The late bloomer: Tips for first time senior golfers

Jan 3, 2012, 8:51 a.m.

If you've decided to pick up the sport of golfing in your golden years, don't be surprised if you feverishly hack the ball away in the beginning. That's not to say that you may be one of the lucky ones who picks up the nuances of the game quickly, but chances are you'll need some golfing tips before you're ready for the PGA Senior Golf Professional Tour.

These six first-time golfing tips will get you to drive the ball better -- and make more of those challenging putts.

  1. Have a sense of humor. If you've been invited to play golf before but declined because you were intimidated with the "unknowns", the best way to tackle your fears is to develop a sense of humor. Have fun with the game, and don't take it too seriously. Telling a good joke or two while on the course will help lighten the mood and relax you during your play.
  2. Get coached. Whether you decide to enlist a friend to coach you or hire a professional golf instructor for lessons, it's a great idea to get coached on golf for beginners.
  3. Hit the driving range. Before even stepping foot on the golf course, do yourself a favor and get intimate with the driving range. Spending a few days practicing your swing is sure to improve your game.
  4. Choose an easy course. For your first-time out on the green, don't choose the most challenging course or the expensive country club in your neighborhood. Ask your friends, neighbors, or family members who golf which courses are best for golf-beginners.
  5. Choose a par-three course. Par-three courses fit nicely for the first-time golfer, senior golfers, or occasional golfers because all holes are shorter in yardage. In many cases, par three golf courses are nine holes -- half the number of 18-hole regulation courses. They also take less time to play.
  6. Know golf etiquette. Die-hard golfers can be a serious bunch, and play their game with a straight face, amazing patience, and unbelievable focus. One important piece of golf etiquette advice is this: keep your play moving. You'll find that you won't like waiting on groups, so don't make other groups wait on you. Further, be kind to the course by observing all golf rules.
  7. Quiet please. Most importantly, don't ever talk while your fellow golfer is swinging. That's a sure-fire way to not get invited to play golf with him again.

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