GOLF FOR BEGINNERS
Golf For Beginners – What’s So Special about Golf?
Be warned, golf for beginners, just like for seasoned professionals, can soon become all-consuming, to the point of obsessive passion. So why is this so?
Golf has certain advantages over other sports in that unlike a sport like tennis, you do not have to play the game against someone of a similar playing standard. You can even play alone.
As a sport, a relative golf beginner can play against players of a much higher standard, because golf has a handicap system that reflects a player’s ability.
It is also a great form of exercise because it involves a lot of walking, providing you do not play the game while riding around the course in a motorized golf buggy.
People love golf courses too because they are usually very pleasant places to spend a few hours, assuming of course you don’t spend too much time looking for your lost balls.
But most importantly, when you manage to hit a ball fair and square in the middle of the clubface, even as a beginning golfer, the feeling of compression that vibrates through your body will have you coming back for more, no matter how many duff shots you may have made to get there.
Make no mistake about it. As a golf beginner, you should understand that golf is not an easy game. That’s because the beginning golfer will need expert golf instruction and many hours of practice to learn the golf swing so they can hit the golf ball consistently, and relatively straight.
Learning to play golf is like learning a musical instrument. You cannot expect to play a musical piece competently by just sitting down at a piano or picking up a guitar without lots and lots of practice, and so it is with the beginning golfer.
Having said that golf practice can be very enjoyable for the beginning golfer as they see the progress they make on their golfing journey.
Golf can very quickly become a passion. You only have to see people spending hours on end hitting buckets of balls on the driving range, or chipping and putting on and around the putting green to know how seriously they take it.
Golf For Beginners – Learn the Golf Swing First
It is very tempting for the beginning golfer to rush out, buy a set of golf clubs, and hit the course straightway. However, this is generally not a good idea because when the beginning golfer first attempts to hit a golf ball it will inevitably slice to the right even if good contact is made. The reason for this is that the natural untrained swing will be an outside-in swing path which causes an undesirable slice, or sometimes a pull to the left.
For this reason, to hit the ball straight, reasonably long, and consistently, the beginning golfer must first learn how to hit the ball independently of actually playing a round of golf.
If beginning golfers are really serious about learning how to play golf, they should first learn the basic golf swing with proper golf instruction. With a good sound swing, they will have a game that lasts a lifetime. Without one, any golfer will find it hard to lower scores and truly understand the pleasures the great game of golf has to offer. Without a good swing that enables you to hit the ball long and straight consistently, you probably won’t stick at the game. Instead confining yourself to the odd game of social golf with friends, family, or colleagues, pleasurable and all as this may be.
Golf For Beginners – Learn the Swing With One Club
When learning the basic golf swing, or more correctly swings as there are more than one, as a golf beginner will only need the one club until you learn how to hit the ball relatively straight and consistently.
For the golfing beginner, it is best to start out with the shortest regular club, the 9 iron as this is the easiest club to use. Ideally get one specially fitted by a professional golf club fitter, as this will best match your size and swing speed.
If you cannot afford a specially fitted club, get some advice from a golf professional about a good second-hand 9 iron, but make sure it is fitted with a new grip to match your hand size.
To stop blisters and callouses after your hours of dedicated practice, the golf beginner should always use a golf glove. Since the left hand for the right-hander will take most of the pressure, the right-handed golfer will need a left-hand glove while the left-hander will need a right-hand glove.
Golf for Beginners – Getting Set Up to Practice and Play
Your first point of contact with the golf course is through your feet, so the first things you will need to do is to buy or acquire a good pair of well-fitting golf shoes.
In playing a round of golf you will do a lot of walking, including up and down hills. This can cause your feet to become quite sore by the end of the day,so you will need comfortable shoes. You will also need stable footing when playing your golf shots to ensure you do not slip, so good sole grip is important.
In the past golf shoes had metal spikes, but for the most part golf courses do not allow them as they often damage the putting greens as well as the floor of clubhouse or pro shop when golfers wear them inside.
Golf shoes today have non-metal spikes or cleats that grip the ground, especially when it is a little damp or slippery. However modern spike-less golf shoes with well-designed sole traction patterns are becoming increasingly popular due to their comfort and versatility when driving a car for example.
Ultimately as a beginning golfer, your choice of golf shoes should be made based on comfort and the golfing terrain you are most likely to play and practice most of your golf on.
Clothing for the Weather
Golf is an outdoor game and therefore subject to the weather.
Wind and Rain Protection
Being caught out on the course in the middle of a round in the rain is not a very pleasant experience, so it is important to have some form of protection so that you don’t get drenched through.
It is always wise to keep an umbrella in your golf bag, but there are also some great waterproof lightweight rain suits comprising a jacket, and trousers that can be slipped over the trousers you are wearing to keep you dry.
Waterproof Golf Rain Suits for Men Performance Rain Jackets and Pants for All Sports (Gray Full-zip, Large)
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You should also have adequate protection from the sun to avoid being sunburned. You may wish to go with a conventional golf cap, but understand they do not give the total protection a wide brimmed hat will give.
There are many UV protection brimmed sun smart hats on the market you can choose from to protect you from the sun.
You might also consider buying a sun-smart golfing shirt with long sleeves to protect your arms. Don’t forget a good sunscreen for overall protection, and carry a flask or bottle of water to ensure you keep well hydrated.
Coolibar UPF 50+ Men’s Coppitt Long Sleeve Weekend Polo – Sun Protective (Large- Pacific Blue Heather)
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Ogeenier Women’s 1/4 Zip Pullover UPF 50+ UV Sun Protection Long Sleeve Shirts,Light Blue,M
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Columbia Men’s Utilizer Short Sleeve Wicking Polo with UV Protection, collegiate navy, Large
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Hitting Mat and Golf Net
As a golf beginner, you might also wish to invest in a golf mat and a golf net so you can practice at home.
A mat is great if you have to practice on a hard surface, or you do not want to damage your lawn.
Golf nets come in various sizes and are a great way to build and practice your swing without having to spend lots of money on buckets of balls at the driving range.
If you are able to practice in the backyard or in an open area it is a good idea to have a bag of golf practice balls so you can repetitively hit towards your target. If you have to practice indoors or in a confined space, rubber or plastic balls will help ensure you do not do any damage to furniture or windows.
Get Yourself a Shag Bag to Save Bending Over All the Time
The beginning golfer will need to do lots of practice. After you hit, chip or putt 20 or so practice balls you will need to collect them, and you don’t want the discomfort of having to bend over all the time to pick them up.
This is where a ball collector commonly known as a shag bag comes in handy as it enables you to collect your balls while still standing. They are very clever devices and well worth the investment.
Ruigra Golf Ball Shag Bag, Golf Ball Retriever Portable Golf Pocket Storage with Zipper Golf Ball Pick up Hold up to 70 Balls Easy to Pick-up Ball, Suitable for Golf Club/Course/Game, Black
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Golf For Beginners Golf Club Set
When the time comes to start playing, what should the beginning golfer do about a set of clubs?
As a beginner it is best to start with only a few clubs, preferably fitted to you by a professional club fitter.
Golf Club Essentials
It is important to have:
– Grips to match your hand size
– Club shafts with stiffness to match you club swing speed
– Clubs with a low center of gravity, thickness of base and toe heal balance
Recommended Set For Golfers Who are Beginners
A 56 degree sand iron for shots out of the bunker.
A 5 or 7 rescue club
A driver with at least 13 to 15 degrees loft. As a beginner, you will need this much loft to get the ball into the air with ease.
You Will Also Need a Golf Bag
To carry your clubs and your various on course necessities, you will need a good quality golf bag, which come in many shapes and sizes.
As a beginner golfer with less clubs than a seasoned golfer, you will probably not need a large golf bag, but keep in mind you will still need to carry your wet weather gear etc. Therefore you might chose to go with a lightweight golf bag with fold out standing legs.
Another handy golf bag you might consider is a mini golf rack which is more like a practice bag that only carries a few clubs. They are not very expensive but great if you are going to the range and only want to take 2 or 3 clubs to practice with.
You’ll Probably Also Need a Buggy
Unless you are a member of a golf club that provides a buggy for free, it is also worthwhile getting your own fold up golf baggy, not only to make it easier to move your clubs around the course, but to avoid having to continually hire one from the pro shop.