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What Does a New Golfer Need to Know?

golf rules at seasons at the traditionGolf is an exciting game for many people. If you are starting out, the rules and techniques can seem confusing. Here are some pointers.

Consider taking lessons to learn the basics. An instructor can explain the rules of the game and which types of clubs to use and help you learn proper technique. You can also do some research online.

A caddie can help you by providing advice on how to approach a shot, the layout of the course, and which club to use for each tee or putt. Take advantage of this person's expertise, if possible.

Golf clubs are a financial investment. Start out with a used set of clubs. If you decide that you enjoy the game, you can invest in a better set of clubs later.

Before you tee off, check the scorecard to see if there are any local rules that apply to that specific golf course. Place an identifying mark on your ball and let your fellow players know the type and number of ball you are using.

Move at a good pace. Begin planning your next shot before it is your turn. When you reach your ball, you should check the lie, choose your club, visualize your shot, and then hit the ball within 30 to 45 seconds of selecting your club.

Replace your divots after taking a shot. If this is not possible, kick the turf around the edges of the divot or fill it in with a soil and seed mixture that some golf courses provide. You can also bring a rake with you into the bunker. Enter from the low side at a point closest to the ball, and avoid walking on the steep face of the bunker. Rake the area you played from and any footprints. Leave the rake in or near the bunker. Repair any pitch marks or indentations caused when the ball hit the green. You can repair pitch marks on your putting line, but you cannot repair spike marks on your putting line until after you have putted.

Do not step on another player's putting line. If your ball is on another player's line, mark your ball. Do not stand where you might distract another player or make any noise when someone is going to putt. If you tend the flagstick, remove it right after another player has putted and hold it at arm's length.

If your ball goes into the woods, you can hit a provisional ball. If you find your original ball within five minutes, you can continue to play it. If not, you play the provisional ball with a one-stroke penalty. If there is any chance that your ball could hit someone, yell "fore."

Golf can be a source of great relaxation and enjoyment. These are just some of the basics. Taking lessons and practicing often can help you perfect your game.


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