Being new to the game of golf can seem overwhelming, because of all the equipment needed to golf and all the tips and tricks you’re probably getting from your friends and family.
The game of golf can seen overwhelming when starting out, but some basic knowledge and some basic golf lessons for beginners is always a good way to start out.
Here is some basic information on How to play golf for beginners.
Understand the Objective of the Game – Golf is played by hitting a small ball into a series of holes in as few strokes as possible. The ultimate goal is to complete each hole and the entire course (usually 18 holes) with the fewest number of shots.
Familiarize Yourself with Equipment – Golf requires a few essential pieces of equipment. These include golf clubs (typically a set of irons, woods, and a putter), golf balls, tees, and a golf bag to carry your clubs. It’s a good idea to invest in some basic equipment suitable for beginners.
Learn the Basic Rules – Familiarize yourself with the basic rules of golf. Understand concepts like tee-off, fairway, green, hazards (such as bunkers and water), out of bounds, and penalties for various infractions. You can find detailed rulebooks or online resources for this purpose.
Take Lessons or Seek Guidance – Consider taking golf lessons from a professional instructor or seeking guidance from an experienced golfer. They can teach you the proper technique, swing mechanics, and help you develop good habits from the beginning.
Start with the Grip and Stance – Mastering the grip and stance is crucial in golf. Learn how to hold the club properly, whether you choose an overlapping, interlocking, or baseball grip. Work on a balanced and relaxed stance, with your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly bent knees.
Practice the Swing – The golf swing is a fundamental aspect of the game. Start with the basic mechanics, focusing on the backswing, downswing, and follow-through. Developing a consistent and controlled swing is key. Practice at driving ranges or designated practice areas.
Start with Short Shots – Begin by practicing short shots, such as chipping and pitching. These shots are usually played around or near the green. Work on your accuracy and control in these areas before moving on to longer shots.
Learn Putting – Putting is the final stroke on each hole. Spend time practicing your putting skills on the practice green. Work on your distance control and aim for a smooth and consistent stroke.
Understand Course Etiquette – Golf has its own etiquette and rules of behaviour. Respect other players, keep noise to a minimum, repair divots and ball marks, and be mindful of pace of play. Learning and adhering to these etiquette guidelines will ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone.
You need to understand that golf is supposed to be fun, and when you’re having fun you’ll play better.
The aim of golf is to go around an 18 hole Golf Course in the least amount of strokes.
Pretty Simple Huh???
Learn the Basics of the Game for Beginners
The first step is to understand some of the real basics of the game.
Some of these basic terms will be of benefit before you begin your journey to starting the game of golf.
Driving Range – A practice facility where you will spend a little time initially to practice and work on your golf swing.
Tee Box – Short grass where you start each golf hole.
Fairway – Short grass you aim at from the tee box.
Rough – Long grass surrounding the outside of the fairway, and the green.
Bunker – A shallow pit filled with sand also known as a sand trap.
Green – Very short grass which will have a flag on it as an aiming stick.
Each Golf course will be made of challenging holes that vary in distance.
Par 3 – The shorter holes, normally between 100 and 200 yards.
Par 4 – The middle length holes, normally between 300 and 450 yards.
Par 5 – The longest of the golf holes, normally over 500 yards.
There are also some scoring terms that you might want to make yourself familiar with. All golf courses are made up of different holes which are either a Par 3, 4 or 5. This is the number of strokes a professional player should get the ball into the hole.
Par – Scoring term indicating the standard on a hole.
Birdie – Scoring term indicating one under par.
Eagle – Scoring term indicating two under par.
Albatross or Double Eagle – Scoring term indicating three under par.
Bogey – Scoring term indicating one over par.
Double Bogey – Scoring term indicating 2 over par.
For example, if I was playing a Par 4 and I got the ball in the hole in 4 shots, I would score a Par. If my playing partner took 5 shots to get it into the hole he/she would make a Bogey. If you get the ball in the hole in 3 shots you guessed it that’s a Birdie.
See this game ain’t that hard!!!
Basic Ball Flight Terms
The flight of your good and bad golf shots will have 6 basic names.
Slice – The significant left to right curvature of the golf ball flight. (The most common bad shot among the novice golfer) This will be right to left for a left-handed player.
Hook – The opposite of the slice in which there is a significant right to left curvature of the golf ball. This will be left to right for a left-handed player.
Fade – Only a slight left to right curvature of the golf ball for a right-handed player. This will be right to left for a left-handed player. (Some of the world’s best players have played with this ball flight)
Draw – Only a slight right to left curvature of the golf ball for a right-handed player. This will be left to right for the left-handed player.
Push – A shot that goes directly right of the target with little or no curvature. The opposite for a left-hander.
Pull – A shot that will go directly left of the target with little or no curvature. The opposite for a left-hander.
Understand your Equipment
The Rules of Golf will allow you to carry as many as fourteen golf clubs in your bag for tournament or competition. Each of these clubs has different lofts on them and are designed to go different distances. I would recommend getting a full set of fourteen because you will be improving fast and be needing all clubs required sooner rather than later.
If you are a beginner and are on the lookout for a decent set of golf clubs, just use the following link to read about some good options. Best Golf Clubs for Beginners.
Loft – The Loft is the angle of the clubface of each golf club which controls trajectory and distance.
Driver – The lowest lofted club in the bag usually between nine and twelve degrees. This club will hit the ball the furthest when struck correctly. It also has the biggest head size up to 460 Cubic Centimetres.
Fairway Wood – Woods are no longer made but the name will always sound better than 3 Metal. Usually between thirteen and nineteen degrees of loft.
Hybrids – These are fairly new but are essentially something in between a fairway wood and a 3 or 4 Iron. Also known as a rescue or utility.
Irons – Made of solid iron or steel. The irons will make up at least seven or eight of the clubs in your bag.
Wedges – Used for short shots inside one hundred yards, and around the greens and bunkers. The highest lofted clubs in your bag.
Putter – Used to get the ball in the hole on the really short grass.
Shaft – You will hear this term quite a lot. It is simply the tapered tube which connects the golfer hands to the clubhead. Your hands will obviously be on the grip.
For a list of all the other equipment, you might need just click the following link Equipment Needed to Golf.
One thing I can highly recommend is that unless your friends are highly qualified teaching professionals, I would not let them teach you the game of golf. A lot of golfers go backward simply by either listening to their friends or getting the incorrect advice.
A good place to start would be the golf grip. A good grip will give a golfer the best chance to control the golf club. Here is a quick link on some how to build a good golf grip.
It is a lot easier to get rid of any bad habits before you start them. This is where some golf tuition comes in very handy. The learning process is much simplified if you get lessons before you start golfing. There are also a couple of good books recommended that make learning the game very simple.
The first is an older book by the great Ben Hogan. Golf has become complicated over the years, but an effective swing does not change. If you don’t quite feel ready to take lessons yet this book is a great starting point. Hogan keeps everything very simple in his Modern Fundamentals of Golf.
If you have been playing for a little while, and not seeing any improvements then maybe the book by Clive Scarff might be a better option. It is a more entertaining look at some of the common faults and how to fix them.
This one is obvious, but it is amazing how many golfers get this wrong. It is much like going to the gym. If you don’t put in the work you won’t see any results.
How much you practice will depend on the amount of time you have, but as a beginner at least one hour per week will be of benefit.
As a beginner, you can even practice at home and do not have to go to the golf course. The correct grip can be practiced whilst watching your favourite TV show, and getting a feel for a golf swing can be practiced in your very own backyard.
There is a book which has made learning and practicing the game a lot easier. A lot of more accomplished players say they wish they had of read it long before they started wanting to improve with golf.
When starting out it is easy to get carried away with the mechanics of the game, and all the tips and techniques you might see and hear from magazines, tv shows, and your friends. In the Book Golf is Not a Game of Perfect, Dr Bob Rotella will help you understand how easy and effortless the golf swing can be.
Professional golfers rarely have any more than two swing thoughts during the game of golf, and reading Dr Bob Rotellas book will help you achieve this.
Golf is a game of feel and rhythm, and making a club feel natural in your hands will make the game a lot easier.
Remember, golf is a sport that takes time and patience to master. Enjoy the process of learning, and don’t be discouraged by occasional struggles. With practice and dedication, you can improve your game over time.
If you want to learn a bit more about some of the basics of the game of golf, click the links below.