There are several ways you can be influenced to take up golf if you haven’t tried it.
You may have friends who play and talk about it when they’re in your company. You could have been hooked watching high-intensity competitive golf in something like the Ryder Cup.
Maybe you’ve mastered PGA Tour on the PlayStation and feel it’s time to transfer your skills to the actual game.
Whatever your route, our beginner’s guide to golf will tackle three major topics that crop up as you look to begin your golfing odyssey:
- Should I Get Lessons Immediately?
- What Golf Equipment Should I Buy?
- When Is It Time For My First Full Round?
Should I Get Lessons Immediately?
You don’t have to go for golf lessons immediately.
You can begin your golfing journey by going to a local driving range. If you don’t have any clubs, you can likely hire them at the range or borrow some clubs from a golfing friend.
Initially, the point of going to the range is to see if you can consistently hit the golf ball.
The range is an excellent option because you’re hitting into a big field, so you don’t have to worry about accuracy or losing golf balls. It also won’t take up much time or cost you much.
Getting some range time helps build a foundation you can build on to take the next step and book some lessons.
Your friends might impart some of their golfing knowledge to help you make contact with the ball at your range sessions, but the best person to turn to for help is a qualified PGA professional.
PGA Professionals are found at nearly all golf clubs, and many driving ranges will also have qualified professionals available for lessons.
You can investigate pricing for lessons and whether you want individual lessons or join up with a group of fellow beginners.
Beginners can be intimidated by hitting shots in front of a professional. They worry they’ll make terrible swings and hit embarrassing shots.
The truth is, the professional will have seen every type of lousy shot imaginable, so they are not phased by what they see.
The professional focuses on helping you improve, starting with great fundamentals. There are three key fundamentals the professional will teach you in those early lessons:
- Gripping the club correctly
- Correct stance
Getting these right will help create power, consistency, and accuracy. They are so important that even the best players in the world always check their fundamentals first if they are playing badly.
What Golf Equipment Should I Buy?
Golf equipment is one area targeted by people who say golf is an expensive sport. In some respects, that can be true as the latest launches by the major manufacturers can be expensive.
But, as a beginner, the good news is you can pick up great golf clubs that will perform well for you at a fraction of the cost.
Clubs up to five years old will still perform well as technology won’t have changed that drastically in the timeframe, but there are so many available in the secondhand market you can pick them up cheaply.
There are many websites specializing in secondhand clubs, and nearly all golf retailers will have a secondhand club section with everything available from drivers to putters.
When looking at drivers for beginners, look for more lofted options, which will help spin the ball better and help with accuracy.
You can also look at some fairway woods, which carry more loft than the driver. They aren’t designed to go as far, but they can help keep the ball in play better.
Hybrid clubs are also a great option, replacing difficult-to-hit long irons. They offer higher ball flights and forgiveness on less-than-perfect strikes.
For irons, look out for deep cavities with wide soles to help get the ball airborne and that all-important forgiveness on off-center hits.
Selecting wedges and putters can come down to feel and look as much as the technologies used.
Graphite shafts are standard for drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids but are also available for irons. The main advantage of graphite is that it is lighter than steel, which can help increase club head speed.
You can have up to 14 clubs in your golf bag, and you can choose the ideal makeup of these 14 clubs that will work for your game.
It’s worth pointing out that before you buy clubs if you are getting lessons, ask your professional about which clubs would be worth investing in.
When Is It Time For My First Full Round?
You’ve had some lessons and got some clubs, and now, it feels like it’s a good time to get out on an actual golf course and put everything to the test!
Some things to consider to help you get the most out of your first round of golf:
- Arrange a Game With Friends
- Choose The Correct Tees
- Learn Some Good Habits
Arrange a Game With Friends
Playing with friends is a great way to see golf's social and competitive side. They will encourage you when you hit a good shot and discuss the best strategies for playing each hole on the course.
Choose The Correct Tees
Golf courses offer various tees tailored to each golfer’s abilities, stretching the total distance the course can play. As a new golfer, playing the course at its shortest distance will make it less intimidating and a more enjoyable experience.
Learn Some Good Habits
There are some essential good habits you can pick up from your first round of golf.
If you end up in a bunker, ensure you rake the areas you were in, smoothing out footprints and splash marks once finished.
If you take a divot after hitting a shot from the fairway, replace the turf in the spot where it was dislodged.
The golfers playing behind you will appreciate it!
If you hit a wayward shot, you need to shout FORE and the direction the ball is going in to alert other golfers on the course that there could be a ball heading their way and to take cover.
There has never been a better time to get into playing golf.
Get a couple of sessions at a local driving range to see what you can do before embarking on golf lessons.
Getting lessons from a qualified professional will help you understand the basics that are so important in golf. Don’t worry about hitting bad shots in front of a professional. They are there to help you improve and enjoy the game!
You don’t have to break the bank balance to get golf equipment; plenty of clubs are designed to help beginners.
Facing your first round can be daunting, but playing with friends and playing off the correct tees will make that first round memorable for the right reasons!
The most important lesson of all is to enjoy the game!