Every spring, thousands of Canadians take up golf for the challenge, health benefits, and the opportunity to spend time in gorgeous scenery with friends.
These newcomers join the more than six million of us who already play the game, making Canada — despite our too-short playing season — one of the most avid golfing nations per capita in the world.
Golf is mystifying and frustrating, but also joyously addictive once the game has you firmly in its grip. A recent survey revealed that golfers feel they’re healthier and happier than other people. In fact, they’re so hooked on the game that 81 per cent say they would pass up sex with a movie star to shoot par.
With that ringing endorsement, let’s get started. Canada’s fairways are calling.
Let that be a lesson to you
Do yourself — and everyone you’ll be playing with — a big favour by taking at least a few lessons when getting started.
Lessons will save you months, if not years, of struggle by providing a firm grounding in the basics: grip, posture and swing mechanics.
Almost every course has a fully certified Canadian Professional Golfers’ Association (CPGA) teaching pro on staff. Individual lessons generally cost between $50 and $100 an hour. Group lessons are often less expensive.
Ask golfing friends for recommendations. You’re looking for a pro with plenty of patience, enthusiasm and an ability to adapt to your needs. Most important, be sure to diligently practice what you’ve learned. Golf quickly becomes more chore than pleasure for novices who don’t experience steady improvement.