Golf For Beginners

The first component you must possess is confidence. Positive thinking rather than negative thinking can bring your game to another level. Like attracts like, good positive energy attracts more positive energy. Feeling good when you approach the ball makes all the difference rather than omg I’m going to slice this shot or please don’t land in the river. Having the confidence to hit the ball straight down the fairway is half the battle, golf in my eyes is half mental strength and half technical knowhow. Having the tools to make you a technically good golfer will be useless if you are one to choke every time you address the ball, being mentally strong makes you a complete golfer ready for anything, so work on your confidence, it doesn’t just help with golf.

Clubs

Choosing the right clubs is paramount, and the first thing you will need to decide is what size of clubs you need and in order to figure that out you will need to take a few measurements (you will need a partner to do this for you).

To take the measurement stand with your legs slightly apart with your arms relaxed at your side. You want your partner to measure from the point where your arm bone ends, the soft tissue part before your hand of your non-writing hand. If in doubt bend your hand up the way until you see a crease appear in the wrist, this is the point your partner should measure from, measure from that point down to the floor. Have your partner do it a couple of times to make sure they get the right measurement. Now get your partner to measure your height. Write these down and keep them safe.

Next you need to take your measurements to a pro shop where they have two charts to determine the correct length of golf clubs you should be using. These charts, one will recommend the length of each club you should have based on your height, the second chart will help you make adjustments to those clubs based on the measurement you wrote down.

Remember these charts are just recommendations, try them out first and make adjustments that suite you. Being comfortable is the main thing here, the last thing you want is to be using clubs that you feel are either too long or too short.

The next thing you should probably know is what makes of clubs to go for. Once again this is a personal decision as everyone has their own preference. Golf clubs can be very expensive to buy so you want to be careful to make the right choice. Ask around any friends that you know golf to see if you can try out their clubs first, you may get lucky and find clubs that you get on well with first time. TaylorMade, Ping and Mizuno are among the leaders when it comes to making golf clubs.

Two things to point out are that you can get steel shafts or graphite shafts, graphite shafts are more expensive because they are lighter than steel shafts and the weight is in the club head meaning it is easier to generate swing speed. Perfect for beginners. You can also think about buying the perimeter-weighted heads as they have an extended sweet spot making life a whole lot easier for beginner golfers.

A second hand set of golf clubs is another option, but whatever avenue you take in obtaining your first set of clubs, be sure to try them out at least on the driving range.

Bag

Things to remember when looking for a golf bag is that it has to be big enough to carry a maximum of 14 clubs yet light enough for you to carry around for 4 hours as some courses do not allow buggies to carry the clubs. Other than that it’s all about the look and make, oh and don’t forget the price.

Shoes

What you want out of a pair of golf shoes comes down to personal choice. Picking a pair of golf shoes is like picking any other pair of shoes, firsts things first, make sure they fit and are comfortable as you will be walking a lot of miles in these shoes.

The next thing you need to remember when choosing your shoes is that you will be walking in wet weather as well as those hot sunny days, even if it isn’t raining at times, the ground can still be wet so choose carefully.

Price is the next thing you will need to decide, what budget do you have to spend on a pair of golf shoes? The prices range from £20 up to £150 or more. I had a pair of Adidas that cost me £25, they were trendy, comfy and lasted 5 years, the best £25 I ever spent.

As you may be aware golf shoes come with spikes, metal ones and rubber ones. Most golf courses now a day’s only permit rubber spikes as it preserves the courses so make sure your shoes have rubber spikes.

All of the above are primary choices that have to be made, let’s move on to the secondary choices that must be thought about like fashion. Some prefer the traditional look, but there are a wide range of funky looking golf shoes. You can even have them tailor made to suite your own personal needs, perhaps you have one leg slightly longer than the other that needs addressing.

Other than the points mentioned above, golf shoes are just like picking any other pair of shoes, it comes down to personal preference.

Balls

The type of golf balls you choose depends on price, make and colour. As beginners tend to lose more balls than your average player I would recommend buying used balls from a pro shop on any course. You can usually pick these up in sets of 10 for a fraction of the price and are usually available in many top brands such as Nike, Titlist, Callaway, Taylor Made, Ping.

Rules

I am not going to re-write the rules of golf here in this report for you, instead I have the link to the official rules which are maintained jointly by the USGA and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. You can find them here.

Where To Practice

You can practice at any driving range, if you check Google I’m sure you can come up with a list of driving ranges near your home. Most driving ranges charge per 50 balls and vary in prices so check your local listings.

If money is an issue some golf courses have one hole practice ranges available to use or you can find a bit of grass that is reserved for practice near one of the fairways on the course. Most also have putting greens you can use to practice your putting, or the living room carpet and a cup will do. Keep in mind that most if not all public parks prohibit playing golf.

Where To Play

There are two types of courses, public and private. Public courses are normally run by the council; whereas private courses are not and tend to be a bit pricier than public courses both for single rounds and memberships. The rules of etiquette tend to be different also, you can wear trainers and jeans on a public course, and on a private course you must wear proper golf shoes, dress trousers, and a collar on your shirt. Check the rules before you turn up for your round to save any red faces.

Regardless of the type of course you plan on playing at everyone must book a tee off time in advance and you should turn up at least 10 min before you are due to tee off.

Most golf courses are 18 holes in length but 9 hole pitch and putt courses also exist for juniors and for those not yet ready for the 18 hole challenge.

You should be able to Google local golf courses no problem, but I’d get some practice in first.

Grip

The first thing that you need to know is that your grip matters greatly. Most slices end up occurring because of how a person grips the golf club. The club has to be firm in hand, but not so tight that the energy of your hands and arms are moving through the ball. If your kinetic energy flows through the ball you’ll see the slice happen and you can correct things from there. The hands are important to the transfer of energy, and if you twitch or cuff in your follow through, you will not see forward progress. Some will deny that their hands are to blame, but when you go forward to a driving range, focus on the way you hit the ball and you’ll notice that often times the slice has everything to do with the way you’re moving your hands and following through. Even a slight slip of your hands marginally left or right or in an uppercut fashion will change the trajectory of the movement of the ball.

The easiest way to fix this problem is to grip the club harder. Often times the slice is a response to a weaker grip, especially at the point of impact. Depending on how you hold the club and how your grip shifts slightly, will determine the force and direction of the ball after impact. To fix this, grip and take control of club and do not shift your hands or wrists in any way. This will seem a bit difficult at first, but after a few practice swings, you will be able to fix any tension that you might have in your arms as you bring your swing to full circle.

Stance

Having the correct footwear on is a must, golf shoes that fit well, not loose. On address for middle range iron shots your feet should line up roughly shoulder width apart, for longer iron shots the feet should line up a couple of inches wider than that and for shorter iron shots the feet a couple of inches narrower than shoulder width. Start by standing tall, now bend your knees slightly and keep your back straight, tilt your upper body forward until your eyes are in line with the balls of your feet. Your weight should be balanced on the balls of your feet and your bum should look like you are sitting on a tall bar stool. Your arms should be relaxed and outstretched so that your eyes, balls of your feet and now your hands all are aliened. This posture will feel quite odd at first, but stick with it and you’ll soon get used to it.

Swing

After you’ve spent some time analyzing your swing, you most likely will notice that the slice relies heavily on how you are hitting the ball and lining up your shoulders, mainly the lead shoulder. Your lead shoulder should be square to the ball upon impact. Your shoulder should be distinctly in line with your forearms, with the forearms stabilizing the swing upon impact. The leading shoulder should be down while the hands and the forearms send the energy needed to fly the ball forward without slicing.

Some of the most common errors that people have to deal with are in regards to their shoulders, arms, and the transfer of energy. Energy moves through the motion of the swing and can change the way the ball moves. Changing the trajectory of the ball in motion is impossible, but if you hit the ball a certain way you can change the complexion of your swing. The shoulders have to be square, with the lead shoulder steady and following through with a solid grip. If you grip the club properly and don’t shift your hands upon impact, you will see a positive reaction with your ball.

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