Summer is here, and most of the golf courses around the country are open, depending on where you live. It’s time to go outside, get some fresh air and exercise, and enjoy a beautiful day. You might not think that golf is for you, but it is; it’s for everyone. There aren’t too many sports where you can get exercise, be outside, and have a drink, all while you’re playing. Take advantage. If this is your first year swinging a club, there are a few things you need to know. Golf for beginners is like anything else: difficult at first but worth it in the end.

Start at the Driving Range

Don’t plunk down $100 on 18 holes of golf your first time out. Go to the driving range and hit several buckets of balls. Swinging again and again is a great way to improve your game. The shorter clubs are easier to swing, so start with your pitching wedge and make your way up to the big dog driver.

Take Lessons

When you are at the range, ask if they offer lessons. Many driving ranges will have someone on hand who can give lessons and help you with your swing. Ranges, courses, and often park districts have teaching pros available for lessons, so look around your area for one.

Don’t Spend a Lot of Money

If your first instinct is to spend $1,000 on a bag, clubs, the best balls, and some sweet gear, don’t. Find a cheap set of clubs, even used ones, to learn with. It won’t make your game worse, just like state-of-the-art clubs won’t make your game better. Learn what you’re doing and then invest in good equipment.

Wait Your Turn

When you hit the course, know that there are many rules. The rule book for golf rivals a dictionary in size, and there are people who know every damn one of them. Whichever ball is farthest from the pin is “out,” meaning it’s their turn to hit. That is always the way; whoever has the greatest distance to travel, is up next.

Never Step in Someone’s Line

When you’re on the green, it’s bad form to step in someone’s line. Never walk in between another player’s ball and the hole. Many believe that the resulting holes from your spikes will affect their putt. The only time it’s acceptable is when your buddy is beating you and being a jerk about it. Then you can step on his ball, if you like.

It’s a Game, So Have Fun

Don’t lose sight of the fact that golf is a game. It’s a leisure activity that you are doing voluntarily. People think that golf is easy, for some reason, and that they should be hitting 300-yard drives. Well, it’s not easy; it takes years of practice to develop skills and become good. Until you join the PGA tour, don’t forget this is a game and supposed to be fun.