With the Ryder Cup having come and gone, and so much exposure on the biennial event, golf clubs all over the world are once again preparing themselves for a surge of novice players keen to take up the wonderful game.
The Ryder Cup
One of the high exposure events which really does inspire a wealth of people. The unique event saw Europe take on the USA; a huge rivalry which saw the best golfing talent in the world battle against each other with an aim to claim they are from the best golfing region. Unlike other golfing events, the Ryder Cup is simply played for bragging rights as no financial rewards are issued to the winners.
The event first took place in 1927 at Wentworth Country Club, Surrey, UK following an exhibition match between American and British professionals the previous year. Initially the 2 teams fought fairly even battles however following WW2, the Americans dominated and in 1979 the British team was changed to the European team.
This Year’s Event
This year the Ryder Cup took place at the Medinah Country Club, Illinois, USA on 28, 29 and 30 September. Medinah is a private country club with around 600 members and has hosted 5 major championships in the past.
9 or the world’s top 10 golfers were representing their teams this year, with the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Luke Donald and Bubba Watson all taking part.
If you are reading this and have been inspired to start playing golf, here are a few tips to get you going.
Where to play
First of all you need to find out where you can play. It may be a good idea to find a local driving range to get some basic skills mastered. A lot of driving ranges with Pro’s will run basic skill courses either on a group or 1-to-1 basis; these can be invaluable when you first start so you can get off on the right foot as bad habits are hard to get rid of.
Once you know what you need to do, it is time to practice, practice, and practice! You will soon learn that golf is a very frustrating game but the more you play, the better you will get. This is where a driving range has huge benefit so you can focus on getting your techniques right in a controlled environment.
Nothing replaces the joy of playing a round of golf so find a golf course near you which you will access on a regular basis. They don’t all cost the earth to join; there are lots of different types of courses to play. 9-hole courses are widely available and many you can pay as you play, but if you are going to play regularly, consider joining an 18-hole course as a member as you will get a better deal on the basis you play often enough.
It is possible to hire equipment but you will soon find yourself out of pocket so budget to get yourself started. You can also get good second hand equipment but I would recommend getting your equipment new; starter sets are readily available at a good price.
Here is a list of recommended equipment required:
· Set of clubs – usually 14 clubs consisting of driver, woods, irons, wedges and putter.
· Golf bag – used to store your clubs and equipment.
· Golf balls – you will lose some, so try to keep a dozen in your bag; at least to start with.
· Golf tees – Again, at least a dozen.
· Glove – Helps to improve your grip on the club and stops soars appearing.
· Towel – To clean your clubs so you make a better connection.
· Clothing – most courses have dress code. Usually a polo shirt, trousers and golf shoes will be enough but check with your course first. You won’t be able to wear golf shoes in the club house so take some clean, smart shoes too. On a personal note, I really like Lyle and Scott from Scottsdale Golf. It is reasonably priced and excellent quality.
· Waterproofs – You will need them at some point!
Once you are stocked up, get playing as much as you can. Practice is definitely the key to improving in this wonderful game.