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Am I good enough to do the First-Handicap-course?

By Michel Monnard

Consider this perspective: a beginner instructional course is designed to help you “master hitting the ball in various situations and with different clubs.” On the other hand, a Handicap course focuses on “learning to navigate the golf course effectively and achieving results that count towards meeting the test requirements set by National Golf Federations.”

Before a golfer enters a Handicap course, they must be able to hit the ball between 80-100 meters. This must not be done from the mat or the tee, but from grass. According to our experience, hitting from grass requires separate learning, practice, and repetition. Ahh, and don’t forget directional and a bit of distance control. 😉

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(Click all images on this page for a detailed view.)

To better assess themselves, individuals can review the following content catalog and determine if they possess this knowledge/skill. If a beginner realizes they have no idea about the upcoming points 1-4 or one or more of these areas and have never been taught about them, the golf instructor will want to invest time, and the golfer will need additional time to acclimate to these areas.

The depth of knowledge is NOT: “yes, I heard something about a sandwich, or I played mini-golf once, or I hit a few balls at the driving range with a friend.” Nevertheless, it would be one fine statement to invite you to a beginners course. 😉

We divide golf skills into different areas, through which a golfer is guided by the golf instructor.

Here are the course contents, through which a beginner becomes a handicap-eligible golfer. Points 1 – 4 are part of the beginner course. During the Handicap-course, we specifically focus on points 5 to 11. Try to find out for yourself, in which area you belong.

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Beginner Course Contents


1. Knowing all golf clubs in a golf bag and other equipment
A golfer must know which clubs are in the bag, understand the differences between clubs, and be familiar with other equipment needed (pitchfork, tee, ball marker, scorecard, trolley, buggy, etc.). OH THERE IS SO MUCH STUFF IN THAT BAG, WHERE IS ….  😉

2. Knowing and being able to apply golf rules
A golfer must be introduced to the rules of golf, either through an online course, instruction from a Golf Teaching Professional or in a golf rule course at your home club. This generally takes about 6-8 hours. The golfer must have completed online rule quizzes and achieved satisfactory results in terms of errors. THIS STUFF IS VERY LITTLE FLEXIBLE! JUST DO IT!

3. Knowing types of shots and having practiced each type until they works
“I can” putt, chip, pitch, hit irons from grass, play woods from the tee, play sand shots, and make shots from different grass heights. Necessary practice time: approximately 15-20 hours or more. If there are issues or implementation difficulties with one or more of these shot types, it will require corresponding corrections and subsequent learning and improvement time. LET’S START TO DIG!

4. Having played on the course a few times to realize that there is a lot of routines in play
We need to have a few rounds where we are not stressed with playing speed and results. We need to give new Golfer time to feel, breathe and get to know all the small little things which an advanced Golfer does without thinking. So the first two to three visits on the course shows them what where when and whys. It’s the start to adhere to routines to later be able to deliver a result within a certain time frame. FORE! FORE!


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Green Card / Platzreife or 1st Handicap Course Contents

5. Knowing the golf course and being able to navigate it
It takes a while until a beginner knows where the golf bag should go, when and where to hit with which club, how to plan a golf hole, how to handle various grass heights and sloping lies, and how to achieve the best results from existing skills. This area alone takes several days. From experience, a beginner should have played at least three to four 9-hole rounds until they see “routine in the processes.” LET THE FUN BEGIN!

6. Being able to maintain game speed
A golfer must know how to maintain the pace of play with other golfers. They must experience what happens when they have to play under time pressure. They must know how to handle playing alone and in a 4-person group amidst traffic. They must know how to adapt their own game speed to the situation. Being able to play faster is the sum of being able to shorten processes, hit more cleanly, control direction, adaptability to situations, mental flexibility, etc. WE LOVE TO TEACH THIS, IT’S SO MUCH FUN!

7. Counting themselves and a fellow player during the round
It may seem like no problem to count 3-4 strokes, but counting 8-9 or 10 strokes for oneself and a fellow player while playing and adhering to time limits IS A PROBLEM for a beginner. Therefore, ALL beginners need two or more counting rounds just to get used to the distraction. YOU CAN DO IT!

8. Understanding the handicap system and its application (ie. how to count Golf) is kind of a must
Whilst playing, we mostly use the Stableford counting method. We will teach you how to apply it and use it everyday so it won’t be a distraction to you. COUNTING IS EASY, BUT ONLY AFTER YOU SUFFER TO DO IT 3 TIMES. 🙂

9. Dealing with mental issues that come with golf
The golf course is not a quiet walk; things go wrong quite often, mistakes happen. What does this do mentally to you and how do you deal with it? Can you “recover” after bad shots? LET’S FIGHT TOGETHER!

10. Self-training: having trained independently for at least 15-20 hours on shot types
Different shot types such as putting, chipping, pitching, sand shots, hybrids & fairway woods, driver are different movement elements. Each shot is different. How do I correct myself… we believe that an average beginner – in addition to the 10-15 hours of instruction – should independently train for about 15-20 hours on shot types to become profitient. THIS IS WHERE YOUR GOLFING CAREER IS FORGED!

11. Game results on the golf course
Golf can be played without counting, whether it’s 4, 5, or 6 strokes, who cares. Absolutely true. Unfortunately, this is only allowed after someone has passed the entry hurdle. During the week, a golfer must be able to deliver between 12 and 18 Stableford points. Some consistency is necessary. Those who are insufficiently prepared during the week have barely enough time to develop the necessary routine. Sometimes muscle soreness is added because the amount of golf balls hit during the course and after the course is an unusual strain. OK, LET’S DO THIS TOGETHER AND MAKE YOU A GOLFER!

The situation is as follows: National Golf Associations try to introduce new golfers to the sport in such a way that they have the necessary skills, knowledge, and physical strength to complete 9 or 18 holes with other golfers within the prescribed time on the golf course. IF THEY FAIL, WE ALL FAIL AND GOLF ROUNDS WILL TAKE 5 1/2 HOURS AGAIN.

The reality may appear stark, but it is also a relief because now you understand the big picture: Considering the depth of the course content, certifying new golfers through a weekend instructional course or even trying to start immediately with a handicap course is impractical. Golf instructors simply lack the time to impart the skills required to cover the areas outlined by the Associations. Especially not in groups of 6-10, which may provide a casual introduction to the game but fail to provide the focused attention needed for skill development. A Golf Teaching Professional must dedicate individualized attention to your progress rather than dividing focus among multiple learners. You need personalized guidance to succeed on the course.

A golf instructor ALWAYS intends to advance the golfer as quickly as possible. During our daily work, we do not always encounter athletes from similar sports (tennis, squash, badminton, hockey, icehockey, baseball), but often people who have not played racket sports at all.

That will influence the pace of advance greatly, which in turn makes it difficult to say: “Yes, join for the handicap-course” to everyone. That is our dilemma.

A brief summary, a sincere promise, and a perfect solution

There is a lot to cover, certainly more than a newcomer to golf might perceive at first glance. That’s why we generally prefer to introduce newcomers to the sport in a relaxed manner.

The stress caused by inadequate preparation combined with the weekly goal of obtaining a handicap is not pleasant for everyone. It’s usually more sensible to allow newcomers to learn without pressure, the exploring way.

But here’s a promise from us: As soon as a golfer even gets close to the possibility of certification, we support them 110% toward that goal… because


your progress is our passion!

We think solution-oriented and understand that sometimes a little more effort is required to achieve goals, we would like to offer the perfect solution here. Perhaps you underestimated the task, are not quite ready with your golf game yet, or simply want to better prepare for the requirements.

Now about we grant you free access to our golf video analysis platform where you will have a direct Chat function with your Teaching Professional. We will guide you through the necessary steps you still need. Instead of searching for the ball in the water hazard with a fishing rod, we start collaborating right after your registration. Because…


your progress is our passion!

Discover in the next article how our golf video analysis software can help you on the way to obtaining your handicap! For all visual learners, we have prepared a 15-minute explanatory video so you can see everything clearly.

Alright, golfing friends, here we are, hopefully not just enjoying the view from a helicopter but actually getting an idea about the depth of the subject. Let’s chat and figure out where you slot in, ensuring your golf journey is more about fun-filled learning and less about a chaotic scramble to hit those goals!


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