The world is divided firmly into two camps: those who play golf, and those who do not play golf. Or, at least, that's how it seems – but surely the players have to have started somewhere. But when? And where?
If you're in your 20s, working in a good pensionable job and thinking about settling down – well, it's about time you started playing golf, right? Here's our guide to getting going on the green, for the absolute golfing novice.
Start with Pitch & Putt
According to the golf geniuses at Golf Digest – and, er, everyone we surveyed in the Lovin Dublin office – not only is Pitch & Putt a great way to get started with your golf game, but 50 percent of your game will be a short one, so learning to pitch and putt well is wise. Luckily, there are loads of Pitch & Putt options in Dublin; check out the definitive list here.
Take lessons – sooner rather than later
The best thing about starting a new sport from scratch? You haven't had time to make any bad habits, to learn from the experts before you get the chance. One of the best deals we found was via Golf Dublin, where you can take a five-week beginners' / improvers' course – on Monday or Wednesday evenings at 7pm, or on Saturday or Sunday mornings – for just €89. All you need's a pair of runners; they'll provide all the necessary equipment.
Try before you buy
As in life, so too in golf. If you're considering investing in clubs – and we wouldn't recommend it until you've got to grips (so to speak) with the basics – make sure you try them out. Ask to give them a bit of a swing; make sure the grip feels comfortable and that the weight doesn't knock you off your feet. Take advice from the pros, but don't let yourself be talked into buying a club if it doesn't feel right.
Enlist some mates
One of the best things about golf? The apres-golf (even if that's not what they call it). Golf is as much about the post-par sambos as it is about the perfect putt, and there's no point dining alone, now is there? Plus, a lot of courses will do a discount on membership once you get to that stage, if you're joining together.
Shop around for membership
Speaking of which, unless you have strong family ties to a particular course – in which case, what're you even doing here? – you're gonna want to scout around for the best deal. For starters, check out the Groupon of golfing, at mygolfmembership.ie, for special offers and discounts at courses around the country.
Dress the part – seriously
You might not think this is important, but golf carries with it a very specific set of rules regarding how you're kitted out – and a lot of clubs won't let you out on the green if you're not obeying them. There's a definitive list of Dos and Don'ts over on the Golfsmith blog, but know this: jeans are a definite no-no; runners are only sometimes allowed; and there's a reason golfers all wear those little polo tees and not regular T-shirts. For Pitch & Putt, wear whatever you like – but for serious golf, on a serious course, serious rules apply.