Golf Tips for Beginners

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Golf Tips for Beginners1

Golf pros know: Golf can seem terribly complicated to beginners. So many rules, so many different kinds of clubs. And then there's the lingo: birdies, bogeys, bump-and-runs. Golf pros and instructors speak this language every day, but also know it's a language that can scare prospective golfers off before they ever pick up a club.

Some things beginners need to know are: What kind of clubs do I need? How do I practice? When do I know that I’m ready for the golf course? The way instructors see it, the only dumb questions about getting started in golf are the ones new golfers are afraid to ask.

What you need to know about clubs

No doubt, the right equipment always helps, but it's not as if you'll need to empty your savings account to get started. Instead, focus on finding the sort of equipment that will allow you to develop your imperfect skills with minimal expense. There'll be plenty of time to go after the latest, hot products on the market, but at the beginning, make learning -- and not buying -- your priority.

You only need a few clubs: You're allowed to carry as many as 14 clubs in your bag, but you won't need nearly that many when you're first learning. Instead, start with a driver, a putter, a sand wedge (it's the club that has an "S" on the sole or a loft of 54 to 56 degrees) and supplement those with a 6-iron, an 8-iron, a pitching wedge, and a fairway wood or hybrid with 18-21 degrees of loft. These are the clubs that are the most forgiving and easiest to get airborne. You can find used and new titanium drivers for as little as $75 and putters for much less than online, but most larger golf and general sporting goods stoes also offer racks of discounted and/or used clubs.

Don't guess -- try before you buy: If you're an absolute beginner looking to buy clubs, go to a larger golf shop or driving range and ask to try a 6-iron with a regular-flex and a stiff-flex shaft. (Generally, the faster and more aggressive the swing, the more you will prefer a shaft that is labeled "S" for stiff.) One of the two should feel easier to control. That's the shaft flex you should start with for all your clubs. Once you get serious about the game and are able to make consistent contact, a clubfitting will enable you to get the most out of your equipment.