Do you know someone who wants to learn to play golf? Well if you do, chances are you would recommend that they learn to play the right way and take lessons from a pro, which of course makes sense. The problem is that the first thing the pro will do is take them to the range to teach them the fundamentals of the golf swing. I once heard of this lady who had taken 50 golf lessons but had never been out on the course – she wasn’t ready. I would advocate that the visit to the pro should be the last stop.
Instead, take your friend out on the golf course and just play the greens – play all 18 holes, and don’t use the practice green. Putting is all about feel and teaches one distance control, alignment and accuracy. Do this until her putts are reasonable. Next, still only playing the greens, drop the ball in the rough and help her learn to chip the ball in the general direction of the hole, and then putt it out. Like most of us this is the most valuable lesson she can learn, because we seldom hit the green in regulation. Then move back to about 10 yards from the green and work on the short pitch or long chip.
In this way the intimidation level will go way down because you are moving quickly from hole to hole, and neither of you are worried about holding up the players behind you. In addition she will experience the golf course and all its contours, while at the same time getting comfortable with her surroundings. This will take as long as it takes, but there is no hurry. Once she gains a feel for the game, then you take her to the pro to learn the fundamentals of the golf swing. By this time she already knows, and is comfortable with, the end point of the game – getting the ball in the hole.