Facilities Manager, Certified Instructor
TourAcademy at TPC Scottsdale
From time to time, someone will stop by TPC Scottsdale and I’ll ask them about their golf. “When was the last time you had a chance to play or practice?” This is a common question I’ll ask someone who comes in for golf instruction and every once in a while I’ll get the answer, “Never.” The first time they’ve ever touched a club. Welcome to golf.
During our time I’ll get them pointed in the right direction with some basics, then I’ll assign a little homework, something that will have an immediate impact on their game. I send them to a used club store, or to their own garage and find an old 6 or 7 iron, cheaper the better. To go with that club, I’ll ask them to pick up a grip at a local golf store that has been molded to help put your hands on the club perfectly. Spend ten bucks on the grip, ten bucks to have someone put it on properly and instantly you have your first and very helpful training aid. Every practice session should begin and end with this club. Get the ball in the middle of your stance, be aware of where your aimed, and pile up the ball count, instant improvement.
Feedback is so difficult to get when you’re just getting going so something like an old club with a grip reminder is invaluable, you know your hands are on the club perfectly.
Next step, heading to the golf course. In town I’d highly reccomend any par three course as a great place to start, Continental, the newly opened Mountain Shadows. I like these short courses for multiple reasons. Easier holes. Doesn’t take long to play. Won’t lose any golf balls (hopefully). I’d also reccommend you go in the late afternoon, less golfers, more open space, no pressure to speed along or hurry.
Finally, when you’ve got a good handle on hitting shots and being on the course, pick three holes on the first nine and keep score on just those holes, the number doesn’t matter, the act of playing by the rules and holing out gives you a great starting point, a way to measure improvement in the future.
As you get more comfortable on the course, add a few more holes, pretty soon, you’ll be on your way to your first 18 hole score! Good Luck!