So, you’ve decided to pick up the clubs and finally learn how to play golf. It’s a great idea at any age! But while being out in the fresh air is not a bad way to spend four hours, the game can be quite an undertaking for someone who’s stepping up to the tee for the first time. With some basic golf tips under your belt, you can enjoy this time-honored sport for years to come.
A good basis of knowledge before you start playing will help build a solid foundation for improvement, but first you’ll need the right equipment.
Best Beginner Golf Clubs
When it comes to purchasing your first set of clubs, it makes sense to buy wisely. A complete set of beginner golf clubs can vary, though generally, it includes 12-17 pieces. These include a driver, fairway wood, irons, hybrid clubs, pitching wedge, sand wedge and a putter. The best golf clubs for the new golfer are those that provide maximum forgiveness while improving your ball-striking ability. A good set of golf clubs sold together as a package can be bought for as little as $200-$300, even less if you go second-hand.
Pro Tip: Consider the Callaway Strata complete golf club set with a bag, which has everything you’ll need to hit the course, including a 460cc titanium composite forged driver, 3 wood, 5 hybrid, four irons, pitching wedge and a mallet putter.
Best Golf Balls for Beginners
As a beginner, you’ll want to look for golf balls with two-piece construction, which are made for casual rounds of golf, rather than competition play. Because of the limited spin in flight, two-piece balls tend to go a bit straighter off the tee—an essential benefit as you learn the golf swing fundamentals.
Pro Tip: There’s no reason to spend a lot of money. The best golf balls for beginners should be among the cheapest models on the shelf, including Nike PD 9, Wilson Staff Fifty Elite, and Pinnacle Gold.
Golf Swing Fundamentals
Like most sports, golf takes practice and repetition to become good. Before you can swing a golf club, must know how to grip it and use correct posture.
Grip: The fingers of the right hand can grip the club and link with the left hand in 3 different ways, referred to as the interlinking grip, the overlapping or ‘Vardon’ grip and the baseball grip. Use whichever feels the most comfortable and natural.
Posture and Approach: Place the ball on the tee and stand far enough away so that you can stretch but not over-extend your arms, with the ball positioned so that there is equal distance between your front and back foot. Lean (but don’t hunch) over the tee and bend your knees slightly.
Swing: The take away, impact and follow through are the three key golf swing fundamentals. Beginners are better off keeping their feet grounded upon take away and impact. Keep your head and upper body still as you bring the club back, hold your lead arm straight, rotate your hips and transition your weight to your back foot. As you approach impact, rotate your hips forward and shift weight to your lead foot. Keep your eye on the ball as you make contact and keep rotating your hips. Your upper torso should be facing the hole at the end of your swing.
Putt: The putting stroke resembles the back-and-forth motion of a pendulum. Keep your shoulders level, and maintain the same speed going back and forward, regardless how long or short your putt is.
Practice Makes Perfect
There are other golf swing fundamentals to consider depending on whether you’re using irons or drivers, or hitting from the rough or greens. But as a beginner, your best bet is to practice the basic tee swing and putt before hitting the course. You can even rent many of the best balls for beginners and beginner golf clubs before making a purchase, and take lessons before going out on your own. You’re in for a game full of fun, relaxation and even a bit of cardio exercise, any way you slice it!