theory. First, you must know the game and its rules. Then we’ll see how to play it and the tools needed. Also useful to know the appropriate clothing and some technical words, almost all Anglicisms. After all this, and not before, we can start with the practice, the technique and the strikes.

What should I wear? The golf clothing code is casual and sporty, yet elegant. You can wear a polo and some shorts or slacks. In winter, vests are commonly used. Forget jeans and teeshirts. The top has to have a collar. There are special golf shoes, with hooks on the soles to grip the ground better, but you can use any sport shoes with rubber soles. And a glove, just one, for the hand holding the brunt of the strikes.

The bat is held with both hands, thumbs down and crisscrossing a finger as baseball posture, keeping your arms relaxed. The stick is a foot away from the body, 10 cm. aprox. The gaze is fixed on the ball in the floor, so that you don’t decenter the hit. It is important not to look at the trajectory of the ball until the end.

There are different types of clubs, iron and wood, which was the old material they were made of. Today they mantein the name, but there are no sticks made of wood anymore. Each of them have different height and angle, depending on whether the stroke is long, short, tall, accurate, etc.. The most used are the Sand, the Pitch and irons 1 to 9. The maximum amount sticks allowed in a tournamentis is 14, though actually only 4 or 5 are often used.

The golf posture is quite unnatural, so you have to train a lot to make it much of a loose and relaxed way. The swing is the complete rotation, a circular movement of the arms, shoulders and hips. The back is kept straight, and the arms rotate slightly more than a circle. The knees are slightly bent, and feet to shoulder height. The heels do not leave the ground until the end of the turn. In the final position we bring the left knee to the right one, while the foot is turned fully towards the direction of the ball.

There are 18 holes in each regulatory field, a total of 72 strikes of par 3, 4 and 5. The 19th hole is a colloquial expresion that refrers to the place to have a drink afterwards. Some basics of golf:

  • Tee is the place to star.
  • Green is the hole where it ends. The nearby area is often irregular and with different levels of slope. The grass is very short and smooth, for the ball to roll well.
  • El swing, stroke.
  • El fairway or street is the most direct path.
  • El rough is the are aoround the street, not as smoothe and it is harder to hit.
    The pair, munber of blows to be given to get the ball into the hole.
  • Birdie is 1 under par.
  • Eagle is 2 under par, very difficult, only occurs in the par 5.
  • Boogie is 1 over par. Double or triple boogie, 2 o 3 more on the pair.

The buggy is also the car that moves the sticks and people in the countryside. Pronounced much like the Boogie, but are different words. And with that I hope you have the basics notions to start playing golf.

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