So the question is, how does a beginner golfer get started? What equipment will you need and what will it all cost to enjoy and get the most out of this sport?
At his sports shop, Intersport Strasser in Zell am Ziller, Patrick Gruber has a well-stocked golf department including shoes, clothing, clubs, golf bags and various golfing accessories. He gave me the lowdown on the basic equipment that a beginner golf should invest in.
So Patrick, which clubs are best for a novice golfer?
Quite simply, golf clubs are a golfer’s most important equipment. In order to get to grips with the sport, it is important to always practice with the same set of golf clubs. A golf set includes a golf bag, clubs and balls. However, a beginner golfer doesn’t need a complete set of clubs straight away. Initially, a 7, 8 and 9 iron as well as a putter should be enough to get started. It’s difficult to tell in advance whether golf will be the sport for you. It might look easy, but it requires a lot of practice, concentration and perseverance. That said, I always advise against buying the cheapest equipment, even if you are a beginner. If you’re using substandard equipment, you’ll soon get frustrated with the sport!
A golf bag is another practical purchase which enables you to carry your clubs and other equipment with you. It should protect your equipment and have:
• Compartments for storing golf clubs in order of size, so that the golfer can quickly find the club he or she needs.
• Pockets for jackets, balls, tees, drinks etc
• Straps and handles for carrying the bag.
The right equipment is essential. We recommend that beginners invest in a mid-price beginner set. A starting set will cost you around €400 and these clubs should last you at least 5 years.
Apart from clubs, is there any other equipment which is important for golf?
I highly recommend a pair of waterproof shoes. The green is often damp and it’s not much fun to have to walk around the whole course in wet shoes.
I also recommend using a golf glove to protect you from getting blisters on your hands; a common golfing injury. Even more importantly, however, is that the golf glove gives you good grip so that the club doesn’t slip in your hand. In good weather, you only need one glove for the left hand (if you are right-handed). In wet weather, special rain gloves will give you good grip on wet clubs. You don’t have to wear a glove, but it usually makes the game easier and more enjoyable.
Is there a dress code on the golf course?
There are a few rules, which must be observed. Jeans, jogging bottoms or tracksuits are not allowed on the golf course. Men must (and women should) wear a collared shirt. Also shorts shouldn’t be too short - hot pants are not allowed! Shorts should cover at least half of the thigh.
Is there a certain greeting on the golf course?
Etiquette is very important in golf. Phrases such as “ein schönes Spiel” or “ein gutes Spiel” (“have a good game”) are used to wish golfers well as they head out onto the course.
How can I book my first golf lesson?
After you have organised the basic equipment, there’s nothing stopping you from booking your first lesson. The Ziller Valley Golf School offers introductory lessons. Simply call the reception of the Golf Hotel to book a taster lesson with one of the pros (golf instructors) and you’ll soon be able to call yourself a golfer!
Finally, golf is a sport which anyone can learn to play, if they have the right equipment. Golf is a great way of getting outdoors in the fresh air and will leave you feeling fitter and healthier. If you play all 18 holes, you will have walked between 10 and 12 kilometres, depending on how accurately you hit the ball! Golf is definitely a sport for the body, mind and soul!
Summary of essential golf equipment:
• Golf clubs and balls
• Golf bag
• Golf clothing and shoes
• Golf glove