The results are in: golf is becoming more popular for remote viewers to tune into. Recently, the US’s Golf Channel and NBA PGA Tour viewership ratings showed a 24% increase in viewers from 2020. Despite being considered one of the world’s slower pro sports, spectators are marking their calendars for major events like the Open and Masters tournaments.
Historically, diehard golf fans have bought tickets and lined up to view tournaments live. Not only are they surrounded by fellow golf enthusiasts, but they also get to stand close to their heroes. In some cases, they might even exchange a few words.
Another common way for fans to show their support is to wager on the outcome of a tournament. Popular oddsmakers offer golf betting odds on popular tournaments like the PGA’s Majors, as well as other competitions like the Northern Trust. Here, it’s not just about catching the action, but forecasting which pros, like Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas, will come out ahead.
But there’s one aspect of golf fandom that some struggle with: playing. With its specialized equipment (which is often pricey) and its complex technical movements, golf is a deceptively difficult sport to jump into. Casual fans often lack the resources to play themselves, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
Let’s take a quick look at how you can try out DIY golfing at home.
Equipment & At-Home Setup
The internet has made the search for affordable clubs simple. Though pros use a range of fourteen clubs for specialty shots, beginners can keep it simple with four different clubs: a driver for long shots, a putter for short shots, a wood club for long-range shots, and an iron for versatile shots.
Want to keep it super-basic? You’ll only need a putter and driver. Those with budgetary considerations can purchase used clubs online or new clubs at discount stores. New beginner sets run as low as £100.
Finding equipment is the first step. Next, beginners can set up an at-home net to start practicing their drives. Though many think that learning to golf requires membership to a driving range, all they need is a reliable net, complete golf bag accessories, and a bit of space at home.
Find suitable piping to create a frame (PVC works great). Next, construct a frame that fits your spatial needs. Those building outside can dig holes to anchor the frame, while those working on a synthetic surface can use weights. Remember, you’ll be driving balls into the net, so it will need a bit of reinforcement to stay grounded.
From there, use Nylon tie cords (or a similar product) to secure tight netting around the frame. Netting solutions are vast, though most DIY at-home guides recommend using a cheap baffle net. Those short on time can purchase a golf net directly for the web that will fit their needs. On the other hand, those who are tech-savvy can jump ahead to create a state-of-the-art, at-home golf simulation.
Learning the Ropes
With a killer setup in place and equipment ready to go, all that’s left to do is learn how to swing a club. Once again, this is a deceptively tricky skill. Luckily for newcomers, YouTube tutorials have taken the headache out of learning. Some handy videos are available today from accounts like Mark Crossfield at AskGolfGuru, the team at Buzza Golf, and Peter Finch Golf Tutorials.
The channels listed above are great for learning how to drive. Driving is a long hit, which requires the most disciplined form. Amongst pros, styles vary, so be ready to take some notes. Those struggling to learn how to drive and put their golf net to use can always search Groupon and similar sites for discount lessons at local driving ranges.
However, well-rounded golfers need to do more than drive. They also need to perform well with close quarters putting if they plan on getting the ball into the hole. For this type of practice, a golf net isn’t necessary. Tips abound on creating (and purchasing) putting sets that are great for homes of all sizes. Keep in mind that a trip to the local put-put course is also an exciting way to practice short-range shots… with a few zany obstacles thrown in.
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