Since that time, I've have spent many happy hours on the links, at the driving range, and on the putting green.
I would like to say that all that practice has been the largest contributing factor to my reliably lower handicap.
Unfortunately, I have to give a good portion of the credit to the wonderful improvements in club and ball technology that have developed in recent years.
But because this technology is expensive, I primarily purchase my golf equipment at discount stores.
Golf discount stores provide name-brand equipment and accessories for only a portion of the cost that retail outlet stores charge.
I do mean all those brands that every golfer recognizes, like Callaway, TaylorMade, Ping, and Nike.
One titanium driver can cost several hundred dollars at a retail store, so I am happy to get any savings that I am able to find.
Every golf discount store utilizes a marginally distinct pricing policy naturally, but I can generally expect to save somewhere around 10 to 40 percent off the manufacturer's suggested retail price for all of my clubs and accessories.
Despite the fact that there are quite a few golf discount stores near my home, I like to shop online.
I have discovered that unless a store nearby is having a huge sale, online golf discount stores usually offer better prices on pretty much everything.
The reason for this price discrepancy is that online stores have much lower overhead costs than a physical retail location.
Because selecting clubs and other golfing equipment depends mainly on the way the equipment feels in your hands or how it fits your body, there is something you need to do before you order.
Before you buy any new equipment from online golf discount stores, visit a retail store to try out the product you are looking to buy.
Once you decide exactly which model or size you want, you can then order it online at a discount.
This might seem like a lot of effort, but it will pay off in the end.
I conserve enough cash from patronizing golf discount stores that I can afford to buy more expensive things occasionally or to replace equipment before I really have to.
This affords me an advantage when I'm out on the links, and the outcome is reflected on my scorecard week after week.
If as a golfer, you would like to save extra cash the next time you buy some equipment, then I urge you give online golf discount store shopping a try.
Remember, better quality equipment truly can do great things for your handicap!