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Fore Fatherís Day


Dad’s been hinting he’s ready to take a swing at golf. Maybe you’ve caught the bug as well. Giving in to the temptation to buy the latest and greatest equipment, jump in a cart and race off to the first hole could prove costly and frustrating.

Local golf clubs and our in-house golf enthusiasts shared this advice on getting started in the sport and how to save money in the short- and long-run.

Take Lessons

Before you worry about buying clubs, learn to play the game. More important, how YOU play. Classes help new golfers start right — and avoid the misery and frustration that can come with learning a difficult game simply by beating balls all over the course.

“But wait, wouldn’t that cost a lot,” you might ask. Not necessarily.

Buy Right

Simply buying new — or used — clubs off the rack is not the best way to go. That top of the line club the pros use could be just that, top of the line for a PRO. Ability and, of course, budget should be factors in choosing clubs.

“Beginning golfers don’t know how committed they are going to be,” says Joe Galloway, golf shop manager at LaFortune. For that reason, he recommends buying less expensive beginner packages, $199-$399; or looking at technology that’s a couple years old, but still good. This way, if you decide the game is not for you, you’re not stuck with thousands of dollars in equipment.

If you do decide you’re all in, pay for a club fitting. Even for a beginner, it’s worth the cost to get a detailed analysis of a brand or type of club that suits you. Ken MacLeod, publisher of Golf Oklahoma magazine, says it’s like buying clothes: “You wouldn’t buy a thousand dollar suit that’s the wrong size.”

At LaFortune, fittings are included in the purchase of clubs. If you don’t buy, you get a gift certificate, so it’s still money well spent.

Seek Out Discounts

There are ways to save, whether on clubs or greens fees.

“People have the perception that it’s expensive to get into golf,” Galloway says, “but you don’t have to make it so.”

The sport is working to make golfing easier and faster. The PGA of America and USGA are supporting the “Tee it Forward” initiative that encourages golfers to play with tees that match their abilities, leading to faster and more enjoyable rounds.

So Dad has the right idea. It is a good time to get in the game.

Have more ideas? Share your tips below.

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