Golf is a woman’s game and that’s apparent as Victoria Club. Playing golf may be quite intimidating at first, especially if you are a woman. Often overlooked by other clubs, Victoria Club is proud to provide the women members of the club more than fourteen opportunities each month to learn the game and improve their skills. Whether it’s a five-dollar thirty minute swing line lesson which focuses on a specific skill or a fun hour with the Golf ‘n’ Gals group to learn golf etiquette, how to approach a certain hole and then finish off the fun with dinner in the Pub.
If you have decided to hit the course, you may think that there is a lot to learn. On a recreational level, however, golf is a fairly simple game… just keep hitting the ball until it ends up in the hole. To best enjoy your time on the course, learn a few basic rules, procedures and social conventions.
To help you more on your training, here are some useful golfing tips for women.
LEARNING TO PLAY
The hardest part about golf can be getting started. If you are new to golf, you definitely want to learn the basic swing mechanics before you step onto a course to play. Take lessons right away so you are starting out with some positive direction. Don’t wait until you are struggling or after you have developed bad habits that you will need to unlearn. It is just as important to know what you are doing right as what you are doing wrong. While your golf partners might have a good tip for you here and there, you may benefit more from professional instruction since they are the ones trained to teach the game to someone like yourself.
When on the driving range for the first couple of times, resist the temptation to immediately start ripping for distance. Swinging for maximum distance will throw you out of sync if you don’t have the mechanics down pat. Warm up your golf muscles with half-swings using one of your wedges or short irons. Then increase the length and speed of your swings, and move on to your middle irons. Work your way up to the driver. After you have hit some balls with the driver, go back to a short iron or wedge. This will help you keep your tempo and tension level in check.
When starting out, a basic set of clubs is really all you need. You will likely replace them as your game improves. Test out a 6-iron with a variety of shaft flexes. In general, women are smaller than men, and they typically have a slower swing speed. This affects the specifications of the club you should choose. Select the flex type that feels best when you swing the club, then use that flex type for all your clubs. You can purchase a beginner set or assemble your own. To start, get two woods (such as a driver and a 5-wood) and at least one long hybrid, such as a 3. You want at least three middle to short irons, such as a 5-, 7- and 9-iron. Get a sand wedge, in case you land in a bunker, a pitching wedge and a putter.
Experienced women golfers may be able to handle a 5-iron, but beginners and golfers with a slow swing speed can use a 6- or a 7-iron as their longest iron. In that case, a hybrid or fairway wood can replace a long iron for distance. Irons with a wide, rounded sole and deep back cavity with weighting on the perimeter help with a slower swing. The pitching wedge should have at least 4 degrees more than the 9 iron, and the sand wedge should have a 56 degree loft, minimum. Try out a lob wedge as an extra club that allows you hit a high, soft shot when you are close to the green and need to hit over a bunker.
PREPARING TO PLAY
If you are playing for the first time, do not just walk onto the first tee and start playing. Instead, warm up for about 10 to 20 minutes. A proper warmup is essential for peak performance in any sport. If you attend any professional sporting event you always see athletes going through a pre-game warmup, and pro golfers are no different. By the time tour professionals step to the first tee, they are fully prepared to make their best swings from the opening tee shot. Your warm-up can include dynamic stretches, taking light practice swings with your clubs and hitting some balls in the course’s practice area.
PLAYING THE GAME
Consider playing your first round or two on a shorter, par-3 course and then move up to a regulation course. When you begin a round, determine the order of play on the first tee however you wish. Afterward, the person whose ball is farthest from the hole should hit first, but it’s more important to be ready as quickly as possible. There will likely be more golfers following your group, so it is important to play at a reasonably quick pace. Walk briskly to your ball, assess your lie and the distance of your next shot, select your club, visualize the shot briefly, take one practice swing and then execute your shot. You may also wish to let the other group go ahead of you so you don’t feel pressured.
The scoring system in golf is different than that of most sports, where the higher score is the winner. In golf, success is determined by the lower score, or the fewest number of shots taken on the hole or in the round. Each course has a designated number, known as par, that represents the score a skillful golfer would shoot. Furthermore, each hole on a course, typically nine holes or 18 holes, has its own par score. A course’s par score is the sum of the par scores for each of the holes.
Each hole has a designated par score. “Par” refers to the number of strokes an expert golfer is expected to need to complete the play of one hole on a golf course.
- Birdie is a score of 1-under par on a hole (for example, scoring 4 on a par-5).
- Bogey is 1-over par on a hole.
- Eagle is 2-under par on a hole.
- Double bogey is 2-over par on a hole.
- Double eagle (very rare) is 3-under par (also called an “albatross”).
- Triple bogey is 3-over par.
The grip is the foundation of every swing. You cannot move forward to learning other tricks without mastering proper grip first. Overcoming errors may be especially challenging for women due to size and strength. This is why a good, proper grip is very important for women golfers to learn as it enables them to project a strong technical swing.
Since your hands are the only connection you have with the club, you should be able to find the right grip that creates a natural feel as if you are moving as one. Once you find your natural grip, you will notice that the club does not slip in your swings, you are able to swing in continuous motion, and the impact is more impressively powerful when you hit the ball.
For right-handed golfers, the top or lead-hand will be the left hand while the bottom or trailing hand will be the right hand. This will be opposite for left-handed golfers.
There are several grip forms and the most common is the “overlap” which is suitable to those with normal to big hand sizes. If you have shorter fingers, you may get stable swings using the “interlock”. Lastly, you may try the “ten finger” trick if your hands are weaker. The best way to find your natural grip is to try the different forms and then stick to the one that suits you best.
Posture, an essential part of the golf swing, is often overlooked. Too many people think that to hit down on the ball, they must bend a lot from their knees. But bending from the waist with just a slight knee bend allows the club and arms to swing down more freely. Excessive knee bend will only make it more challenging to reach the ground.
Practice your posture with each club. Although clubs are different lengths, the basic golf posture remains the same. One key point to remember is to try to keep your spine in a neutral position, not too straight or not slumped over. The purpose of the golf posture is to create a position from which you can make an athletic swing.
Golf can be an intimidating sport for a beginner. There’s a lot to learn, from the types of clubs to the mechanics of the golf swing to course rules and etiquette. In most respects, a beginning woman golfer is no different from a beginning male golfer. The most important thing is that you enjoy yourself on the course and that you improve at your own pace. We hope to see you enjoying our beautiful Victoria Club golf course.