Golf beginners are typically quite overwhelmed with the difficulty of the game and the rules they must learn. Unfortunately, this can be enough to turn a player away from the sport. Luckily there are some really great golf tips for beginning golfers to get started. Reading these tips will better prepare you for a long future of playing the game of golf.
1) Find A Great Golf Clinic
It’s hard to learn golf without any instruction. Finding a local PGA Professional offering a beginner clinic is a great opportunity to help get started. The golf swing takes time to develop, and if you are going to put the time in, it pays to do it with a professional.
Private lessons from golf professionals are also a great way to learn to play golf, but they can be a bit more expensive. Most courses offer these beginner clinics that encourage new players on their golf journey and even introduce them to other new players.
The best beginner golf clinics will go over the golf stance, the short game, putting, ways to practice effectively, and more.
2) Begin With The Chip
One of the best ways for beginners to learn to hit solid shots is to start on the chipping green. Many new golfers head to the driving range with the driver in hand and start to hit golf balls as far as they can. A driver is without a doubt a fun club to hit; however, learning to make contact with a chip shot is a much better way to introduce yourself to the game.
Chip shots are also a great way to learn how to control your distance and trajectory. These two factors are much more important than hitting the ball as far as you can.
After you have mastered the chip shot, then you can begin to work on your full swing with each of the other clubs in the bag. The impact position with a chip shot will be almost the same as the impact position on the iron swings; learning to perfect this early can increase the confidence of any new golfer.
3) Practice The Grip
The grip is likely the most boring aspect of golf to practice. Most golfers don’t work on their grip nearly as much as they should, simply because it is a bit boring to work on it. The best golfers, however, likely took months and maybe even years to perfect a golf grip.
New golfers do not need to decide on the ten-finger, overlap, or interlock grip position right away. These changes can be made in the future. However, beginners tend to separate their hands on the club and hold too much of the club in their palm; this is not ideal.
The best golfers keep the club in the fingers of their hands and ensure that the left hand and right hand are in the same position each time you grip the club. There are golf training grips available on the market that can be a good option for beginners to put on a practice club.
4) Exercise For Better Balance
Golf sometimes is not thought of as the most athletic sport. However, when you look at the top golfers in any PGA Tour event, you can see that these guys are dedicating a good portion of their lives to staying strong and healthy. The vast majority of great players have some sort of fitness routine.
This is done to try and help improve balance in the game and to gain more clubhead speed. Clubhead speed will directly impact the distance you can hit the golf ball, and it can make the game considerably more fun.
Playing 18 holes of golf means that you will walk up to five miles and likely swing the golf clubs hundreds of times (practice swings included). To not get fatigued during your next round of golf, start to spend a bit of time working on your overall fitness.
5) Learn Fast Play
The game of golf is one that can take a considerable amount of time to play. The average 18-hole round will likely take four hours or more to complete. If you want to improve your pace of play and enjoy the game more, then start by playing faster rounds.
The pace of play is extremely stressful for most beginners. Playing golf faster will mean that you can play with any golfers. Great players don’t mind playing with bad golfers or new players, but they will mind playing with a slow golfer.
Here are a few tips that will help you speed up your pace of play.
- Always know which golf club you plan to hit
- One practice swing is enough
- Watch your golf ball so that you can always find it
- If you have a terrible hole, it is ok to pick up; beginners do not need to worry about a golf handicap in the beginning
- Park the golf cart in a smart location so that you don’t have to walk backward to get it
- Score on the next tee box
- Talk to a good golfer about their best ways to save time on the golf course
6) Keep Thoughts In Check
Too many swing thoughts will lead to bad shots. Regardless of your golf handicap or how long you have been playing the game, too many swing thoughts can come into your mind. The golf course is not a place to work on your golf game; it is a place to play the game.
Players need to learn how to turn this on and off so that other golfers can also enjoy their time on the course. If you are out there trying to figure out your swing plane and the position of your left hand or front foot, the pace of play will slow down considerably, and the day will be less than enjoyable.
Golf courses are filled with players that are all working on getting better at their game, but we need to do it with one or two positive swing thoughts at a time. Develop a practice routine that helps you feel confident in your ability, and then keep it to one swing thought if possible. Once your round is finished, it’s completely acceptable to go to the driving range and work on some of these things that may have bothered you that day.
7) Watch Out For Advice
People mean well when they try to teach beginners how to hit the ball. However, there are very few people that are actually qualified to teach the game. The next time your playing partners try to tell you how to improve your golf swing, you may want to be careful about taking the advice.
Some tips of advice can end up hurting your game or making it too overwhelming even to hit the ball. One of the best ways to avoid this advice is to tell people that you are taking lessons and working on one or two things at a time.
Your own game is going to be different than the game of your friend or playing partner. No two golfers play golf exactly the same way.
8) Read The Rule Book
If you thought working on the grip was a bit dry, the golf rules will make the grip look like a day at the beach. The rules of golf are complicated and kind of challenging to keep track of, but you must learn them. Many golfers still don’t know how to take a proper drop or what they should do if their golf ball goes out of bounds.
Learning the rules of golf will make it easier for you to understand the implications of lost balls and ultimately prepare you for a long future in the game. Spending time on the practice range for beginners is very important but follow up that time with at least five minutes of reading in the rule book.
You won’t have to memorize the rule book as you can always have it with you as you play. However, knowing where to find each of the rules in the book can save quite a bit of time on the golf course.
9) Get A Great Sand Wedge
So many beginner golf sets are sold without a sand wedge. The short game is an important area of the game for beginners to work on, and having golf clubs with slightly higher loft to help with these shorter shots is incredibly important.
One of the most popular golf tips for beginners is to spend time working on the short game. However, without the right equipment and clubs with higher lofts, it’s nearly impossible to learn all of the different types of golf shots needed.
If you purchase a beginner set without the sand wedge, make sure to add one. It helps with shots out of the rough, approach shots, and especially when hitting a bunker shot.
10) Play It Forward
Many golf courses will have more than one set of tees. Typically some tees are designed for professionals, then a few tees for the average golfers, and then senior and women’s tees. The tee you play from will make a big difference in the difficulty of the golf course that you play.
Do not challenge yourself to play the course from very far back. There is no reason for this; learn from a shorter tee, get good and then move back. In addition to being extremely frustrated, you will have a hard time learning to play fast when you are playing from too far back.
We also recommend that new golfers take some time to play a pitch and putt type golf course. These courses allow you to work on iron shots, chipping and putting. These are the areas of the game that will make a big difference when it comes to scoring.
11) It’s Supposed To Be Fun
The game of golf is supposed to be fun. Although it’s great to have a perfect golf bag, the best golf shoes, a collared shirt, and all the fancy training aids, in the end, the main goal is to have fun while on the golf course. No golf club or piece of equipment can make this happen; you must do it for yourself.
Golf is frustrating if you don’t start it the right way, and many players quit. As PGA Professionals, we can tell you that most people can learn to be great golfers; the key is to have patience and remember that it is a game.
Watching a great player like Tiger Woods will help you see how much time and attention they have put into the sport and why their game is as good as it is.
Frequently Asked Questions From Beginner Golfers
Here are a few of the questions that beginner golfers tend to ask about getting started in the game.
How Many Clubs Does A Beginner Need?
The beginner golfer can usually get away with about eight or nine golf clubs in their bag. Most golfers do not use all of their clubs because they tend to fly the same distance. It takes some time for beginners to develop enough consistency to see a variety of yardages from their golf shots. Here is a good setup for a beginner golfer.
- Fairway Wood (5 Wood)
- Hybrid (4 or 5 Hybrid)
- 7-9 Iron
- Pitching Wedge
- Sand Wedge
How Do I Make A Tee Time?
Beginner golfers can use online platforms or call a golf course for a tee time. Sometimes as a beginner, it makes the most sense to play a round of golf in the later afternoon when the golf course is slow. It will be less stressful and allow for more practice and understanding. Save the prime time golf for when you have some experience.
How Long Does It Take To Get Good At Golf?
It can take a lifetime to get good at golf, but if you work hard on your game, you can become a pretty good player in about a year. Some very athletic golfers can pick up the game quickly and start to see lower scores after just a few months. The learning curve will depend on the time you put in and your natural ability and talent.
At this point, you should feel more confident in your ability to learn the game as a beginner. Just remember to take your time, have fun and be patient. These top 11 golf tips for beginning golfers will help get you started on the right path to enjoying the game of golf for years to come. Thanks for reading!