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Learning To Play Golf

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My dad bought a mat, a net, a couple hundred golf balls, and a set of clubs three or four years ago and ever since then he’s been hitting balls in his backyard. He’s since graduated from his Golden Bear set of clubs and gifted them to me, despite my lack of game. In the last month or so I’ve decided I’m going to follow the same path and learn how to play this infuriating game, because it feels so ridiculously good when you hit the ball off the tee and it flies far and true. However, at $12 for 160 crappy range balls, it can get expensive to “practice.”

Luckily, I already have a set of irons and drivers (here I believe the quality of the clubs will not matter because right now, I’m fighting to improve my skill) so that saves me a few hundred bucks right off the bat. Shelling out $12 a pop to practice will eventually add up so I’ve decided to take my father’s route and purchase myself a mat, a net, and practice in my backyard, but where am I going to find a matt and a net? Ebay!

Via Ebay I can probably score a decent 3′ x 4′ mat for under $50 plus some shipping. I can also pick up a net and frame for under a hundred bucks as well. I purchased about two hundred golf balls for $50 shipped as well, a hundred were AAA rated and the others were AAAA rated. If you’re going to actually play a round using Ebay’d balls, I suggest you go with the AAAA rated (best quality used) because the AAA’s are… so-so. This is significantly cheaper than buying out of the used ball bin at the course and the balls will be of similar quality.

All told, I can get all the practice equipment I need for about $200 (mat, balls, net and frame) which is how much it costs to hit about 2500 balls. I think that’s a fair deal because after that it’s all free. :)

Why can’t I pick cheaper hobbies?

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3 Responses to “Learning To Play Golf”

  1. Jose says:

    Interesting way to make golf cheaper.
    I am always amazed how some golf courses can be so expensive ($80 per game) and others so cheap ($15 per game).

  2. jim says:

    Pebble Beach fees start at $300 a pop and Pinehurst #2 fees start at $200! Both courses are ridiculously nice though…

  3. Tool Man says:

    Part of learning how to play is watching what the ball does during flight. It helps you understand your swing and adjust your hands and feet. If you continually hit into a net, then you will fail to see the spin on the ball…maybe using the net will help you consistently strike the ball well but it won’t help you develop a sweet swing. I say it is a useful tool to be used in conjunction with the range. Even the range is not the best way to learn, the best way is to play rounds of golf. Hitting of a mat at the range is nice, but grass does not feel that way. You can’t take divots and it doesn’t fully represent a fairway or rough.

    Get out and play a cheap course and play 2 or 3 balls every hole instead of one. Make sure you obey the course rules and let others play thru, and don’t do this on busy days, but it’s a great way to learn.

    Greens fees are sometimes expensive, yes, but you are paying for the experience as well as the sport. Enjoy the outside with friends and bring some beers and bond. It should take you 5 hours or so if you are having fun! It’s not that bad, plus if the course is of high standing then it should be breathtaking.

    I’ll be playing Torrey Pines in several weeks! I can’t wait!


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