Golf Digest Woman
May 25, 2011

The art of playing fast golf

A new question sent to my "Ask Stina" column reads: "I'm a beginner and really scared to make the leap from the driving range to the golf course. How can I avoid making a fool of myself?"

This is by far the most common question I get, especially from women golfers, and the answer is always the same: Don't worry about how well you hit the ball -- or whether you'll even hit the ball -- just make sure you keep up the pace.

*It's perfectly natural to be worried about playing poorly when you're starting out as a new golfer. But the truth is, the people you play with won't care about your score as long as they don't have to wait for you at every turn, and as long as you don't disrupt their game. Here are some things to keep in mind:

If you can follow these guidelines, you don't have to worry about making a fool of yourself on the golf course. Just go out there and enjoy; playing with a happy, easy-going beginner is much more fun for the rest of the people in your group than playing with a grumpy single-digit handicapper.

--Stina Sternberg