The 5th category was created to ease the passage of new players from the practice ground and individual lessons with the pro towards the course and notably for the first time its 18 holes.
Over the years, more and more people have come to golf for the pleasure it offers, to live a sport differently, with family, after retirement, etc. When the training is completed and the exam is passed, these very new golfers get ready to “play on the big course”.
If a small 9 holes has already allowed them to practice almost like the big course and when well-advised players add that 18 holes is only the double of 9 holes, the newly qualified player arrives bursting with confidence at the 1st tee of the “big” course, and then ……..
It only needs a few holes for reality to hit our apprentice golfers, for many reasons, but especially for the length of the course. The new player must learn the course, the highway code of the course, the rhythm, the timing, the effort and he must also learn to know himself. Players go from the point of view of learning to the point of view of education in total immersion.
This phase of the apprenticeship closes the basic educational period and allows the player to better prepare his debut in an official 18 hole qualifying competition. To be a Category 5 player only lasts three or four weeks, is always a very special magical time : first tee-off, first full game, first return to the clubhouse, first emotions.
Why insist on this 5th Category
When players obtain their right of access to the course and become full Category 4 golfers, their life at the golf club and in the competitions becomes intense and they do not want to spoil anything.
That is why the choice of two or three full games on the “big” course without a scorecard allows them to better capture the dimensions of the game. They simply have to hit the ball and advance, repeating their swing is all ways without asking themselves any questions. The Marshals watch, help and encourage.
For them and their future partners standing at the first tee of a competition, this passage through the 5th Category becomes an guarantee that they :
- Will not hinder the others in the group;
- Will respect the etiquette;
- Will not be troubled by people watching them;
- Will respect the rhythm and recognise all they have to do to progress in the game.
This method allows us to radically reduce the importance of the scorecard and to keep the attention of the new player on discovery of the course, the game itself and the player himself.
In one season, Category5 players, who have worked all winter on the practice range, are ready for sunny days at the beginning of Spring.
It is necessary, therefore, to :
- Follow them during all the games they play as Category 5;
- Show them the best ways to read a hole when they are on the tee;
- Get them out of a bad situation, talking all the time to the group as a whole;
- Show them that, when they are starting out in golf, the spontaneity of a movement will always be more efficient than excessive reflection.
The work of the Marshals with the 5th Category is very time consuming. It takes around six hours on each occasion.
When the level of new players is weak, it becomes more difficult and the sessions multiply without any real result.
It is a mistake to think that the Marshal and his work in Category 5 could recuperate anything that has not been comprehensibly accomplished during the basic training by the pros.
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