Golf, for beginners, can be intimidating. There are rules to memorize and then clubs to pick from. Not to mention all the lingo that goes along with it … Birdies, bump-and-runs, and bogeys, just to name a few.
As a beginner myself, I want to try and make this as easy as possible. A lot of questions are asked: What kind of clubs do I need? Where, and how, do I practice? When will I be ready to get on a golf course? Golf can be fun for beginners if you take the time to believe in yourself, and have fun trying a new sport.
Golf for Beginners Part 1: Golf Clubs for Beginners
So you want to play golf? Golf for beginners can be tough when you don’t even know where to start. Such as choosing the right golf clubs. Make learning a priority. Don’t get any expensive clubs first. Get a set that’s going to help you learn before spending beaucoup bucks on a set you won’t get to use right away. Always make sure to get help from someone who works in the store you go to, or take a golfing buddy.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the golf clubs for beginners. Yup, they have those! GolfDigest states that, “you’re better off with hybrids instead of 3-, 4-, and 5-irons…with more weight concentrated in the sole, the iron’s center of gravity will be lower and this will help shots launch on a higher trajectory.” Basically, you want a golf club that has some good weight to it to get your ball farther.
Here are some more golf basics for beginners tips to get you started:
Try Before You Buy
When selecting your golf clubs, make sure that you try them before you buy them. The types of clubs you’ll need to get are: a driver, a putter and a sand wedge (you’re allowed 14 clubs, but as a beginner, won’t need that many). According to GolfDigest, “You’re also going to want a 6-iron, 8-iron, a pitching wedge, and a fairway wood that gives you 18-21 degrees of loft.” (That’s a lot to take in right? Don’t worry, here’s a video to help set your mind at ease).
Golf Tips: Beginner’s Guide to Golf Clubs:
Part 2: Learning to Play
Now that you’ve bought the clubs and you have golf balls, it’s time to learn how to play. One big golf tip for beginners is to take lessons. There’s a reason they call it golf for beginners. As a beginner in golf, you’ve not had any bad habits ingrained, and you’re likely asking lots of questions about what to do. Taking lessons from a friend, or at a golf club is a great way to start. Let’s make this as painless as possible.
Here are the top 10 Golf Tips for Beginners (in no particular order):
1. Take Aim: Checking your alignment during each practice session will help your ball go in the direction you want it to go. Most of us are right-handed. That doesn’t necessarily mean our ball is going to go in that direction. If you’re still unsure, watch this video on proper alignment.
2. Have a Solid Stance: Having a good, balanced stance will help build your golf swing from the ground up.
3. Developing Perfect Posture: This is where the hips come into play. Reduce bending at the waist and using your hips to tilt forward.
3. Make Friends With Your Grip: All golf clubs for beginners come with a grip. You need to find the most comfortable way for you to hold the club. So each day you walk past your clubs, hold it for at least 30 seconds. Your top hand (left) should be in a neutral position, and your bottom hand (right) should be interlinked with your top hand. (Pinkies interlinking each other)
Golf is about how well you accept, respond to, and score with your misses much more so than it is a game of your perfect shots.” –Dr Bob Rotella
4. Start Your Down Swing With Your Hips: This is just one golf swing tip for beginners. Instead of using the upper body first in your swing, you’re going to lead with the hips, and the upper body will follow.
5. Make Your Range Sessions Count: This is where golf for beginners should start. Instead of picking a big golf course to practice on, start at the golfing range. You can work on your swing, posture, and stance all at once. You should practice for at least 30 minutes.
6. Use Plenty of Loft: Here is where you’re going to be practicing how high your ball is going to go. Instead of using a scooping motion, as beginners are want to do, practice tilting your club to get a clean loft to the ball.
7. Leave the Driver in the Bag: Another golf tip for beginners is to leave the driver in your bag. Start with the pitching wedge before getting to the big guy. I, myself, have always been fond of the driver. However, while learning golf for beginners, mastering the other clubs is essential. “Many golfers would be better to avoid the driver for at least the first 18 months of playing!” states GolfDigest.
“It took me seventeen years to get three thousand hits in baseball. It took one afternoon on the golf course.” – Hank Aaron
8. Try a Par 3: A what? A Par 3 course is perfect for beginners! You can play on a shorter course while mastering the golf for beginner skills. Not only that, but you won’t be spending all your time looking for golf balls.
9. Review the Fundamentals Once a Month: This is important after you’ve been practicing for a while. You’re going to start seeing more and more things on golf that you’ll want to try. A new golf swing, magazines, maybe even watching a PGA tournament. However, playing golf for beginners it’s important to try and curb this. Review your fundamentals once a month.
Part 3: The Basics: Golf Swing Tips for Beginners
Image: Sidekick Caddy Golf Club Stand via Facebook
A great “golf swing for beginners” tip is to know the difference between when to chip and when to pitch (no this isn’t baseball, but that term is used in golf). But what is the difference?
In any guide that explains golf for beginners you will see that a chip shot will stay low to the ground, while pitching keeps the ball high but with very little roll. You want to chip a shot when you don’t have to travel over a bunker or rough terrain. Then you want to pitch your shot when you need to make the ball go over something. This allows it to land softer, but also stop faster.
Time for the Driver
It’s that time you’ve been waiting for. Using the driver! You’ve practiced and perfected your hold after learning all there is in golf for beginners. This beast of a club is the longest one in your bag, with the biggest head. He has the most forgiveness when it comes to more rookie players. Make sure that you tee off nice and smooth. Next, move the club back smoothly, making sure your back is facing the target. Then, swing through the ball! Finally, stay in hold. If you can hold this final swing in balance, you’ve managed to have control of the speed of your swing.
Part 4: You’re Ready For a Golf Course
Image: GolfingNation via Facebook
It’s time! You’ve had your lessons, you’ve learned the fundamentals and you’re feeling ready to hit the golf course! Being a beginner, stepping up to a course can be intimidating. But start small. There’s a reason they call it golf for beginners. Make your first experience a positive one, and start on a course that is going to help you along. A par-3 is your best bet. As assumed, all the holes are par-3, or less than 200 yards distance.
Where to start? Choose a course that is flat, short and also, doesn’t have a lot of hazards. Now that you’re here, you’ve chosen your clubs, taken the golf for beginners lesson, and found a course to play on. Now what? Start at the front of course! Don’t be afraid to start at the forward teeing area. Being a beginner it is going to take time to hit the ball like a pro.
I hope that this has been as informational to you as it has been for me. Golf for beginners can be fun and challenging at the same time. Take your time learning the basic golf tips for beginners, reviewing the rules and lingo before going out on a big course. Make sure to practice and go over the fundamentals of golf for beginners from time to time. If we stay in our ways, practice good techniques and form our habits in good ways, we’ll become better in no time. Remember to have fun and be patient!
Featured image: CC0 Public Domain Tommie Horton, US Air Force.