Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Advice for the Average Golfer

After receiving a note from David Felker, scientist and inventor of Callaway Rule 35 Golf Balls, I happily agreed when he asked to post a blog on our Golf for Beginners site. 

David is also the founder of the USRGA, an organization which is helping to grow the game of golf by focusing on the many recreational players around the world who are interested in the sport for fun.

It is our hope that golf continues to expand, in spite of course closings and a downturn in rounds per course. If we are to continue bringing golfers into the sport, let's keep it fun, interesting and invite people in who want to try the sport that lasts a lifetime by providing innovative ways to enjoy the game.

Big Golf hole
Too innovative for golf? Maybe...but sure looks like fun!

Here is David Felker's blog, with his advice for the average golfer:

Golf is so much fun I can’t stand it. It is a special game that you can enjoy your entire life and learning to play golf will add a new dimension to your life. Here are ten random pieces of free golf advice that I hope will help any beginner golfer:  

1) Golf is not about the score – it is about the fun you can have with your friends in the beautiful setting of a golf course.  Choose your golf partners wisely - avoid golfers that take the game too seriously and get mad on the course; they will ruin your day. 

2) Know the Etiquette of Golf from Day One. Study it before you set foot on a golf course (lots of golf etiquette advice on  Nothing bothers golfers more than golfers who do not follow the etiquette of golf.    Failure to follow the etiquette of golf is not only bad form, golfers will avoid playing with you if you disregard accepted golf etiquette. 

3) No matter what any golfer, PGA professional or anyone tells you - The USGA rules of golf do not apply to you (they only apply to serious competitive golf tournaments). 

The USGA rules book is more than two-hundred pages long – don’t read it; 75% of golfers have never read the USGA rules of golf and 73% admit to not following the rules of golf. Instead, read the US Recreational Golf Association’s “13 Rules of Golf”.  Their rules reflect how 85% of golfers play golf. The US Recreational Golf Association’s rules are one page long and easy to learn ( )

4) Buy a decent set of used golf clubs to start and make sure the driver is at least twelve degrees of loft so you can get the ball up in the air.  Any used balls will work fine (you are going to lose all of them anyway).   If you have a bad slice, seriously consider buying some Polara anti-slice golf balls or Trust-Tee's new innovative tees and use until you are good enough to keep the ball in the fairway.

5) Don’t take private lessons. Find a course that gives group lessons for beginners.  They often give you other benefits along with the lessons, like reductions on green fees and merchandise.  The average course these days does not do enough business to make a profit, so a lot are bending over backwards to find new players – play golf where your business is most appreciated.

6) Arrive at the course at least thirty minutes early so you are not rushed and can warm up before you play the round. It is better to get twenty to thirty bad shots out of your system on the range than on the golf course.

7) If the course allows walking or use of a pull cart, try it – this is the way golf was traditionally played.  Waking gives you time to clear your mind between shots and the exercise is great for your health. 

8) Golf is a social experience.  After the golf round, go into the clubhouse, wash up and relax.  Have a drink with your friends and talk about the day - your best shots, biggest blowups, what you liked best about the course. Relive the fun and have some laughs.  The 19th hole is part of the tradition of golf.  

9) Not all golf courses are the same. I have found that the amount of money I pay to play rarely has anything to do with how much I enjoyed the day. Every course has a certain feel and character that is defined by the golf course itself, the club house, the staff and the service.   Play different courses - you will find ones you really like, and ones you don’t like.  Life is too short to play at a course with bad staff and bad service.

10) Last piece of advice - There is no such thing as a natural born golfer. All golfers struggle to begin with. They can’t even hit the ball, but with a little time and practice, it will come to you. 

Enjoy the journey of going from beginner to the point where you hit your first great shot on the course.  It will be so exhilarating and inspiring that you will remember it for the rest of your life.  You do not have to be a great golfer to have fun. 

Remember this fact – the average male golfer shoots 106.  Strive for a score of 105, and then you will be better than 50% of the golfers! You do not have to be a scratch golfer to enjoy the game.  If you put enough effort into the game to play at the bogey golf level, you will have given yourself a gift for life. If you go on to teach your child or children to play golf, you will have given them (and yourself) an even greater gift.

About the author:

David Felker says he is just a little bit better than the average golfer, but he does admit he is a brilliant golf scientist.  He was recruited from DuPont Company to help start the Callaway Golf ball Company in 1996. With the help of a world class group of scientists, David invented the Callaway Rule 35 Golf ball which replaced the wound ball technology. Dr. Felker is also the inventor of Polara Golf balls that he claims are the world’s only golf balls that correct hooks and slices. (Golf for Beginners does not yet endorse this product as we have not yet tried it.)

He is also the founder of the US Recreational Golf Association (USRGA), a nonprofit organization serving the needs of recreational golfers, golf courses and the golf companies.  The USRGA’s mission is to provide a voice for recreational golfers and to help grow the game of golf.

Check out our Holiday Gift Guide! Still time to pick out the perfect golf gift.

Voice your opinions on Twitter @Golf4Beginners and on this Golf for Beginners blog!

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The above blog is the opinion of the guest blogger. Golf for Beginners does not necessarily agree or disagree with the blog but wanted to post it in order to give golfers a viewpoint to discuss.

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