10 consejos básicos para empezar a jugar al golf.

10 basic tips to start playing golf.

10 basic tips to start playing golf.

Are you new to this golf thing? Don't be overwhelmed by rules and etiquette. Here are 10 basics you need to get started.
If you're new to the game and intimidated by the rules and etiquette of golf, don't.

It might sound a bit complicated, but you'll quickly be up and running (pun intended) with just these 10 basics.

1. Hit your tee shot between the markers

The first stroke you hit on any hole is a "tee shot" and is played from a dedicated area known as a "tee box". On the tee, you'll see a few sets of markers indicating where to hit your shot from. These are usually red (usually used by women), yellow (usually used by men) and white (usually used by professionals or low handicap amateurs).

Always hit your tee shot from inside or just behind the area between the markers.

2. Who goes first?

Traditionally, the person who scored the lowest on the last hole will tee off first. But nowadays, most people just play as soon as they're ready. This is done to speed up the game.

3. Where to stand when someone else is playing

This is more about security than anything else. When someone else is swinging, always stay well behind them and out of the way of their line of swing.

Some people find it a bit off putting when people stand directly behind them (think: you're trying to do something with someone looking over your shoulder), so I'd always stand a bit to the side as well.

It is also courtesy to remain silent when someone else is taking a shot so they can concentrate. But at any other time, commenting on the hits is welcome.

4. Stay in time with the group in front of you

No one, and I mean no one, really cares how well (or poorly) you play as long as you don't delay when you do. Take your shot, go ahead and do it again.

Keeping up with the group ahead of you is a good indication that you're playing at the right pace.

5. Replace chops, rake bunkers, and repair pickaxes.

You know that piece of grass and dirt that went flying when you took your shot? That's called a chop. To keep the fairways in good condition, always replace your divot every time you make one.

And if you find your ball in the bunker, remember to rake it in after you've hit your shot.

When your ball, or someone else's, hits the putting green, it often leaves a mark. It is called "pique" and it is a good habit and part of the etiquette to repair them.

6. What to do if you lose a ball.

This really depends on where you lost the ball, but let's keep it simple. Let's say you've hit the ball into the trees. He must take another shot from the same place as a "provisional ball".

If you find the ball but are unable to play it, you may receive a "penalty". That means dropping (dropping) the ball no closer to the hole with a penalty of one shot.

If you can't find it, your "provisional ball" is now in play. Continue with that ball and add a penalty shot. So…you hit your tee shot (that's a shot) and miss it in the trees. You hit a provisional ball (that's now your third shot, your second shot plus a penalty). Then the next shot you take is the fourth.

7. When to yell BOAAAA!

"BALLAAAA!" it is used to warn other golfers that a ball is coming your way. So if you hit your ball out of line, particularly into another hole, always yell to keep everyone safe.

8. What to do if you hit out of bounds

Each golf course is marked by boundaries, usually marked with white stakes or a painted white line. If you hit your ball outside of those bounds, it is "out of bounds."

If you hit your ball out of bounds, you must play another shot from the same position and add a penalty shot.

9. What happens if you lose the ball?

When you first take the course, there will be plenty of times when you'll hit the ball, ready to smash it down the fairway, full of confidence in your swing, and… you'll totally miss it.

If that happens, count one shot. I know, it seems a little harsh, but the rules are the rules.

But, if you accidentally hit your ball when taking a practice swing or preparing to tee or put the ball on the green, you can simply replace it without penalty.

10. Shake hands when you finish your round

It is customary to shake hands with your fellow players at the end of each round. If you're playing with friends, this might just be a quick high-five, but it's a beautiful tradition that I hope never fades. The later beer on the "19th hole" is also acceptable.

And that's it. Those are really the basics of golf rules and etiquette. The last thing to remember is that they have been created to make the game more fun and fair for everyone. They are not there to discourage anyone.

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