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Getting into golf without going broke

Written by FCN Staff - Leave a Comment

This article comes from Nate Segall from the Quicken Loans Zing! blog.

With spring around the corner and warm weather (hopefully) on its way, it’s about time to start thinking about getting back onto the golf course. If you’re not a regular Golden Bear, or if you don’t know who the Golden Bear is, then it’s time for you to start playing the great game of golf. Now, golf is not a cheap sport. It’s not like basketball where you can play with just a ball and a hoop; there’s a lot of necessary equipment needed to even begin to play golf. So if you’re tired of playing virtual golf on your Xbox, or if your boss invited you to play a round and you don’t want to embarrass yourself, the Zing Blog is here to advise you and offer you the best tips and advice for stepping into the world of golf.

BUY USED EQUIPMENT

The first thing to understand about being a beginner at golf is that buying the best equipment will not automatically make you a good golfer. So don’t go out and spend thousands of dollars on clubs, shoes, balls and other accessories. Utilize eBay, used club sections at golf stores and even garage sales to find your first set of clubs. And by set, we don’t mean you need to go out and buy all fourteen necessary clubs. Here are the clubs you should have in your very first golf bag:

  • Driver: The driver is used to “drive” the ball a great distance down the fairway and is used when the ball is set up on a tee.
  • Irons 5-9: Irons are typically used when you’re fewer than 200 feet away from the pin. Middle irons (5-6) are less lofted and are used for longer shot, while short irons (7-9) have more loft and get the ball in the air quickly for shorter approach shots.
  • Wedge: Wedges are used for shots 100 yards or shorter. They have the highest loft of any club, which makes them the best option when your ball is in tall grass or in a sand bunker. There are different types of wedges, each varying in loft degree.
  • Putter: This is the only club you may have previously used (probably at your 10th birthday party) but this time around there won’t be a windmill to putt the ball through.

Now is the time to go and look for your inaugural set of golf clubs before prices begin to rise for the upcoming golf season.

DON’T PAY FOR A PERSONAL INSTRUCTOR

There are too many “free” ways to gain knowledge on the sport of golf to spend money on a Professional Golf Association (PGA) instructor. Have any golfing family members or friends? Ask them to give you a few pointers at the driving range.  I guarantee that they’ll be flattered and more than willing to lend a hand. Another great option for a quick lesson is YouTube videos. After you’re finished reading this blog, do a quick YouTube search of “golf instruction videos,” and I guarantee you’ll find an answer to your question. Another great option is the PGA website. Head to their instruction section for tips, lessons and more!

DON’T BE AFRAID TO GET OUT ON THE COURSE

Now I’m not suggesting that you take your first swing on a tee box, but some people refuse to go to an actual golf course because they aren’t good enough but there are just some things you get on a golf course that you can’t experience at the driving range. And there are golf courses that are more suited for beginners. GolfNow.com is a great place to book a tee time at a local course near you. Each golf course has a review section where you can find the course difficulty, the average pace of play and the type of golfer that it’s suited for.

Your first few times swinging a club should most certainly be at a driving range. A majority of driving ranges use mats with fake grass to imitate real fairways and roughs, but it really isn’t a good substitute. Try your best to find a driving range that uses grass because it will give you a better feel of what it’s like to be out on a real golf course.

Golf is one of the greatest sports in the world because virtually anyone can play it. It’s truly the best way to spend a sunny, summer Sunday morning. It can even be a great platform for making business deals. Take the time to get to know the game and I guarantee you’ll fall in love.

Do you have any tips or tricks for getting started in golf? Share in the comments section below!

More stories from Zing:

Online sales tax: What’s the deal?

Buying and Selling Homes in 2014: A More Balanced Market

Decorating Your Home: A Guide for Music Lovers

Published on March 28th, 2014
Modified on March 11th, 2014 - Leave a Comment
Filed under: Frugality, Retirement

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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