Is Golf too Difficult for Beginners?

I just wanted to do a quick post on something that I was thinking about this morning.  Is golf too difficult and  inaccessible to the majority of people who might consider taking up the sport? What I mean is that with the price of clubs, greens fees, range balls, etc. constantly increasing, the golf courses and golf companies are nearly making it impossible for people of average means to get involved in the sport.    Golf isn’t supposed to be a game reserved only for the rich.  Combine that with how difficult the game really is, and it’s a lose/lose combination for newcomers to the game.  My feeling is that most new golfers don’t have the time, patience, dedication or funds to really embrace the sport.  I know that not everyone is going to start playing at age 3 and dedicate their lives to the game.  But is “Golf”, just too imposing of a sport now that the game itself scares off those who might be interested int taking up the game?

Should the major golf manufacturers price entry level clubs so just about anyone could afford a set?

Are golf courses only catering to the better players..who have lots of money?

Should there be courses that are shorter, with bigger holes (cups) so beginners can learn the basics without being demoralized at how penal a normal, full sized course can be?

Playing devils’ advocate, do we really want a bunch more newbies out there on the public courses, hacking away, making the average weekend round 6+ hours?

Not sure of the correct answers to these questions, or if they’re even legitimate questions at all.  I’m curious to hear your take on this?

56 Responses to “Is Golf too Difficult for Beginners?”

  1. If you have to train as hard as you actually have to, it will actually become very expensive to go through all the training that you’ll initially require.. I would however recommend practising at home without the golf ball, this will improve your muscle memory as well…

  2. Larry says:

    Golf is a very time intensive activity. But when you get it, it is great. I am sure everyone on here knows that already. I think for the beginning golfer the game can be expensive. Lessons, ranges, losing balls, tee time fee, cart fees etc are not for the faint of heart. With all those fees there are so many things you can practice for cheap and get your body ready to play the game of golf. I have searched out fitness routines, golf swing techniques etc online and there is a wealth of FREE great information.
    Great blog, great comments.
    Thank you.

  3. Kferg says:

    Who can remember when the first Big Bertha’s came out and all the Golfers that had the big pockets ran out and bought them even the ones that couldn’t hit the ball straight down the fairway to save they life automatically thought with this mammoth of a driver all of a sudden that made them a better golfer instead of working on there game and improving there swing.

  4. I remember these Big Bertha’s, if you had it, you were the bomb, too bad you couldn’t hit like one.

  5. Mleopold says:

    Everyone has to start at the beginning, right? I suggest going to cheaper, par 3 type courses as a beginner is an ideal place to learn. Usually, most golfers aren’t as offended by slow play on those courses. If you are learning the ropes on a larger course, a gps device will help to speed up play.

  6. Tee Times says:

    In an age of instant gratification, golf as a sport is definitely handicapped… There is a real need for the industry to develop programs that can provide easier access to the sport – that means lessons, easier & cheaper courses, equipment etc to lower the barriers to entry.

  7. Mm says:

    I really like the humor of this article. I really laughed with “do we really want a bunch more newbies out there on the public courses, hacking away, making the average weekend round 6+ hours?”
    Well, let me tell you that I am a newbie and the last time that I played golf, my team and I had to skip several holes because of my slowness.
    I agree with you in it should exist shorter courses for beginners. It could be interesting to know how many people would really like to learn how to play golf but they do not do it because of the course’s size. The number might surprise us.

  8. I think this is an interesting idea. There are courses in smaller Mid-Western towns like Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas that greens fees aren’t so outrageous. Next time your in the area (and it isn’t winter) stop by a local club house and see how friendly they are able letting you hop on and play 9 or 18.

  9. Dont you guys have Mashie Courses in the States? It’s basically a 9 hole course with the longest course being not more that 200 metres.

  10. i don’t think so, Golf is Golf, you hit the ball, go find it and hit it again….

    EliKent Golf Society
    THE BEST GOLF SOCIETY IN THE WORLD

  11. Bill says:

    Beginners shouldn’t buy a standard set of golf clubs to start their golf adventure because they can’t play with half the clubs anyway. They should be provided with a partial set of economical component clubs made up with a 16º driver, some kind of nominal hybrid and then the short irons 6-8-9-PW-SW and some kind of cheap $30max putter.

    That’s all they need and then golf lessons galore with practice on the driving range. Oh, and any economical compact carry bag too.

  12. Jeff says:

    I certainly agree with the fact that green fees have become out of sight for some people. Although I live in Utah where the prices are significantly lower than other states, when I go out of state and want to play golf I have to look for a golf course that I can afford to play.
    As far as learning to play the game, I have seen many people that really struggle to play the game. I believe that many people do not take the time to learn the basics of the swing because playing the game is so much more fun than learning the game. As with anything life that we want to become good at, it take some time and a commitment to start at the beginning and proceed through the ranks.
    I also don’t think that everyone has the ability to reach the same levels and abilities. But without the basic understanding of the golf swing a lot of needed information is missing.
    I have recently started my blog and I have struggled to get where I am but I know that if I just continue to learn the basics I will succeed.
    Jeff
    golfinstructionaid.net

  13. Pete says:

    Yes, the way the golf game has evolved, makes it to difficult, time consuming and costly for the average person to enjoy.
    However, a new Hybrid Golf Ball has been developed for quick, affordable and less frustrating play. Check it out.

  14. mike green says:

    I agree with a lot that you are saying in that skyrocketing prices are making it impossible for average joe “the plumber” to get comfortably in to the wonderful game of Golf. They should definitely make some lower cost entry level clubs and more enticing deals on the green fees. If more people we’re able to at least try the game out there would be many more fans and many more players.

  15. David says:

    Good informative post for beginners.

  16. Candace says:

    I agree that golf is expensive and a lot for beginners but any sport you get into is going to be expensive. It’s easy to find used golf clubs at garage sales or resale shops to start out with and you can buy things as you need them. You wouldn’t want to go out and buy all new expensive items anyway for something you’re just getting in to. They also have a lot of free driving ranges and free putting greens to practice on. You can also try local coupon websites that offer a lot of discounts on golf courses. There’s no doubt that it is one of the more expensive sports to get in to but there are ways people can enjoy it for less!

  17. NIck says:

    If you are not trying to be the next Tiger Woods, then golf can be easily affordable for anyone. Just because the equipment and green fees are expensive doesn’t mean you cant play golf. With the advancement of technology surrounding the golf industry you can play great golf with clubs that are 10 years old. Muni courses often offer cheap rates in the afternoon, 3par courses are great for beginners, and ranges are less than 10 bucks, if you are lazy and need to rent a cart you’re looking at another 20 bucks(walk). Golf doesn’t need to be played in 18 holes either. Walking 9 holes is a great way to spend an afternoon, and you only need 2 hours!!!! Yes it is an expensive habbit but you can take advantages of “hand me downs” and Muni courses. The quality of your game should not be a factor, golf is very difficult so respect it and hack away be comfortable with hitting bad shots. It’s not about the score, but rather the experience of playing.

  18. Golf is pretty damn hard for beginners, but like anything gets easier with repetition. Just gotta keep hitting the course every day.

  19. Chris says:

    This all a bunch of baloney. We have 3 city courses. I just paid $580 for an 18 month pass that allows me to play at 2 of the 3. It’s $20 for 18 w/o the pass. We walk, so I don’t pay the extra $15 like all the lazy people do. My clubs have all been bought used off ebay or from shops. I’ve paid less than $1000 for my entire set, this is top of the line stuff, it’s just a few years old. I’ve bought 4 books and read them, took 2 $75 lessons(that were worthless btw)and I’m a 8 hdcp after 5 years of practicing and playing.

    The difference is today’s young people have to look cool, want the best equipment, and must play the nicest courses. They don’t believe they should start out small and cheap and evolve. They also couldn’t possibly fathom practicing an hour a day.

    So, I say, boooohooooo. If you want to be a golfer, you will. All the others are just posers and want to bitch about something.

    Why don’t you go an price how much it is to get started in just about any other sport and you will see that it isn’t much different than it is for golf. Have you paid for your kid’s baseball equipment, soccer, football, tennis, hockey, recently???

  20. i agree with you mike, I do think golf instruction has gotten out of control.any golfer aspirants must know the basic and learn tips from the expert that’s it,