There are several myths about golf that keep a lot of people from taking the game up for the first time or returning to the game they once played. Some of these were true in the past, but as golf moves into the 21st century many are no longer necessarily true. Clubs and courses are realizing that they have to adjust and rethink the way things have always been, but it will take a little effort on the part of golfers to realize there is a little give and take on both sides.
Being in the golf industry my entire career and being heavily involved today, I am very familiar with all the discussions going on among the average golfers and also among the golf professionals and among the golf course owners.
Myth #1 – Takes all day to play
This is the one that is heard most frequently, but is not necessarily true. It is, unfortunately, a fact that if you are determined to play at peak times such as weekend mornings, then you are going to have to deal with slow play. Some people just simply have the attitude what is the rush? They don’t care what your plans are and nothing you can do will speed them up. The worst part is that they tend to play with people that think like they do.
All you have to do to play about as fast as you want to is to check with the courses and find out when their slow times are. They are usually late in the day any day of the week, but it varies on a course by course basis. Find the slow times and you can zip around.
Myth #2 – Only Non-athletic people play golf
This is a complete myth and very far from the truth. Non-athletic people do play golf but with the emphasis we have on fitness today there is no way to categorize the average golfer anymore, especially among younger players.
Also golf is easier to learn if you have any type of sports background that you can relate to.
Physical – You burn almost twice as many calories as you would riding in a cart
Scoring – You shoot better scores than those who are riding in a cart
Social – You have a much better opportunity to interact with all of your playing partners
Experience – You can fully enjoy the natural beauty of the course from tee to green
Myth #3 – It’s for only men
In today’s environment this is also a complete myth. The biggest push in the industry is bringing women and families into golf. At a small number of exclusive, established, old country clubs this may still be true, but it is vanishing completely everywhere else.
Almost every golf course now has leagues or organizations exclusively for women and instruction programs designed specifically for them. Check with the local course to see what they are offering. One suggestion is to get a few friends together and start you own program. One club in the area has gone so far as to start what they call the “Green Tee’ program that is primarily for beginners. The ladies get tee times during non crowded times and start play from the 150 yard marker. It is really a social group and the ladies have fun. They have their own rules that cover things like sand traps. After one or more attempts (it’s up to you) just throw the ball out.
Once the ladies get comfortable at this level they usually move on up to the 9 hole group, but some have so much fun they chose to stay at the Green Tee level.
You might also check with your friends that play golf or may have friends that do.
One word of advice. Do NOT let your husband or significant-other try to teach or give you tips. One of the main reasons women quit golf is because of that very thing.
The PGA of America has a wonderful program that is worth checking out called Play Golf America
Myth #4 – It’s too expensive
This is another myth. Golf can be very expensive just like any other hobby, if you choose to make it that way, but at the entry level it can be more affordable today than ever.
If you are an average golfer or just coming into the game you do not have to play the most challenging or best manicured course in the area. It’s all about playing golf and having fun.
I mentioned earlier about playing at less crowed times. Many clubs are going what is called dynamic pricing where supply and demand determine price. There are also a number of third party tee time providers with GolfNow, which is affiliated with the Golf Channel, being the dominate one. They allow you to search for the best deals and because they get barter times from each course, you can catch these at great prices.
If you want to keep the cost of a round as low as possible then find courses that don’t require carts and will let you walk.
The final point is equipment. I have written entire articles on why you should buy used equipment rather than new unless you are an elite player and the absolute best place to find them is on 3Balls Golf on eBay.
Golf You can buy entire sets of name brand equipment for $200.00 to $300.00. If you are looking for beginner sets it even gets cheaper.
Myth #5 – It is too difficult
It doesn’t have to be. Unfortunately golfers have had this hammer into them in order sell secrets, books, DVD’s, etc. The game itself is very challenging, but learning to hit a golf ball doesn’t have to be. You didn’t need complex instructions and video equipment to learn to ride a bicycle.
The toughest part of this is finding someone that understands people learn by watching and doing and not by listening. When I joined the PGA of America there were only around 7,000 members and they could almost all teach and play. Today, between the PGA and a number of other organizations that can produce a “certified” teacher in a week, there are over 45,000.
Do your home work and ask questions. See who listens and who doesn’t. The good ones will welcome your questions, the rest are just trying to make money. I also strongly recommend John Jacob’s book “Practical Golf.” It is the best I have ever seen for golfers to learn from.