If your mates are anything like mine, the ones who don’t play golf will suddenly become a little bit interested in two weeks time.
That’s because it’s The Masters.
Swept up in the excitement mates that normally only care about footy or other sports get involved a bit, study the form and start sticking bets on.
‘Yeh mate, I’ve got a tenner on that Jordan Spieth bloke. He looks decent’
But can we get these mates out on the golf course, enjoying the game that we love so much? Can we get them addicted to hitting better shots and wanting to come back? Not just in the way that everybody whips their tennis rackets out around Wimbledon before putting them back in the garage for another year two days after the tournament.
But for good.
Well here’s some ammo for you to get your non-golfing mates into the game. Dispelling a few myths and giving you a cheat sheet to some of the standard questions.
And if you don’t play golf then drop us a comment as to why not…
"It’s too slow/It’s boring"
It depends how you look at it. If you're playing with decent people who get on with it you're looking at 3-3.5 hours for a full round, or half that if you just want to play nine. You're involved constantly and when you're not hitting shots you're chatting shit with your friends.
Look at it this way. You're not at work, not looking after the kids, not being nagged by the other half. You're out, kind of doing exercise (5 miles walk) and normally out in the countryside getting a sun tan.
Maybe now you know that you'll want it to be slower! Either that or you whip round and can spend more time in the clubhouse which will normally serve very reasonably priced beverages!
It can be. Some of the top golf clubs can be extortionate to visit or join as a member. But trust me you wouldn't want to join them anyway!
Go on a website like Tee Times which is kind of like Late Rooms where they get rid of spare spaces on the cheap. You're looking at £10-30 for some alright courses. That's like £6 per hour, or the cost of a pint in London! :(
But what about all the equipment I hear you say? Well many clubs will let your hire now, or even lend you some clubs. Crown Golf for example run a promotion called #noclubsnoprobs where they just give you gear and some balls to play... for free!
Then, down the line, when you feel you want your own get online and get some second hand ones. There are so many out there and they'll all be perfectly good to use. We'll be releasing an app called CLUBTrader in the next week or so which will allow you to buy some great cheap clubs so stay tuned... give us a follow!
"Golf clubs are full of stuffy wankers"
Once again, there is some truth to this. There are wankers at golf clubs, like in all walks of life. But it is getting better... largely because they're all dying off!
But the beauty of golf is you can just play with your mates, you can just stick to your own wankers!
Most golf clubs are having to become less stuffy because they just can't survive by acting like this. In fact quite the opposite members at golf clubs are often happy to see new people and are welcoming as they know their clubs need the cash! (Depends where you go obvs... leave a comment and people will recommend!)
"You have to wear shitty clothes"
There are a LOT of golfers that where shitty golf clothes, like really shitty. But that doesn't mean you have to. Golf clubs historically had a stringent dress code but it's pretty much been loosened across the board.
It depends on what you like to wear but there is definitely a lot more options for boys and girls nowadays... you don't have to wear plus fours and a flat cap (unless you want to!)
"It’s not even a real sport"
There will be some old guys that play who are a mess but at the top level these guys are absolute athletes. Swinging a golf club at 125mph.
Since Tiger Woods golfers know to compete they have to be athletes. The guys at the top of the game wouldn't look out of place on athletic tracks or basketball courts. Just Google Dustin Johnson, Jason Day or Adam Scott... or just watch the video above of Rory McIlroy.
In the past it definitely has been. Even recently in the news Muirfield Golf Club in Scotland only just voted to admit female members after a load of pressure... but nowadays they are the exception rather than the rule.
There's not many women who'd want to join their club, nor are there many men, but up and down the country there are thriving ladies' sections with girls from 8-80 and following #ThisGirlCan there are initiatives to help girls get involved. That's not to say girls can't just get involved with lads.
Considering possibly the best golfer of all time was a black guy it never really inspired loads of minorities into the game, it was still viewed as a rich white man's sport. And the demographics would have shown that.
But in 2017 many golf clubs are embracing new cultures, basically because the realise again they can't not. The Shire, mentioned above, hosts Trevor Nelson's Golf Day which blares urban music out across the course, the rapper JME is learning the game and I've played golf with the Sikh Golf Society, who are absolute lads.
Golf needs to do more to lose the 'rich, white man tag' but it's definitely heading in the right direction.
"It’s old fashioned"
It's a myth. And once again you can play with who you like.
Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Smylie Kaufman and Justin Thomas (pictured above) are all superstars of the game and Snapchatted their spring break lads golf trip or #SB2k16 to millions.
They drunk tequila, played topless golf and were generally having a whale of a time... all with a constant soundtrack of current US Hip-Hop blaring from an iPhone speaker.
"I’m too old to start/I’m behind all you lot"
Golf can be played at any age. Unlike maybe football for example it might be difficult to pick it up and get involved in a game at an older age. In golf there are handicaps which allow you to compete right from the start.
Also the first part of golf is the easiest bit. You improve so fast and with a bit of practice and getting the fundamentals you'll be as good as your mates pretty quick.
"I don’t understand it"
There can be a load of jargon and technical crap in golf but all you really need to know when starting out is that the aim is to get the ball in the hole in as few shots as possible. Simple!
There is absolutely no point worrying what an 'eagle' is or a 'snap hook'. Just get the ball in the hole and have a laugh with your mates! As you go on you'll learn what all the terms mean but it really doesn't matter, or help you particularly!
"I wouldn’t know where to start"
You don't have to just turn up at a golf club. In fact it's probably better to go with friends to a TopGolf, a local driving range or even a mini golf course. Junkyard Golf is class and good for a night out whilst sort of learning putting!
If you want somewhere local then the GetIntoGolf website has loads of options including free tasters and £25 for five lessons... but always check with people you know to find out what the club is like first!
It probably makes a lot more sense to just get with your mates and get them to help you out.
So golfers, tag your mates in the comments and get them involved in one way or another before The Masters and let us know how you get on. Non-golfers let us know any questions you might have and I'm sure people will help.
Golf really isn't shit, in fact it's an amazing sport where you can spend time with your mates and most importantly have a good laugh. (Followed by a beer - Compulsory!)
I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.