One of the biggest questions I get asked is what should be my goal when I first start playing golf. If you're intention is to play on the course quite early on, I would often use a general score goal. For women and men the handicap given to beginners wanting to play competition is 54. This means if the Par of the course is 72 then you would add 54 to 72 which would mean 126.
Therefore your first goal can be to break 126. These days you don't need to be a member of a golf club to gain a handicap. There are other avenues set up through Golf Australia that enables you to have a handicap and track your progress when playing competitions. To gain a handicap just remember you will most likely need three signed cards submitted to have your handicap assessed.
When you play also track your statistics. This is the best measure to track how you're going and identifying what you need to work on next time. There are three main areas you want to look at. These being Fairways in Regulation (Hitting the fairway on your tee shot), Greens in Regulation (Hitting the Green in the appropriate amount of shots for that hole) and lastly How Many Putts.
When recording these statistics also note whether you missed the shot left or right, short or long when recording your Fairways and Greens. This will give the coach valuable information when planning how to improve for next time. The more you can experience on the course whether good or bad and then sharing with a coach, the more you can accumulate knowledge when you're trying to work out how to turn your game around. This is the key to being able to lower your scores.
This method takes time but you will soon be able to understand why you hit certain shots and then more importantly how to prepare for next time. Averaging under 3 Putts per hole also is a very important goal and one that can be achieved without needing loads of golf experience.
Once you follow this process your next goal will be to break 100 which is a big milestone for any golfer beginning and trying to improve.
If you'd like any help in developing a plan for improvement just book in for a golf lesson.