How to get into golf for the first time


There hasn’t been much to do the last three months.

But, there has been golf.

It’s led many to finally try and take up the game. Many more likely have thought about it, but see learning golf as too difficult a chore.

Big Oak teaching pro John Rose doesn’t want you to be nervous. Golf is supposed to be fun and he wants to help a brand new player enjoy it.

There are two basic things he’ll teach with a novice: stance and grip.

The stance Rose wants is what he calls the ready position. He’ll often see players reaching down to address the ball by slumping their shoulders. Rose will teach a player to bend from the hip sockets, add a little bit of knee flex and let the arms hang from the shoulders.

Golf may not be seen as a sport for athletes, but Rose wants you to look like an athlete standing next to the ball.

“Whether you’re a quarterback in football or a shortstop in baseball, it’s the same ready position,” he says. “If we can get you in that position, we can put you to swinging the golf club.”

The problem with most incorrect grips is that a player has the club in the palm of their hand, not in the fingers. Grabbing the club in the fingers allows for much more range of motion with a wrist hinge.

Rose often uses a training aid that can easily cheat your grip to the correct spot.

He also strongly advocates using video as additional way to learn the game quickly. Rose can record swing and then email a player the video to keep as an at home lesson.

“I can voice over (the swing) so that they can take a look back and remember what we worked on,” Rose says. “It makes a huge difference. It’s real easy to forget the one or two things you’re working on.”

While many experienced players often practice with a bucket of balls at the range, it doesn’t replace what a professional can teach. Rose says, in general, ten solo sessions at the range offers the same help as one lesson with a pro.

And one lesson is not a game changer.

“Most people come out and they take one lesson. When somebody does that, it’s a bandaid. I’m gonna try to fix what’s going on with them so they can get it around the course,” Rose says. “The person that wants to take a series of lessons, that’s a developmental program where I can take from this spot and get them to this spot.”

Rose understands that golf can seem complicated and players, both new and experienced, can get intimidated by a lesson with the pro. Most golfers actually walk away from a lesson excited and eager to try out what they’ve learned.

“We’re here to try and calm you down. Make sure you remember that this is just a game,” Rose says. “This isn’t your living. You’re out here to have fun.”

Even if it’s your first time playing.

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