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In part 1 of our starter pack blog, we covered what equipment new golfers must have to get started in golf.  This beginner golf “starter pack” included clubs, balls, and tees, and we talked about how these essential items can be acquired cheaply and quickly.  Now that you have a general idea of the equipment needed to get started, getting out onto the course is within reach!  

While the necessary equipment needed in golf is pretty straightforward and easy to acquire, it can still be challenging for new golfers who have never played before to smoothly transition into playing on public courses.  Between the extensive etiquette rules, confusing golf rules, dress codes, and other golf nuances it can seem overwhelming trying to start.  This can certainly be a lot to grasp, but it is really a lot simpler than it appears!

When looking to play on public golf courses, it is always best to call ahead and book a tee time (you can book online most places too) rather than just showing up.  During the golf busy season, most courses will not be able to get you out without booking a tee time in advance.  Golf courses make booking tee times a very simple process, and golf courses will allot four people per tee time slot.  This means that each tee time will allow for a maximum of four people per group.  Here at the American Classic we book our tee times in 10 minute increments, meaning that every 10 minutes a new group will tee off.  This allows for each group to get out ahead of the group behind them, which helps the course flow smoothly.   If you have a 9:00 tee time, it is best to get there at least 15 minutes early to ensure you can check in and get ready to start at 9:00.  The goal is to tee off at 9:00, and showing up exactly at your scheduled tee time can make that nearly impossible.  Late starts can hinder the pace of play on the course, so arriving early greatly helps the course!  To book your tee time, simply call the course clubhouse or book online if your course offers it.

Now that you have booked your tee time and are ready to head to the course, let’s talk about some golf course etiquette rules that can apply to all public golf courses.  To start, one of the most important etiquette rules to consider is pace of play.  Pace of play relates to how long it takes to play your round, and how fast each group plays affects this.  Since most courses will separate their tee times in 10 minute increments, it is important to aim to finish each hole in that allotted time.  For example, if you are taking 15-20 minutes to finish one hole, you will hold up the groups behind you and hinder the flow of the course.  Longer holes, like par 5’s and long par 4’s, will take some more time but these holes will also take the other groups longer as well.  With that being said, you do not want to rush around the course and constantly stress over how fast you are playing.  After all, golf is meant to be fun and relaxing, so finding a balance between keeping pace and rushing is crucial to your experience.  Here are some tips to help you keep it moving without overstressing!

  • Plan your next shot as you are moving towards your ball, not when you reach it
  • Don’t be afraid to drop further along in the fairway or elsewhere if you lose a ball out of bounds 
  • Consider playing alternate game formats like a scramble 
  • Play “ready golf”- whoever is ready to go should hit no matter what
  • Make sure to watch your ball all the way to the ground.  This helps you find your ball quicker and can avoid unnecessary looking time

Continuing on with course etiquette, many superintendents and course grounds crew workers would be upset if golf course care was not mentioned.  When playing on public golf courses, taking care of the course is very important.  This mainly relates to fixing divots and the ground in which you play on.  A divot is a piece of turf that is dug out of the course when playing a shot.  If you have torn up some turf on a shot (this is normal and will happen) replacing the chunk that flew out can speed up the recovery process and also fill in the hole left in the turf.  Many courses will also provide you with seeding/sand and ask you to fill the areas tore up to help the turf recover. 

The greens are the most delicate part of a golf course, so always be cautious and try not to damage them.   Do not drive your golf cart on the greens!  That may seem obvious, but I have seen some crazy things on the golf course.  Fixing your ball marks/divots on the greens is also a crucial aspect of taking care of the course.

A final thing to consider regarding etiquette is the course dress code.  Many courses will not allow clothing items like jeans or non-collared shirts, so make sure to ask before you head over.  Here at the American Classic we are laid back about this and do not have a dress code, so feel free to wear whatever you are comfortable with when playing here!

Booking tee times, showing up early, keeping pace, and taking care of the course while playing will ensure a smooth and fun transition into golf!  In the beginning, I would not stress over every little golf rule, and focus mainly on these etiquette basics while having fun with your friends on the course.  Golf is a great game, and following these basics will make getting out onto the course stress-free!

-Sam Cresta, Assistant Golf Professional at American Classic Golf Club

Book A Tee Time For American Classic Here!

Many golfers, including myself, have been patiently waiting for the weather to break so we can get back onto the course and into the swing of the 2021 golf season.  The weather has been pretty terrible this month, and the cold temperatures, rain, and snow we have seen here in Delaware have not been optimal for golf.  Wednesday’s 55-degree day proved to be a bright spot on a pretty horrible month weather-wise and provided us with optimism and hope that the golf season is not too far away.  I certainly saw the enthusiasm from our golfers here at the American Classic Golf Club that Wednesday as the tee sheet quickly filled up with golfers excited to finally get out and play again.  

While many beginner and experienced golfers are starting to get ready for the 2021 season, many others have interest in playing but do not know how to start or what they need to get into the game.  Understanding the basic golf essentials needed to get into the game can seem overwhelming for those who have never played, but it is a lot easier to get started than it seems.  Hopefully this blog will help get you one step closer to hitting the course!

If you are sure you want to get into golf, having a set of golf clubs is definitely needed.  A few weeks ago, I wrote an in-depth blog on all things golf clubs, so I will just cover the important details here. The main golf clubs include irons, woods, hybrids, and wedges. While club manufacturers sell these clubs individually, I recommend purchasing a full set to start out.  There are many affordable full sets available for men and women that will have all the clubs you need to get started. There is absolutely no need to spend a ton of money on your first set of clubs and purchasing a full set can be an affordable way to get started. I would also like to mention that many golf courses have clubs available to rent, so if you wanted to play a few rounds before investing in your own set it could be worth it to rent first.

The next things you will need are golf balls and tees.  Golf balls are not included with your round, so you will have to purchase your own.  Brands like Top Flite, Spalding, and Wilson are inexpensive golf balls that are perfect to start out with.  You can get 15 of these golf balls for 10-15 dollars, while other balls like Titleist Pro V1s and TaylorMade Tp5s can be up to 56 dollars per dozen.  In my opinion, there is no reason to spend a lot on golf balls when you are starting out, as you are unlikely to notice any difference between a 5-dollar Titleist ball and a 1-dollar Top Flite ball in the beginning of your golf journey.  In the beginning, you will also lose more balls in water hazards and other out of bounds areas on the course, so it makes sense to start with a cheaper ball.  When I play a Titleist or another expensive golf ball and lose it in the water or elsewhere, I always think “welp, there goes 5 dollars.” As you begin to improve and start playing more often, upgrading to a premium golf ball can certainly have its advantages and is worth it, but I would recommend starting with cheaper balls.

Golf tees are also essential items when starting out and are inexpensive. You can purchase a package of 50-100 tees for 5-10 dollars, and they are also easy to come by on the course.  Tees come in sizes ranging from 1-4 inches and starting with a 2-3.5-inch tee is totally fine.  Any package of tees you can find at your courses pro shop or online will be fine and work well for you on the course. 

Once you have clubs, balls, and tees, you have just about all of the essential items needed to hit the course!  One thing I recommend before taking on the course for the first time is considering hitting a few buckets at a driving range or hitting net.  It is best to avoid hitting your first ever golf ball on the 1st tee of a golf course, so hitting at the range or net can be beneficial.  

These are the basic and general items needed to get started, and in another blog going forward (Part 2), we will cover the basic etiquette rules and other items that will help you get out onto the course. 

Hope to see you all out on the course soon!

-Sam Cresta, Assistant Golf Professional at American Classic Golf Club

Events

Purpose: Introduce the game of golf by teaching all aspects of the game from check in, to actually playing golf, as well as rules and general course etiquette.  Perfect for total beginners who are interested in learning the game of golf in a low-pressure environment.

Benefits:

  • Meet other beginner golfers to potentially play with in the future.
  • Low pressure and fun environment, those who attend will have a good understanding of how to play golf and could begin playing at any course.
  • Learn a new sport and develop a new hobby
  • Total beginner course where you will learn everything about how to play starting with the check-in to actually playing.
  • Rental clubs, balls, tees, and all other necessary equipment will be provided.
  • Receive full written summaries of everything covered- this will be a great guide to have for the beginning of your golf journey.

___________________________________

Schedule: 

Monday, August 29th 6pm-8pm

Tuesday, August 30th 6pm-8pm

Wednesday, August 31st 6:30pm-7:30pm

_______________________________________

Cost: $250/person. 10 people maximum.

Included: 5 hours of instruction, full written summaries of topics covered, free 9 hole round at ACGC (Cart not included)

Contact Sam at samcresta8@gmail.com today to get signed up!

Purpose: Introduce the game of golf by teaching all aspects of the game from check in, to actually playing golf, as well as rules and general course etiquette.  Perfect for total beginners who are interested in learning the game of golf in a low-pressure environment.

Benefits:

  • Meet other beginner golfers to potentially play with in the future.
  • Low pressure and fun environment, those who attend will have a good understanding of how to play golf and could begin playing at any course.
  • Learn a new sport and develop a new hobby
  • Total beginner course where you will learn everything about how to play starting with the check-in to actually playing.
  • Rental clubs, balls, tees, and all other necessary equipment will be provided.
  • Receive full written summaries of everything covered- this will be a great guide to have for the beginning of your golf journey.

___________________________________

Schedule: 

Monday, August 29th 6pm-8pm

Tuesday, August 30th 6pm-8pm

Wednesday, August 31st 6:30pm-7:30pm

_______________________________________

Cost: $250/person. 10 people maximum.

Included: 5 hours of instruction, full written summaries of topics covered, free 9 hole round at ACGC (Cart not included)

Contact Sam at samcresta8@gmail.com today to get signed up!