Have you ever wanted to learn to play golf, but found the different clubs, rules, and jargon confusing? You’re not alone. Golf is more complicated than a number of other sports, and it does take some time to learn all of the different terms and figure out which clubs do what. Fortunately, if you take the first step in learning about golf, you’ll soon find that it’s actually not as complicated as it seems. Here are some tips for first time players that will help you figure out many of the basics of golf.
While your clubs will affect your overall golf game, spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a high-end set of clubs won’t magically make you a great player. On the other hand, good players may be able to play very competitively with a very cheap set of clubs. What’s important is finding a set that has the right grip, shaft length, loft, and head weight for you. If you have to bend over to hit the ball because the clubs you’re using are too short, you’re not going to be able to control the ball that well. Your back is also likely going to hurt by the time you finish the course.
Take your time picking out the right set of clubs, and don’t really look at the price tag that much. You can always upgrade your set later if you decide that you love golf and plan on sticking with it.
A full set of golf clubs includes 14 different options, but you can play with as little as three clubs if you want. All you really need is a wedge, a putter, and a driver. However, you’ll likely want to include a six iron and an eight iron, a fairway wood, and a pitching wedge. These seven clubs can set you back a couple hundred dollars at most. If you find a used set of clubs that work for you, you may even pay less. You can always expand your club selection later.
In addition to your clubs, you’ll need a good number of golf balls. While there are fewer differences between golf balls, some people do prefer one brand over another. If you’re a beginner, you may want to have a dozen or so golf balls on hand just in case you lose a lot of them. Once you’ve played for a while and become more experienced, you may only need to carry four or five with you. Again, expensive golf balls aren’t necessarily better, and if you’re losing a lot, you may want to avoid them at first.
Now that you have an idea of what type of equipment you need, it’s time to learn what to do with them! You could head out and start swinging on your own, but it’s much better to take a beginning golf class. Many golf courses offer lessons, either as a group or as a one-on-one. While it may be tempting to let one of your friends who has played for years teach you, working with an experienced instructor is going to get you off on the right foot. Golfing styles do differ between players, so what a friend teaches you may not be a style that really works for you. It can also be difficult for a non-instructor to know how to discuss proper swing technique or other lessons.
When most people think of golf, they imagine someone swinging a club and sending their little ball soaring a few hundred yards in a perfect arc. But those long shots are only about half the game. The other half are short strokes that are 50 yards or less. For these shots, you need your putter or one of the wedges. A lot of beginners only practice the long shots, not these short ones, and so their game suffers because they have difficulty getting to the hole once they’re near the green. Be sure you take the time to practice using your wedge and putter just as often as you do the drivers and irons.
A lot of people see golf as something that’s not as demanding as other sports. After all, you’re not running up and down a basketball court or trying to get to the finish line first. However, just because it doesn’t seem as strenuous doesn’t mean that it’s easy. A standard round of golf can take as long as four hours depending on how many people you’re playing with and if you have to wait for a group in front of you to finish.
This means you want to be prepared. Make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothing, have snacks and water, and be ready to be sore the next day. You’re going to be walking a lot, and swinging a club is more work than you might believe. But with the right clubs, some lessons, and a good amount of practice, you’ll find that these hours on the course are a lot of fun.