Golf is not an easy sport to learn. Often, beginners quit because they become discouraged by their initial results. It can take years to get your golf game to a level where you consistently score well. Even then, every golfer has bad days on the course. Patience is essential -- as many seasoned golfers admit, golf is a game that can never be perfected. Beginners should focus more on enjoying the game than their results as they learn the game.
Being too concerned with scoring is a common mistake of beginner golfers. Perhaps golf looks easy when watching professionals on TV, but watching and playing couldn't be more different. Professional golfers routinely shoot scores under par on championship-caliber courses. A beginner should not consider that kind of performance in the realm of possibility. But that's the beauty of golf, unlike other professional sports such as baseball, football and basketball. With enough time and practice, the dream of competing at a high level is possible.
Par for the Course
A typical golf course plays to a par of 72, which means a highly skilled golfer should be able to shoot near or better than that score. Beginners, after a lot of practice on a driving range, may experience a wide array of results. Aim to try to score no more than 2 over par on each hole of a par-72 course, which means a score of 108. The next goal for a new golfer should be to break a score of 100. Even for long-time golfers, the average score is 97, according to Forbes Magazine. As your game progresses, the next goal is to break 90, then 80 and so on.
Practice Practice Practice
Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images
Like any sport, you increase your chances of playing better through practice and professional assistance. Those who want to get good at golf might consider taking professional lessons. Playing weekly also helps improve scores. Golf requires stamina, and those who are physically fit have a better chance of attaining lower scores. A novice golfer who can get their score to about 90 in their first year of play, should be happy with those results.
Equipment and Expense
According to the National Golf Foundation, in the last decade more people have given up their golf game than in any other time period since they've been tracking player data. Golf can be expensive, considering the cost of greens fees and purchasing equipment, and the economic downturn in recent years certainly is a major factor. A new golfer should not consider buying brand-new equipment. Many golf shops offer second-hand clubs that are in excellent shape at deeply discounted prices.
L.P. Biersdorfer has been writing about sports, travel and pop culture for more than 20 years. She has been published in "CosmoGirl," "Racing Milestones," "Florida Magazine," "New York Moves," "The Financial Playbook" and Motorsport.com. Biersdorfer also contributed to the 2004, 2005 and Silver Screen editions of "Trivial Pursuit."