Golf has resurged as an American and leisure activity. Until the 90s, the last great golf boom was in the fabulous fifties when President Eisenhower spent the majority of his escape time at the famed Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. Even our more recent presidents, from Nixon to Clinton, have also been golfers.
Golf has become a popular way for many singles to spend their precious leisure time. Additionally, many people are rediscovering golf as a great business tool.
Statistics show that the largest growth of new golfers are women. Today’s career-oriented woman realizes that the golf course isn’t the domain of the businessman anymore but is also occupied by the professional woman.
Corporate outings and tournaments and charity golf tournaments are great places to entertain clients, get to know the boss better in an informal atmosphere, casually discuss "the deal," and have a lot of fun. Many businesswomen are playing in golf leagues at area courses where they get to know other businesswomen and "network."
Both men and women are appreciating golf as a non-contact sport that can be enjoyed at all skill levels. They recognize golf as a great place to meet new people and/or spend time with a group of friends.
Many men are "coming back" to golf. These are the professional men who are using golf to have fun or get involved for business purposes. So if you are intrigued by the sport of "chasing a little white ball," here is how to join the golf resurgence:
The best way to get started is through professional instruction. Seek a member of The Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of America to inquire about his or her lesson programs.
The PGA of America has been around since 1916. One of its stated purposes is to train its members to be the best teachers of the game as well as providing numerous continuing education opportunities for instructors to learn more about teaching. The PGA member is required to meet periodic continuing education requirements in all aspects of the golf business, including teaching.
The most accessible PGA member instructors are found at area golf and driving ranges, municipal golf courses, and daily fee golf courses. Many private clubs allow their PGA professionals to give lessons to non-members also.
Experience at teaching is very important to you as a beginning player. Don’t be afraid to ask the instructor about his/her experience in years as well as in instructing beginners, etc.
Private instruction is always the most expensive, but you do get the instructor’s undivided attention during your lesson.
Most PGA professionals offer some type of group golf lessons. The instructor’s time is split between you and the other people in the group. The lessons are usually offered as a package. This is a good way to start because you can usually get three to six group lessons for the price of one hour’s private lesson. In addition, you have the added benefit of meeting other people for golfing friends.
For the person who can meet the time frame of the group lessons, this is what I would recommend. You are given instruction, then have repetition of the movement under the watchful eye of a professional instructor for reasonable costs per hour.
Most facilities will have clubs to use or rent during the lessons and practice balls available for $8 per bucket plus or minus a couple of bucks. Golf clubs are expensive. However, when you are learning to play, you don’t need a full set of clubs. It is best to have your PGA instructor recommend a "starter" set if club expense is a problem.
Where do I go?There are many sources for finding quality instruction. Try your local PGA for recommendations, community colleges, or pick up local golf newspapers at golf courses or golf shops for information.
A desire to learn the game, an open mind, and a willingness to have fun at a new experience is all you need to be a novice golfer. Golf is not the easiest game to learn and is probably one of the most difficult to master. However, it is a game where people of different skill and experience levels can play together, enjoy the game at their own level, and enjoy the company and camaraderie of their fellow players. It is also a game that can be taken at your own pace.
A game of self-improvement that changes every day according to the playing conditions.
A game that is enjoyed by the young and the old.
A social game that offers you an opportunity to further business contacts and meet other people.
Golf is truly the game of a lifetime.
Scott Robbins is a PGA Member Professional. He attained his membership in 1978 and has been a professional and teacher at prestigious resorts and clubs in the Texas Hill Country, San Antonio, Dallas, Irving, and Fort Worth, Texas