Feeling like you know what you’re doing at the course not only makes you feel good but also creates an impression that you’ve been here before. While mastering the game of golf takes time and practice, looking the part can give you an immediate boost of credibility and confidence. In this blog post, we will share tips and tricks to help you exude confidence and feel like a scratch golfer, even if you're a beginner.
- Dress the Part: One of the easiest ways to project competence on the golf course is by dressing appropriately. Invest in proper golf attire, including collared shirts, golf pants or shorts, and golf shoes. If it’s warm out, you definitely don’t need to wear pants. Actually, wearing pants in the heat will actually give off a newby vibe. Experienced golfers understand that the only players who wear pants in the heat are on TOUR, and even they would wear shorts if it was an option. As far as what to wear, the course you’re playing is also a good way to decide. Is it a nice country club? If it is, wear a nice golf polo, nice belt and nice shorts. The belt is key because you’re going to need to tuck your shirt in. Are you playing a public course? If so, the dress code should be a little more lax. You can certainly wear the exact same thing you would to the country club, but you probably don’t need to. When we play our local muni here in Charleston, our attire is the same as it would be at Augusta: RealGolfers polo, and some decent shorts and a nice belt. We may or may not have the shirt tucked in there. Jeans are certainly something to avoid wearing, although it’s fine to wear jeans to a municipal course.
- Learn Golf Etiquette: Golf etiquette is essential for appearing knowledgeable about the game. Golf etiquette isn’t as strict as most people think, but there are a few rules that you should try to play by. The first and by far the most important rule is this: PLAY FAST. If you hit it in the woods 5 holes in a row, don’t look for your ball, just drop one. You have every right to take your time, but sometimes you need to play fast. Here are two rules of thumb to live by when it comes to pace of play: 1. Keep up with the group in front of you. If you do this, then the groups behind you can’t say anything to you about pace of play, because you’re playing as fast as you can without hitting into the group in front of you. 2. Keep pace with the other players in your group. If you’re a new golfer, that's fine! We all need to start somewhere. But if you’re playing with some good players who play quickly, try not to slow them down. Occasionally you might need to pick your ball up, or play from one of their tee shots, but believe me, they won’t mind this. Everyone wants to play fast. Don’t rush, just play ready golf! Read the room, if your group wants to play fast, play fast. But make sure you have fun.
- Be Confident in Your Pre-Shot Routine: Developing a consistent pre-shot routine is a hallmark of experienced golfers. Practice and refine your routine to create a confident and deliberate impression. Approach each shot with focus, take your time to align yourself properly, and visualize the desired outcome. Displaying a composed and deliberate routine will make you appear knowledgeable and in control, regardless of the shot's result. It will also help you play your best.
- Understand Golf Terminology: Familiarize yourself with golf terminology to enhance your golfing persona. Learn common golf phrases such as "birdie," "par," and "bogey," as well as terms related to different shots and course features. While it's essential to back up your knowledge with skill, speaking the language of golf will contribute to your credibility on the course.
- Display Good Body Language: This might actually be the most important part of being a desirable playing partner. Be positive. Nothing is worse than playing with someone who is screaming, swearing, throwing clubs or any other temper tantrum type activities. Just be happy you’re not at work, and have fun! The only one who cares about your 3-putt is you. Just move on. This attitude will also help you play better!
While it's true that looking the part doesn't automatically make you a scratch golfer, mastering the art of appearing confident on the course can positively impact your overall golfing experience. Dressing well, understanding golf etiquette, honing a pre-shot routine, familiarizing yourself with golf lingo, and displaying confident, positive demeanor, you can project a sense of competence and command on the golf course.