Getting into golf is a lot like attending your first school dance. It seems really fun. You're familiar with how it works. You just don't want anyone to laugh. Here are four simple steps to make an easy entrance into the sport.

Getting into golf is a lot like attending your first school dance. It seems really fun. You're familiar with how it works. You just don't want anyone to laugh. Here are four simple steps to make an easy entrance into the sport.

Take a lesson.

It's important to learn good habits early, and a few hours with a teaching pro at a range or course will do wonders for your grip, stance and swing. Pros will also cover golf etiquette, reading a scorecard and other basics.

Hit the range.

Area driving ranges are great ways to get comfortable, but don't just whack woods off a rubber tee. Hit all your clubs, especially the irons, off the real grass.

Play.

You'll only improve by getting on the course. When starting out, don't tee off during high-traffic times. Your best bet is playing nine holes (or fewer, if possible) in the early evening at a par-three course.

Watch.

Televised matches teach much about proper play. The LPGA is especially good for studying the fundamentals of a smooth, consistent swing.