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Written By NaviPay Blog Contributor:
Suzanne Davis
Coastal Business Evolution, LLC

We’ve all been experiencing the sweet taste of freedom since the stay at home order lifted. It’s time to continue to enjoy the great outdoors—before the full brunt of the rainy season and potential hurricanes head our way! How about a round of golf? The courses are a great place to enjoy fresh air, get some exercise in (carry that bag and walk the course), and still practice social distancing.

Today we aren’t talking to the regulars on the links, but to those who are just starting out in the game—or considering starting out. We were all encouraged to learn a new skill or approve one we already had when we were quarantined and unless you had a putting green in your back yard (if you do, this article isn’t for you—you’re not a newbie) learning to golf wasn’t on that list. But the golf course could be an intimidating place for a beginner, so we reached out to some pros for advice on how to get started.

Connie Capangera is the program director and a coach at First Tee of the Palm Beaches. https://www.firstteepalmbeaches.org/ First Tee’s mission is: To impact the lives of young people, including those with special needs, and Veterans, by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

Connie truly believes that golf is a game for everyone from ages 2 to 102 and if you haven’t tried golf yet—what are you waiting for? Connie says, “Golf doesn’t discriminate against age, gender, or ethnicity. Everyone can play. It is an amazing social opportunity to spend time with family and friends. If it is your first time, no worries, there is always a first time for everything. The important part is that you have decided to try something new. My Motto is FUN FIRST” No one is judged at First Tee. There is an atmosphere of respect and support!  

Her tip is to make learning the game, well, a game! “It is easier to learn through games. Find someone that you know is at the same or similar skill level you are and have fun challenging each other. It could be on the putting green, chipping, or at the driving range – just remember, golf is a game, so have a good time!”

Steven Cox, Elite Golf Instruction https://www.elitegolfinstruction.com/ and PGA Professional Certified Coach suggest that new golfers start at the driving range which could be easier than heading right to the course. Golf is a very unique activity that includes a separate practice facility away from the actual game itself. However, some beginner to intermediate players finds that a perfect practice session on the range doesn’t always translate to the course itself. Practicing on the range is almost an entirely different sport on its own!

Steven recommend the following to bridge that gap: During your practice session you should pretend that you are on the course. Use imagery to your advantage. Picture yourself on the golf course and rehearse a typical situation that you may find yourself in while playing. Even if you don’t perform the shot as well as you have liked, move on to the next shot but don’t allow yourself to scrape over another ball too quickly. Slow down and allow yourself 10 seconds to reflect on why it wasn’t executed correctly. Remember, you only get one opportunity on the course; you should rehearse the same situation on the practice grounds

A PGA Professional can bridge the gap between practicing on the driving range and playing a good round of golf!  A great golf instructor will find the time, within an hour’s lesson, to take their students onto the golf course. By being able to apply what the instructor has given their students, will encourage a progressive form of learning and retention of that knowledge. You can reach Steven at stevencox@pga.com or by calling 561-806-4500.

So golf really is FORE everyone.

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