Golf can be an intimidating sport. It’s steeped in tradition, it’s known as a gentleman’s game, and people play a lot of money to relax on the course and focus on their game. Clearly this is no place for a beginner. Or is it?
Paige Cribb, PGA is the director of student support and a lecturer in the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Golf Management Program at Coastal Carolina University. She was born in Georgetown, South Carolina, just down the road from Wachesaw East Golf Club. As the former head golf professional at the club, and the first woman president of the Carolinas PGA Section, she says golf doesn’t have to be intimidating.
“Anyone can play the game. You can take it to the highest level or just have fun. That’s what makes it so cool,” she said.
At Coastal Carolina University, she teaches the business of golf- the accounting, marketing, operations and economics side of the sport. Cribb is also involved with the PGA REACH program, a 501 (c)(3) charitable foundation of PGA of America, and teaches golf to youths at Wachesaw East Golf Club in an after school program. The mission of PGA REACH is to positively impact the lives of youth, military, and diverse populations by enabling access to PGA Professionals, PGA Sections and the game of golf.
“We want to expose young people to the game,” said Cribb, who started playing at age eight. “I knew in middle school that I wanted to play in college, and I knew I’d play professionally. I just kind of went out there and did it.”
For those who don’t have that kind of moxie, where to begin playing this game full of nuance and formalities?
Cribb says a good start is to go to the pro shop and tell them you’re a beginner and want to learn how to play. Mike DeLuca, PGA, is the current head golf professional at Wachesaw East Golf Club, and can set you up with lessons, even if it’s your first time golfing. The course is also promoting Family Golf Week this July.
“Lessons are great. There’s a lot of etiquette involved that can be learned. Go out there when it’s not crowded, walk the course, check it out,” said Cribb.
She said another great tip for Wachesaw East golfers is to play the correct tee distance. There are five sets of tee distances at the course.
“For the most enjoyment while playing, choose the correct set for your skill level. Golf is meant to be fun, not stress you out,” she said.