Ever wonder what the big deal about golf is? People who play spend lots of money and time on the sport. That can be intimidating for someone who wants to get started.  So how do you jump in without feeling like you have to drop a huge investment?

Golfing is fun. It's a great networking agent and a great excuse to keep a Saturday buzz going all day.  Here are some tips on getting started if you've thought about it but don't know how.


A friend: While you can learn to play alone, it is much more fun with a friend. If you have a friend that wants to learn to play with you, then great. Or maybe you have a friend who already plays. If they are patient and willing to teach, take them up on the offer.

Cost: FREE

The swing: So you've never swung a golf club before except for a games of put-put. If you've never or hardly ever held a golf club before and want to try some out, hit a driving range first. while most of the game will be on short shots and putting, you do need to practice your drive.

Cost: a bucket of balls at your local driving range might be around $7-$10. For lessons at the range, around $36.00 for a half hour.

The gear: Don't go nuts buying the top athletic brands to get started.  First, if you own a pair of khakis and a polo, outfit complete. As for the clubs, this may be a bit tricky. Borrowing clubs is good if you have a friend that is similar in stature to you, but if you're 5'5 and you're benevolent friend teaching you is 6'2, you may need to buy some starter clubs.  Hit your local sporting goods section's clearance area first. You can carry as many as 14 in your bag, but you won't need that many to get started. As far as wood, iron, hybrid, etc, it will depend. If you start practice at a driving range, find what's best for you. You will need a driver, a putter, a sand wedge, 6-iron, 8-iron and a fairway wedge.

Cost: from Free to a few hundred dollars depending on where you buy and how.

The course: If you have a friend teaching you and they have a membership, great. You can tag along. If not, there are lots of public courses. Check out our golf card for some local courses. Each course has its own design and level of difficulty. Since you are just getting started, dropping a couple grand on a membership might not be a wise investment, unless of course you are going full throttle and getting lessons from a pro.

Cost: Green fees and a cart can cost anywhere from $30 and up.

The playing: You've got your polo, your madras printed shorts, your clubs and you're ready. Back to step two. If you have a friend that is going to teach you, then terrific.  The pros; free lessons, the cons; you might pick up their bad habits. But if it is not your ultimate goal to be Tiger Woods, then free lessons are just fine. If you don't have a patient and willing friend, then you will need to schedule lessons with a pro. Each course will have a pro that you can set up time with for lessons.

Cost: Free to upwards of $150. Friends will be free and depending on the course and their pro, lessons can start at $40 and climb from there.

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