Cindy Miller is a former LPGA Tour Player turned teacher, coach, and mentor. Here she shares her encouragement to anyone trying golf for the first time.
One of the reasons people are skeptical about learning to play the game of golf is fear: fear of looking bad, fear of making a faux paux on the course, and fear of being frustrated with their performance.
What if learning to play could be easier? Would you have the courage to try? There are five things you should remember when learning to play.
1. Beware of “The Committee of 'They.'”
Who are they? Your friends, partner, wife, husband. You get it. Those who have played golf ten minutes longer than you who are eager to tell you everything you do wrong. When you are starting to play, you can sometimes believe everyone is smarter than you and tend to listen. You have no idea what they know or don’t know. When you listen to too many people, you become so confused you have no idea what you are doing. And then you have too many thoughts in your head and can’t do anything right. Please inspect the source of knowledge and quiet unnecessary voices in your head.
2. The ball is dead.
The ball can’t move until you swing the club. Beginners try to hit the ball. More experienced players try to control where it goes. The ball is always trying to win. Remember that your job is to learn to swing the club so you can tell the ball where to go. Once you know how to swing the club, the ball will move where you direct it. It becomes easy.
3. She who misses it best wins.
No one hits every shot perfectly. In fact, those who learn to miss it well without getting too ticked off, will always win. Your mission is to learn to understand why the ball goes where it goes and what you did to make that happen. Once you do, you can learn to correct yourself and your missed hits, and how to recover from bad shots (don't forget to play in our favorite golf pants and golf dresses for ladies, to hit that ball in style).
4. The ball goes up when the club goes down.
If you look at the top of the ball, you will most likely hit the top of the ball. If you hit the top of the ball, it will not go up in the air. You MUST brush the grass so that the club gets under the ball. Relax your arms and wrists so you can swing the clubhead instead of the shaft, like a pendulum. Once you know that the face must brush down, everything changes.
5. “If you watch a game, it’s fun. If you play at it, it’s recreation. If you work at it, it’s golf.”
Jokes Bob Hope. This game can be difficult to learn. Be sure you give yourself a break and have the courage to laugh at yourself. Have fun. No one is perfect. NO ONE. Find some friendly people to play with who don’t judge you or themselves. Everyone was a beginner at some point. Go enjoy yourself!
Cindy Miller is a former LPGA Tour Player, a current member of the Legends Tour of the LPGA and Top 50 LPGA Professional. She is a Certified Behavior, Motivation, and Judgment Professional who is sought after as a speaker, coach, and corporate trainer. She teaches people how to get, do, and be better. Follow Cindy on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.