5 Tips for Beginner Golfers Of All Ages
Playing golf can be one of the healthiest, most beneficial activities you’ve ever undertaken. You’ll enjoy fresh air, exercise, stretching, company, plus mental acuity, and focus as you learn about the right equipment, clubs, distances, and strategy.
Plus, golf can be played at any age. Your size, strength, and stamina are less critical than you might think. Yes, 18 holes might be a physical challenge for some, but following a few helpful tips here can make golfing a transformative experience.
Tip #1 – Be Prepared
The most crucial golf tip for a new player is that you can’t improve without practice. Golf success is based on repetition and proper muscle memory execution. You can flatten the learning curve by hitting the practice range, putting green, and lightly swinging a club from time to time. Yes, you’ll need golf clubs, golf shoes, tees, and golf balls. A hat and sunglasses are always helpful. Oh, and a tee time!
First-time players should start with the correct golf grip. A golf club isn’t a hammer or a baseball bat. The club’s grip should lie where a ring sits between the middle and largest knuckle, not the palm of your hand. For right-handers, your right-hand goes low on the grip, the thumb pushed against the grip, not wrapped around it.
Your left-hand goes above, with the index finger between your right hand’s pinky and ring finger. Your left thumb sits against the shaft nestled into the folds of your right palm. Grip it too tight, and you’ll hook the ball.
Do Your Research
There’s great information available for golfers in books, magazines, and videos. But a new golfer can learn plenty just by watching professional players on TV. Start with the proper form, but instead of the full swing you see, start by taking an abbreviated swing and making solid contact. You don’t have to take your clubhead above your shoulder to start.
You’ll see that the pros take that shortened swing on chip shots, and you can start with that with all your clubs while you get the feel of properly hitting a golf ball.
Golf has an illustrious history of fair and honorable play. That mannerly etiquette includes the rules of golf plus things like being quiet during another player’s backswing, not walking across their line to the cup, and not laughing at the colorful and sometimes antiquated clothes they wear. Alright, I made up that last part, but many golf courses have a dress code.
Get the Right Equipment
You won’t need an expensive set of clubs, just a beginner set with a putter, irons from 3 through 9, a sand wedge, pitching wedge, and a set of woods with a bag. Accessories you’ll need include a divot tool to fix ball marks on the green, a golf towel, and a ball marker. Later, you may want to invest in a different putter (such as a mallet head) or an additional loft wedge. Or perhaps a golf cart is in your future.
Hit the Driving Range
The driving range is your friend, and nothing will improve your golf swing more than the practice range. Work with all your clubs, from the sand wedge to your new golf driver.
Practice each of your fairway woods and consider hybrid irons that can give you added distance and better control or a blade iron for better accuracy. Also, work your short irons and practice your chip shot until it’s second nature.
Tip #2 – Walk the Course, Don’t Drive
A round of golf can take four or five hours, so there’s an incentive for golf course managers to insist that players drive carts. Riding carts can speed up play by getting you to your golf ball faster on the first tee. However, over 18 holes, speed has more to do with experience and course knowledge than riding a cart.
Swinging a golf club, being with friends, and enjoying the fresh air is great. If you use an electric remote or walking cart, you’ll also get the massive benefit of actual exercise during your golf outing. Exercise is essential for a healthy body and can prevent aging, improve the cardiovascular system, and promote weight loss.
Get a Better Feel and Understanding of the Course
Zipping around the golf course in a riding cart is like taking a train through the countryside. It’s pretty, but you can’t experience the things you can when walking.
Golf is best when you experience and understand the course; the best place for each shot to land, where the wind blows harshest, and how the bunkers come into play are crucial to your best game.
Use a Walking Cart
You produce a considerable synergy with the course when using a walking cart. You’ll find you can interact more with your playing partners; you’ll have your clubs with you all the time, and you won’t get stiff climbing in and out of the cart and sitting for long periods.
Tip #3 – Focus on your Form
Once you’ve got a solid grip on your clubs and are improving, it’s time to schedule a serious practice session. An experienced golfer may know what to work on, but beginner golfers can benefit from a little more help with their golf swing.
Research the basics
Managing your game should center on keeping your balance as you swing and striking the ball in the sweet spot. Regardless of your upper body strength, increasing your swing speed will add distance to each shot.
But don’t stop there, research the basics of weight distribution, twist, and torque in club shafts. Then keep practicing your putting and short game to keep your golf ball going in the right direction.
Apply the basics that are right for you
Not every tip will fit your swing, style, and body shape. Use the basics for stance, balance, and how to use individual clubs. Then move closer or further from the ball to improve contact.
Try to focus on your form every swing
Etiquette says to take your shot in a reasonable time, but don’t hurry. Focus on keeping your head still and your eyes on the ball until the last moment. Don’t overswing.
Reduce bad habits by taking a breath and initializing that focus. Then, keep your left arm straight at impact with more weight on your lead foot, creating a straight line from your lead shoulder down to your hand and the clubhead at strike.
Tip #4 – Be Aware
Be honest with yourself and aware of your abilities. Avid golfers get in tune with their bodies and are realistic about their game. Dumping your old clubs isn’t the way to fix a bad outing.
Note your Strengths
Play to your strengths. You don’t have to risk a long shot to the green if you chip well. If you putt well, you can avoid a dangerous save to try and get up and down by just getting the ball on the green.
Note your Weaknesses
If you can’t drive for distance, admit where the ball is likely to land and be sure it’s a safe spot for your follow-up. Not putting well? Try lagging up to the hole and concentrating on distance instead of accuracy.
Mistakes and Successes
Use mistakes as opportunities to learn and improve. Don’t internalize them.
Be happy with your success and see if you can apply what went right to what went wrong earlier.
Focus on Efficiency Improvements
The bottom line is that successful golf comes from honesty. Focus on what’s working and apply it across the board for greater success.
Tip #5 – Ask for Guidance
Honesty also helps you accept guidance. Most golfers improve on their own before hitting a plateau that’s hard to rise above. The second set of eyes and some advice will make a world of difference.
If you wanted to learn disc golf, you’d go to a disc golfer and ask some questions, right? Golf pros and teachers make a big difference to millions of golfers. Don’t be embarrassed, be grateful.
Join a Golf Club
Many golf clubs offer memberships that vary in price based on size, demand, and location. Membership offers preferential access to all amenities and can lead to friendships – which often support a player’s drive to improve.
Golf with a more Experienced Player
Playing a few rounds with an experienced golfer is helpful. Watch how they handle problem shots and difficult lies and solicit advice to upgrade your game.
Need to Get Started?
It’s always the right time to visit a local course, browse the pro shop and ask questions about new equipment, club fitting, or take some golf lessons. If you’re ready for some new gear, consider the top brands and check your favorite online marketplace for the best deal.
Whether you want a new golf driver or individual clubs with stainless steel shafts, the Facebook marketplace can be a solid option for new and used clubs.
Online golf retailers and club manufacturers like Ping and Callaway golf have websites with excellent sale prices.
The Best Time to Buy Golf Equipment
December through February is prime time for golf equipment sales, especially around Christmas. Remember that clubs are very personal, so gift cards can rule the holiday.
Black Friday sales offer great deals with a proper coupon code. Club sets are heavy, so shipping can be pricey, although online seller Golf Galaxy offers free shipping on orders over $99!