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When - and Why - Did You Start Playing Golf?

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I saw a limited amount of golf on television when I was a young boy and thought it must be the most boring game. I was into sports with more action. In my early 20's I lived in Sarasota, FL for about 16 months, my boss and foreman played semi-regularly and invited me along. I walked into a little golf retail shop (not on course) and told them I want something for a beginner, bought a full set of clubs for $200 - I have no idea what brand or what any of the specs were (I was totally oblivious to all that). It didn't even have a "driver", it had 1, 3, and 5 woods were going to play that Saturday (just a day or two later), long story short, I walked up to the first tee on, I believe it was the Bobby Jones Golf Club, possibly having never swung a club before, but I can't remember for sure. I know I didn't go the range before that round. When it was our turn to tee off, I was as nervous as a cat on hot tin roof. Swung mightily and the ball took off on a screaming low line drive (I think the words ease and grace immediately vacated the premises), it went straight sideways and I held my breath, because I thought it was going to go right through the starter's shack and take his head off, but it somehow missed all that and he never found out. I re-teed and we were off, never even tried looking for that ball. Amazingly enough, there were no other significant events in that first round that I can recall, but there were a few more to follow later that summer. After that I took one 30 minute lesson (how I wish I would have taken more back then before ingraining a bunch of bad habits), and one of the things that stuck with me was to keep grip pressure "light". Some time that summer I was faced with a shot over water, my ball was on a bit of a downhill lie about 6-8' from the water, but it really wasn't that bad a lie, at least as I recall it now. Now is a good time to remember the "light" grip pressure. I gave a mighty swing and stuck my clubhead in the ground about 4 inches behind the ball, the club just popped/slipped right out of my hands, bounced once and there went my 7 iron (which was my favorite club at the time) helicoptering out over the pond and splash, down out of sight. I stood there in stunned silence for a minute, I finally turned to face my boss and foreman, and they weren't making any sound either, but they were doubled over laughing so hard they could hardly breathe :D! To this day, those are two of my most embarrassing golf moments - and I hope it stays that way! We played a fair bit that summer, maybe 12-18 rounds, but it would be almost 20 years before I would play that much again. Nevertheless, I was hooked.

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It was 1999 that I got into golf. I had my knees run their course for me and my Doctors told me I was finished but they knew where I could go. Being a wise guy I told them there was always a seat at the bar for an x-hockey player and they said no to go to the golf course as I would find others there that had played sports and got banged up. So I had just got an inheritance from my late grandfather (and he'd played golf) so I went to my local golf store with cash burning a hole in my pocket. Walked in and saw a set of Ping ISI Becu (full set) sitting there. Fell in love instantly and got them thinking I would grow into them and take lessons to try and get good and also be able to keep my Grampa close to me. Still have them and have only owned one other set which is in my signature file. Wish I'd taken up golf earlier but am thrilled to be a golfer since 1999.

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My wife had a slight advantage over me in that she has been playing since she was 8 years old and her dad was club champion at three clubs. She gave up golf for a number of years but when I met her 14 years ago, she still had a good swing but used steel shafted persimmons and blades. We changed that out but my length still kept me in contention. This year she beat me twice so far, but she is 9 years younger and I'll be 69 next month.

Dang, that's a lot of golf years! I hope I can still play when I'm your age! :D

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The first time i played golf, i was in high school. Or junior high, I can't remember. After all, that was another century ago. Come to think of it, I wasn't in school at all. A friend and i decided to take advantage of our new found trust and freedom to go unescorted from one class to the next. "You mean, nobody's watching to see if we actually go to the next class?" I was overjoyed. My friend, Rick, had his own car. A 1960s Plymouth Barracuda, complete with push-button transmission shifters on the dash. Taking full advantage of the noise and crash of the between-class rush, we sidled to an exit, then ran to the parking lot. Seated in his car, we scanned the school carefully after the bell rang. Not a peep. Not a soul. Nobody coming after us! Alright! We headed out on the highway. Driving along in light traffic, Rick said,"What do you want to do?"

"I dunno."

"How about golf?"

"I never played."

"It's fun! Come on!"

So we drove over to the local municipal course. Rick got clubs out of his trunk. We went into the shop. I had no idea what's going on. We paid. We went out. We told the guy who got assigned to play with us to go ahead. While we waited, Rick said,"What do you want to bet?"

Me:"Bet!? Nothing! I never played before!"

Rick: "We gotta bet something. How about a penny a stroke? I beat you by a hundred strokes, you owe me a dollar."

I reluctantly agreed.

So we hacked it around the muni, tearing up the sod, me getting frustrated: "But if i'm a beginner, why do i have to hit out of the sandtrap?"

Anyway, we killed the afternoon, and a lot of grass, and nearly one or two golfers. At the end of the day, i owed him something like $0.37. Rick was like, that was fun, and I'm like, yeah, not so bad, but I'm thinking, man, next time we cut class, I'm doing something else.

I didn't get the bug to start playing until maybe 20 years later. Rick and i both played football on the high school team, but we never played golf again. Funny, the guy who played starting right tackle next to me at guard, got a full golf scholarship to Houston. Rick and I didn't stay in touch, and i heard later he became a cop. Anyway, that was my first time.

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Tell me about that "ease and grace" again.

That little kid who hit that golf ball won't tell me how he did it. I have been asking him for 45 years. Maybe he's mad about how things turned out. I think he wanted to be an astronaut.

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Dang, that's a lot of golf years! I hope I can still play when I'm your age! :D

I wish I had started playing golf when you did!!

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started playing real young with my dad. My parents say I rode a golf cart when I was 3 or 5 with my dad when he played on vacation. I've played probably since I was ten with my dad. When I was 17 my grandfather offered me a magazine subscription you get from credit cards. I took him up on golf digest. Since then I've been hooked. I've had two maybe three multiple month long breaks, some mental: some first year in college and didn't want to bring the sticks.

 

My first set was one of those starter sets you see at Dicks Sporting Goods that my parents bought when I was about 10 or 12. After reading magazines I decided to get a driver for my birthday when I was 18. Since then I've bought two sets of irons, two more drivers, and a putter. All I've pretty much bought by myself, although with birthday or holiday money. 

 

On that note: the biggest golf influences were my dad who played on vacation and my two friends from undergrad. They've since lost the interest as much as I've gained it. They at one time played 3-4 times every week, now they tell me once a month. 

 

That's my story.

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This really is an awesome thread! Thanks for starting and sharing all the stories! I started playing when I was 8 years old in 1997...any guesses on why?? Of course it was because of Tiger Woods. I loved baseball and played on every team I could get on. So when I saw Tiger on TV I asked my dad if I could start playing. Baseball was my true passion through high school so I didn't really take golf too serious until college and now it has consumed my life (which only my wife complains about). 

 

My first set of true big boy clubs were an R1 driver, Adams Tight Lies 3 wood and Callaway X-forged irons. 

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I was always interested in watching golf on TV. When my daughter was an infant on weekends for nap time she would sleep on my chest

while I had some PGA tournament on in the background, I figured if TV golf could put me to sleep it should work for her too. 

 

I did not start playing until later in life, around 37 or so. A business association that I was a member of had their first annual golf tournament

at a public course in Utica NY spring of 2009.

 

I never picked up a set of clubs before then but a carpenter co-worker I knew played a lot of golf

so I had him give me a couple of pointers and tips on the range one day. I bought a used set of Macgregors from him, Cleveland driver and a Odyssey

putter for a couple hundred bucks. I think I hit one decent shot all day but we had a really good player on our scramble team so all was good.

 

The following year for our 2nd members tournament meeting we played at a pretty decent course in Sparks, NV. I did much better that day then the year before

but by that summer I was determined to play more and get better. I was hooked.

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My grandfather was an avid golfer.  I begged him to play, but at 5-6 yrs old, that was a lot to ask.  When I was 7 or 8 he took me in his large back yard and he showed me how to swing a club.  I practiced, and a couple months later he took me out.  I want to say the clubs he gave me were "Playmate" or "Playtime" nothing fancy, but a junior set .  He told me if I broke 100 it would be a good 9.  I shot a 63.  Ever since I have tried to improve.  When I out grew the junior set I was given his set of Ping eye 2's. (which I still own).  Shortly thereafter I was fitted by the local pro for a set of Dynacraft oversize cobra knock-offs.  Played those through middle school, and have played Pings ever since.  

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meI first played when I was in my early teens. Went to local golf course with friends who also had never played. Was hit by golf ball on first tee when a friend hit me while I was standing at a right angle to him. I still don't know how he did it. My first set of clubs were Kroydons. I saved up $49 dollars and bought a limited set at Western Auto in my hometown. Played at local muni for years. Didn't play much while raising family but when son got interested started playing. Highlight was a week long trip to Scotland with son. We initiated the family "Haggis Cup" whereby the winner gets his name engraved on trophy which is passed back and forth deppending on who wins. Fond memories playing and watching this great game

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Used to have a hit as a kid, my older brother played a bit.  Had an occasional hit during high school, then didn't play for a few years.

During university we had an afternoon of each week, so a couple of us decided to go have a hit at the closest public track. Got hooked big time. 

Bought a second hand set with money from my 21st birthday, and have been playing ever since.

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I say I'm on my 2nd go as a golfer. About 20 years ago I bought my first set of clubs " Spalding Alliance" I played those for s few years then loaned them to my brother. 5 years later my brother gave them back and by then he'd left them out in the rain.

 

So I bought a used set of Dunlaps, just so I had clubs.... I was the type that would get so nervous before first tee i'd get ill. My late father in law taught me that it was just a game and I came to enjoy it. About 5 years ago, I purchased a set of Adams' and started actually trying to improve my game. At end of last season I'd shoot mid 80's. I tell my friends it's because I can't hit a softball anymore, but even when playing alone it just feels great to be out on the fairway, and knocking one on from 140. Makes me feel like I can fly, that's why I golf.

 

I've introduced my two daughters to the game, and hope they'll be my playing partners many years from now. When my current golf partner can't play, of course.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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I say I'm on my 2nd go as a golfer. About 20 years ago I bought my first set of clubs " Spalding Alliance" I played those for s few years then loaned them to my brother. 5 years later my brother gave them back and by then he'd left them out in the rain.

 

So I bought a used set of Dunlaps, just so I had clubs.... I was the type that would get so nervous before first tee i'd get ill. My late father in law taught me that it was just a game and I came to enjoy it. About 5 years ago, I purchased a set of Adams' and started actually trying to improve my game. At end of last season I'd shoot mid 80's. I tell my friends it's because I can't hit a softball anymore, but even when playing alone it just feels great to be out on the fairway, and knocking one on from 140. Makes me feel like I can fly, that's why I golf.

 

I've introduced my two daughters to the game, and hope they'll be my playing partners many years from now. When my current golf partner can't play, of course.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy mobile app

Same here, 2nd go as a golfer.

 

Played some with my Dad when I was younger but never really got into it through my college and early work years. Played competitive softball for a few years and recently gave that up.

 

My wife told me that I was spending a bit too much time at home, so decided to give it another go this year. So here I am about 15 years after my first set of clubs getting back into the game.

 

Sent from my SM-G928V using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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I started playing when I was in 6th grade so I was 12 years old because my dad played. My dad had previously tried to get me into golf when I was around 7 or 8 but I was/am epileptic so I wasn't cleared to play sports in case I had a seizure while playing and nobody would know how to help. Luckily, I have been seizure free since I was 10 so I am all good to go. My dad played because he worked as a high up figure at a casino and he did it for business inquiries. I wanted to be just like my dad.


 


My dad helped me get the basics down but I have been self taught ever since. Never had a lesson except for using it as physical therapy to help get my knee working the right way again with a trainer and coach. Other than that I have taught myself and have been teaching others.


 


My first set of "big boy" clubs were Nike NDS 3-PW Uniflex irons.There were standard length because I was always pretty tall (I'm 6'4 now). I used these irons for 4 years until the summer between my junior and senior year where I got some Mizuno JPX 825's fit to me which evidently was the exact opposite of what I needed because they put the tape on wrong. 


 


I would absolutely take the memories over the money. With my dad working at the casino, golf was really our only fun time we had to spend together until he left that job and being his only child I can't imagine what it would have been like to not grow up with a passion to share between us.


 


There is nothing greater than realizing that all of your hard work has paid off and when I got scholarships and letters from coaches to play in college I was just ecstatic. Unfortunately I tore my meniscus, tore my MCL, and sprained my ACL all at the same time the summer after my senior year and all of my scholarships were pulled but it's just amazing to see how far I have come and I wouldn't exchange that for the money in a million years.


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It was the summer of 96, my dad started golfing a few months now and I was in grade school. He forced me to go to the range with him and had an old range pro teach me the basics. At first I hated it. He even bribed me with a pair of new basketball sneakers from Nike just to continue going for lessons. 

 

I am glad he did teach me this game. I cannot imagine not playing golf till I grow old. 

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I use to hack around when I was in the military and also in my first job after leaving, just casual rounds then stopped for over ten years.

 

I picked up clubs again almost 3 years ago. I had a set sat in the house my wife asked why I didn't use them as I had no decent answer to that question I pulled them out went to the range and have been addicted ever since. After a year my wife then started lessons and now plays as well.

 

I currently work 6 weeks on 6 weeks off and we try and get out at least 3 times a week for a round. Lowest scores so far is a 89 for her and a 84 for me.

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