Golf for everyone
July 2, 2008
Golf for many people is just "too" something. It’s too hard or too expensive or takes too much time to learn. However, municipal courses in the area come "too" the rescue with lessons, camps and incentives to get local and tourists out on the green and taking a swing.
Park City Golf Club pro Cynthia Brown says the easiest way for a beginner to get a good start in golf is to schedule a private lesson. Lessons can also be done in a group to cut down on costs. She warns that it takes a little planning – pros usually schedule lessons a week out – but well worth the investment. In about five or so one-hour lessons, pros are usually able to adequately cover different aspects of the game such as putting, swinging and even golf rules and etiquette. She adds that a group doesn’t have to be made of people with the same ability. In fact, she invites families and friends to join together and encourage each other to improve their games.
For travelers who decide to take a spur-of-the-moment lesson, Brown suggest calling around to the area’s many courses to find a pro with an empty slot.
"Most likely there is someone with something open," she says.
Brown also recommends the Park City course’s reduced rates for course play in the evening. She says twilight is a great time for families or beginners to get on the course and hone their games without expert golfers breathing down their necks.
Soldier Hollow Golf Course head pro Chris Newson offers a five-lesson package for rookies looking to learn. He added that there are generally tee times open at one of the two courses and encourages beginner and intermediate golfers to come out, play a round and work on their skills.
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He recommends the Golf Wasatch program, which allows people staying at certain Park City hotels to make advanced reservations and receive a guaranteed tee time at Soldier Hollow, Wasatch Mountain Golf Course or the Homestead.
The Park City Golf Club’s women’s leagues are another option. There are levels for every ability and they allow women to find friends and support as they learn the game.
Many courses also offer a driving range and a putting green, but Brown and Newson agree that time spent at these areas should be in conjunction with lessons for first-timers. Time spent hacking around without prior instruction can be frustrating, they say, and can mentally destroy a golf game.
"The ball is just sitting there staring at you," Newson says. "Nothing is more defeating."
"Golf is a simple game played by complicated people," Brown added, laughing.
Lack of equipment may be another hindrance to many people, but almost all public courses offer rentals for all sizes and abilities. Both Brown and Newson noted that rentals are no longer just a beginners’ thing. With airlines limiting people to one free checked bag, many people are choosing just to bring their gloves and shoes, and use rentals when they are traveling.
"They are good quality and it’s affordable," Brown says.
What can’t be rented can be bought in the pro shop of any golf club. "You can come in socks and underwear and be ready to play at most courses," Brown says.
For the younger set, Park City offers a summer golf camp that is one of the most popular sport-specific camps in the area. Brown closes down the course every morning for a week and carefully teaches kids everything they need to know about the game and gives them the opportunity to join the junior golf league. In Wasatch County, youth can partake in camps that rotate between Soldier Hollow, Wasatch Mountain Golf Course and the Homestead. Both camps offer reduced rates through the city for campers with financial concerns.
more information on all of the Park City Golf Club programs, visit http://www.ParkCityGolfClub.org. For more information on Soldier Hollow, visit http://www.soldierhollow.com/golf_course.php. To learn more about the Golf Wasatch program, visit http://www.golfwasatch.com.
Park City Golf Club
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