Although any competitive endeavor demands a great amount of physical skill, mental focus and patience, golf truly puts all these things to the test. You need to be completely calm and collected to perform at your best, which can prove to be quite challenging when so many different factors can affect the ball’s motion.
And it certainly doesn’t help that games of golf are often played with potential business partners or high ranking officials a person is trying to network with to promote a certain cause. There’s a lot at stake, and although seemingly relaxing, a game of golf can get quite stressful, which is why you always need to keep a few basic things in mind when playing this gentleman’s game.
Here is a short list of things you should focus on during your games if you want to improve your performance, and have a great overall experience.
The weather is a huge factor
The thing that most beginners forget is that you will be out there on the field for a considerable amount of time, and the weather conditions can change substantially throughout the day. You should wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely, but keep in mind that you might need to prepare an extra layer or two, just in case.
During the hotter months, it’s a good idea to apply some sunscreen, and always have enough water with you – a sports drink might also be a good idea. Another thing to consider is that, in spring, the terrain can be a bit rougher than usual, and it will be more difficult to get off a perfect shot, so you’ll need to be even more patient and collected than usual.
In the beginning, you will lose far more than you will win
While this might seem like an obvious thing, people often fail to realize just how badly they can lose, and how many things can go wrong, when they are first starting out. You need to be mentally prepared to face defeat and handle it appropriately.
Not only will this allow you to stay stress free in the hours and days after a game, which does wonders for your mental health, but you will also leave a good impression on your opponent. No one likes a sore loser, and showing that you can handle stressful situations like a true professional can help you make some valuable connections.
Don’t go for the fanciest equipment if you still don’t have the basics down
While a great set of golf clubs made of the best materials can definitely make a difference in a professional golfer’s performance, the rank novice simply doesn’t have the skill level to make full use of such equipment. Unless you have a several years of serious golfing experience under your belt, you are much better of going with more reasonably-priced equipment and focusing on the fundamentals.
As a beginner, you need practice more than you need fancy gear with all the bells and whistles, so make sure you find the time to work on your swing and get familiar with all the different clubs before going for the top-tier equipment.
You’ll lose a whole lot of balls, so look for a bargain
A set of brand new golf balls sure looks shiny and nice, but the truth of the matter is that you are just going to lose most, if not all of them during your first couple of games. Sure, if you are trying to impress an important client you can go with new balls, but it is generally a much better idea to get a whole bunch of used golf balls for a bargain price and just have fun without worrying about losing them.
Of course, you’ll have to look for a reputable source to make sure that the golf balls you get are not critically damaged and will perform as good as new. This will allow you to play a fair share of games and work on your skills without spending too much money, and you can always get a few brand new balls from time to time to keep things interesting.
Avoid using golf carts unless it is completely necessary
While some people might scoff at the mere idea of walking around when there are lots of perfectly good golf carts sitting around, doing so has several great benefits. First of all, driving around a golf course damages the terrain, especially in spring when the grass is still in a relatively delicate state.
Secondly, we mustn’t forget that, although not as physically demanding as other sports, golf is still an athletic endeavor and the time spent on the course should be used to improve your physical as well as mental health. You’ve already cleared enough time in your schedule for a game of golf, so it’s safe to say that you have a few extra minutes to do some walking – the extra activity under the warm sun will do wonders for your body.
It pays off to practice your swing off the court
Although we’ve already mentioned that you’ll lose quite a few games before you get good, and that this is something you have to learn to deal with, it’s still a good idea to practice your swing off the court whenever you get the chance. For one, it will help you lose a little less embarrassingly, but it’s also a great way to get away from the computer screen or TV and add some light exercise to your daily routine.
Golf is a great sport and you will definitely grow to love as you get better at it, and thinking about these few simple things will allow you to have more fun on the court.
Just make sure that you get enough practice and keep your cool, and your skills will improve quite rapidly. In the end, the most important thing is to have a fun time and do some networking while you are at it.