There is a lot of things to learn about golf. One can spend the whole carrier in learning new things. So, golf for beginners can seem complicated. It always makes you feel like improving every day.
In my early days, I used to think like there are so many rules, equipment, and golf terms. It made this game looks hard for me. Over time I did learn a lot of things and felt like I must write this guide. In this beginner’s guide to golf, we will cover everything for those who know nothing about golf but want to learn golfing.
As a beginner, you should try before making any guess for golf equipment. So, go to a golf store or a golf range near you and try a 6-iron with regular-flex and stiff-flex shaft there and choose the best.
You can go for the woods with more loft. It will make it more comfortable to get the ball in the air, and shots will travel straight.
I always ask beginners to not to go with more than 5 or 6 clubs. You can go with a 6-Iron, an 8-iron, a gap wedge, a sand wedge, and a putter additionally you can add a hybrid if you want. Some exclusive clubs in the market are for beginners. These clubs are a lot easier to play and more forgiving compare to others.
Where to find these easy to hit clubs? I will suggest you to use a local golf shop to find the right club, and if possible, try your hands on it before buying. You can always seek help from professionals to help you to find the right clubs.
If you are buying a used club, I will suggest you put a new grip on. Also, it is better to change the grip after every 40 rounds.
Golf gloves & bag
Buying golf gloves and the bag is essential for a beginner. You can get blisters after using the golfs for a few shots. Golf gloves will prevent you from that.
Golf gloves help to get a good and firm grip on your club, and the club won’t sleep from your hand due to sweating. A golf bag is an excellent investment to carry all the clubs and necessary items like balls, water, and snacks.
If you want to become a golfer, you must look like a golfer because most of the golf course has a dress code. You have to wear a polo collared t-shirt in most courses. So, get that fits you the best. Most of the golf courses allow wearing khaki pants. Khaki is the most comfortable trouser you can have. Even some course allows shorts during the summer.
Buy a pair of shoes that provide traction and stability while going for a shot. If you don’t want to buy golf shoes right now, you can also go with good quality sneakers.
In hot summer, it always advised using sunglasses to protect your eyes. You will need a sunblock lotion with the SPF of more than 30 to protect your skin against the UV rays.
Beginners need to understand some basic rules of the game. So, they don’t feel like an outsider on the course.
Whenever I guide a new golfer, I ask them to learn the golf terms. It helps you to learn the golf lessons as you are already familiar with the terms.
Some important golf terms to memorize:
- Fairway- a part of the golf course between tee box and green
- Rough- taller grass on either side of the fairway
- Green- the smooth grassy area surrounding the hole
- Hazard- anything that comes between the shots
- Bunker- a trench area containing sand
- Stroke- swing made to with intent to hit the ball.
- Fore! – a warning shouted when the ball is heading towards someone.
- Putt- shot hit by a putter on or just off the green.
- Approach- shot over 100 yards that aim to land on the green.
- Drive- long distanced shot played from the tee box on every hole
- Shank- mis-hit a ball terribly
- Over clubbing- using a club that tends to hit the ball further than necessary.
- Duff- a bad shot
- Explosion shot- a technique to hit the ball out of a sand trap
- Par- predetermined number of strokes that a golfer should need to complete a hole
- Bogey- a score of one over par
- Double bogey- a score of two over par
- Triple bogey- a score of three over par
- Birdie- a score of one under par
- Eagle- a score of two under par
- Double Eagle- a score of three under par
- Ace- hitting the ball into the hole in one stroke
The goal of the game
The object of golf is to get the ball from the tee box to the green and further in the hole. You want to get the ball in it with as few strokes as possible. A hole is also called the area between the tee box and a putting green where a physical hole is in the ground. A round of golf consists of such 18 holes.
Don’t move your ball
Don’t move your ball under any condition, until unless you are on the green. If you are on a green, you have to mark the golf ball’s position before lifting it. I know it will happen. As a beginner, you will hit the ball in unexpected places. If a human-made object obstructs it, simply remove the object if you can.
If a human-made object is immovable, you can move the ball. Drop it within one club-length of the nearest point of relief.
hitting the ball in out of bound
It is the worst feeling if you hit your best shot of the day, and it lands in out of bounds. Hitting the ball out of bounds carries a penalty that hurts your score. Out of bound is beyond the boundary of the course. The boundary has marked with white lines.
If you hit the ball in the out of bound, you may not remove the ball without penalty. Drop the ball nearby the spot you hit.
official rules of golf
Do check out the official rules of golf. There might have some local rules in the golf course. So, don’t forget to check them out either.
You have bought the equipment, and you have learnt the basic rules. Now its time to learn some real thing. Whatever you learn, enjoy the process.
Find a golf mentor
Do find someone experienced enough to make you learn the game and make the learning process easy for you. The mentor is to be someone who has a sincere desire to get involved with you and do respect your opinion.
The worst thing a beginner can do is play on the course without even knowing how to play golf. So, going to the golf lesson is worth spending your time and money.
Golf learning isn’t a piece of cake. It takes a lot of time to learn the right way to learn it. If you have learned the golf lesson, it will help you improve your game much more quickly.
As said, “Practice makes a man perfect.”
Personally speaking, I will tell you to keep on practicing until you get the results you were seeking. Learn your game in the range before you head to the course. It will help you to improve without the expanse of playing the full round of golf. Moreover, you will feel less pressure in the golf range because you aren’t playing a real game.
Whenever you feel confused or in doubt, as it used to happen a lot with me, go back to the golf basics. You are a new golfer and trying to learn things from wherever you can learn. This more than enough information may make you confuse sometimes. What you can do here is start your shot from basics.
Playing on a course
When I was a beginner, I was dying to play on the course from day one. Playing one the course is the kind of feeling you can’t replace with anything.
Playing on the course is the real thing where you learn all things while playing the game. It transforms you from a beginner player to an advanced player.
Play on a Par 3 course
As a beginner, it is ideal to start with a par 3 course. In the par 3 course, you can take only three strokes to reach the hole. Choosing the right course is going to help you.
A typical round of the golf lasts for 4-5 hours, but the par 3 course usually lasts about 2.5 hours. And the 9-hole par 3 course takes almost over an hour. So, it is an excellent choice for beginners to spend less time and money to learn the game.
Don’t forget to warm up before the game to prevent any kind of injury.
How to hold a golf club
Remember, the way you hold the club is going to affect you. There is more than one way to hold a golf club, but the most popular method is “the 10-finger grip”.
Start with placing the dominant hand on the shaft where it connects the grip. Then, lift the club in the air and palace your other hand palm beneath the grip. Wrap your bottom figure around it and palace your thumb at the top of the grip.
Some golfer use an interlocking grip, which helps to increase their stability. To do this, you start with a 10-finger grip. Beneath the grip, move your pinkie finger between the middle and index finger of the other hand. Now put your index finger over your pinkie finger, forming an ‘X’ shape.
When I was a beginner, I used to hold the club very tight, which always affected my stroke. I hope you won’t make that mistake. Hold the club firmly so that your tight grip doesn’t create extra tension in your forearms.
How to take a stance
When I teach the beginners, I always ask them to take the correct stance as guided but not in an uncomfortable position by overcorrecting your posture.
The positioning of the ball depends on your club’s length. For short clubs place, your ball in the middle of the stance. For longer clubs, place it a half an inch towards your front foot.
Your feet’ position depends on the type of club you are usually using it should be as wide as your shoulder. If you are using a longer club as drivers and woods, you can widen your stance. And if it is a short club as iron and wedges, bring your stance slightly inside.
The position of your toe and feet is a vital role in your flexibility and body rotation speed. the angle of your front toe is to be towards your target. Check for even weight on both toes and heels.
Now to take a position lift your club parallel from the ground after making a grip. Slightly bend your knees and drop your arms down until both are resting on your chest. Bend your upper body forward until your clubhead touches the ground.
In the end, what matters is If you are comfortable with your position or not. Find the correct position in which you feel comfortable while playing.
How to swing a golf club
Before swinging the club, taking a proper golf stance and making a grip is essential. Start your swing with a good backswing. Backswing starts when you lift your club and bring it above your head. Try to rotate your torso and shift the bodyweight to your back foot.
Once you have gotten to the top of the backswing, make a pause and start downswing towards the impact. Use a sweeping motion for downswing and try to hit the golf ball with impact. In the downswing, the transition makes sure that your weight is shifting back to your front foot. Allow your knees to move towards your target.
Remember to follow through for proper golf swing even after you hit the ball. It will help you to get the most leverage out of the downswing. Keep your eyes in the ball during backswing, downswing, and follow-through. It will help you to lower the mis-hit.
Keep tracking your distance every time you hit the driver. It will help you to adjust based on the distance of the hole.
Putting is a golf stroke when you use putter on or off the green to hole the ball. The most important thing in putting is keeping a firm grip and maintaining a calm body. It will help you to get more concentration. Be sure of your weakness. So, start making notes on your mis-hits by doing so you can improve them.
There are many drills out there to improve putting. Some of these are gate drill, marker drill, dustbin lid drill, clock face drill.
The aim of the chipping is to carry the ball on or close to the green and get it rolling towards the hole. In a chip shot, the ball doesn’t take much flight. It remains on the ground with more time bouncing and rolling on the green.
There some chipping drills to improve your chipping. As the ‘Y’ or triangle chipping drill, hula hoop chipping drill, trail hand release chipping drill, slam dunk chipping drill.
Pitch shots is a longer version of a chip shot. It occurs when the ball is a bit away from the green; thus, it requires more flight than chip shots.
Most beginners overlook the pitch shots and don’t spend enough time to practice it. It requires extra practice as a high percentage of your shots will be under 100 yards.
- Do respect people’s time, don’t be late n game.
- Introduce yourself with a handshake. (you can avoid it in corona time)
- Follow the proper dress code.
- Don’t distract if someone is going for a stroke.
- Don’t lag in the game. It is always good if you are not taking extra time to play your shot.
- Never lose your temper and don’t throw or break your club or if you can’t break them all.
- Don’t shout and swear after a lousy shot. I know everyone feels very bad after every shot, but swearing and shouting won’t help that.
- Yell “Fore!” if the ball is flying towards someone, shout, “Fore!”
- Always wait for your turn to play. The worst thing you can do on the course is going for the stroke without your turn until unless it is ‘Ready Golf.’
- Do take care of your course. Fixing your pitch marks in time will keep the course in pristine condition.
- Don’t look for the ball if you can’t find it in 5 minutes.
- Always help others to find there because you will also need help in finding your ball. On a serious note, being helpful is still great.
- Don’t stand on other people’s putting line.
- Don’t run during, but you can walk quickly and lightly.
- Make a mark on the ball that will prevent it from mixing with other balls.
The learning process in any game is the key to success as it goes for golf also. So, look for the equipment that has some loft and suits best. Work on your attire. Learning some basic rules is also going to help you on the course. Learning the game on the range and in practice session will give you enough confidence on the course. Do play your best game on the course by following proper techniques. Last but not least, do follow the golf etiquettes that makes you a perfect golfer.
Golf for beginners is a fun game to learn and play. So, enjoy your game.