Director of Operations,
Summit Golf Academy,
Port Orange, Florida
So now that you've made the commitment to play golf here are some suggestions on what to do next. It would be very helpful for you to develop a good practice routine. Plan your time wisely. Let's say you have five hours a week to devote to practicing. You should spend at least 60% of that time on the short game, which is chipping, pitching,sand bunker work and putting. This is the area that will allow you to shoot lower scores. Also you will have more success in hitting good shots which will build you confidence. This is the scoring area and no matter what level of skill you achieve in golf it will always be of great benefit to be efficient around the greens.
The other 40% of your time should be divided between the Tee shot and the fairway shots. Golf is one of the those games that should be taught form the hole back to the tee, but most of us don't do it that way. If you go to any golf course or practice facility you will see the majority of the people whaling away at drivers. Don't fall into this trap. Yes it is true, you need to be able to drive the ball in play and with some length but ultimately you score with the wedge and the putter.
Feel is a big part of the game also and I believe it is easier to develop feel working on the short shots. The swing is softer and slower so you get more feed back. You hit more solid shots and you can carry this feel over into the long game. During a round of golf you probably won't hit every shot perfect or hit every green in regulation so you will have to rely or your shot game for help. Learn it and practice it right from the beginning and you will never be sorry.
Even the tour players who are the best players in the world rely on their short game to score. I think that is what sets them apart. They seem to have the uncanny ability to turn a 5 into a 4 instead of turning it into a 6. Although you may never reach their level of ability from tee to green we all can certainly learn to chip,pitch,put and SCORE!!!!