Golf Essentials for Beginners
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Be Prepared and Ready to Play Golf With These Must Haves
Interested in learning how to play golf? Now that you have decided to give golf a try, you may be wondering what equipment or necessities you’ll need to actually play this game.
It can be somewhat overwhelming when you consider all of the equipment, accessories, gadgets, clothes, apparel, and items that are part of golf. And if you have ever stepped into one of those big box golf stores or browsed the internet to shop, there is a massive array of products from golf clubs, golf balls, equipment, bags, shoes, clothes, and many other accessories.
As a beginner, you definitely don’t need it all. I have listed out my top 17 must-haves or golf necessities when playing. This should get you started and at least able to play a round of golf.
Top 17 Beginner Golf Essentials & Necessities
Must Have Golf Items
1. Golf Clubs
Golf clubs are one of the essential items that you will need in order to play golf.
Whether you purchase a new beginner golf club set or borrow some from a friend or relative, golf clubs will absolutely be required. The maximum number of golf clubs a golfer can carry is 14 and there is no minimum. As a beginner, there is no need to go with the maximum number of clubs. It will only make things more overwhelming.
All a beginner golfer needs are a few clubs to get started. Many start out with a 7 iron because it is a comfortable length and is an easier club to hit than others. If you are heading out on the golf course, a beginner golfer should at least have a putter, a wedge, a few irons, and a driver. Hybrids, and woods are optional when just starting out.
2. Golf Balls
To play golf, everyone needs their own separate golf ball. In fact, many golfers will put distinct marks on their ball to help them identify their own ball out on the course.
As a beginner golfer, you do not want to get too attached to your golf ball. Why? Because new golfers (as well as more experienced golfers) tend to lose a lot of golf balls when first starting out. It’s easy to lose them. In the woods, in the tall fescue or grass, and unfortunately in the many creeks, streams, ponds, and water hazards along the course.
Golf balls can range in price, so my suggestion is to not worry too much about the quality of the golf ball in the beginning. There are many golf balls sold that are fairly priced and good enough quality. And be sure to look out for any lost golf balls on the course – I always seem to pick up a ball or two that others have lost.
3. Golf Tees
At the start of each hole is a tee box where a golfer hits their first ball or drive.
This is the only place on the course where you are allowed to tee the ball up on a golf tee. Each golfer brings their own tees, however, some courses do provide complimentary tees. YTees can be reused, but they can break and they can be lost. So, bring extra tees in your golf bag.
4. Golf Glove
The majority of golfers wear a golf glove on their non-dominant hand to help with the grip. For example, as a right-handed player, you would wear the glove on your left hand. As a golfer just starting out, this is not a required item, but it may help with preventing blisters in the beginning.
For sun protection and better grip, I happen to wear a golf glove on each of my hands.
5. Golf Hat, Sunglasses & Sunscreen
Speaking of the sun, a golf hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are a must for prevention. Because golf is played outside, anything that protects against the damaging effects and glare of the sun is pretty essential.
6. Golf Clothes
Though times are changing and golf attire is becoming a bit more relaxed and informal, there are still golf traditions being followed which include some limitations on what can or can’t be worn on the golf course.
The biggest one is that golfers need to wear a collar on their golf shirts. However, even that rule is slowly being redefined especially as we have seen Tiger Woods sporting the mock collar on his golf shirts.
For men, it is typically a pair of shorts or pants and a short-sleeve collared golf shirt. For women, golf attire now includes skirts, skorts, dresses, and collared or mock collared shirts. It is great to see more and more leniency and casual golf clothing over the years as more and more people are enjoying and growing the game.
7. Golf Shoes
Shoes that are specifically designed for golf are fairly optional. They are not required. Although with so many fun styles and options, they are fun to browse.
Back when I started golf, golf shoes had metal spikes and were all made of durable leather. Today, golf shoes come in all different colors and styles. And no longer metal spikes. Many golf shoes look like any other athletic sneaker, walking shoe, or dress shoe.
The real difference with golf shoes is the spikes on the bottom of the shoe. Many golf shoes have small nubs for minimal grip, and some have a hard plastic spike for traction.
Keep in mind that the weather plays a big role and can be quite messy. Especially if you are walking versus riding in a golf cart. If you have a sneaker with mesh, they get wet quickly and are not all that water-resistant or waterproof. Be sure to wear shoes that protect against the soggy wet ground or dewy mornings.
8. Push Cart or Motorized Cart
Golfers often will ride in electric or motorized carts. Or they may prefer to walk for the great exercise that golf provides. But carrying a heavy golf bag is hard on the body especially for 4 hours! A great idea is to have a golf pushcart. Load the golf bag onto the pushcart and it becomes much easier to walk with your clubs.
A motorized cart is provided by most golf courses for a rental or usage fee. Pushcarts are sometimes available, however, most golfers have a pushcart they own and will bring it to the course along with their golf bag.
As beginners, you may or may not want to keep score. If you do, then you will need a scorecard which is available at the golf course – located typically in the pro shop or with the starter. I tend to forget to grab a scorecard at the beginning of my round. With so many other things I am doing, it’s easy to do. When I do remember, I’ll put a few extra blank scorecards in my bag for the next time I forget.
10. Shot Counter
Counting back the number of strokes on each hole doesn’t seem all that hard. Yet, I find myself on the green trying to remember the shots I just had – each one of them and after so many, it is just hard to trace back that far. A shot or stroke counter is a great tool to have for beginners. It takes away the frustration afterward of trying to count those strokes. Trust me on this one – LOL.
You can just grab a basic golf clicker or a bead counter that attaches to the golf bag. If you don’t have one, one thing I used to do was transfer tees from one pocket to the other after each hit. And then count them up afterward. Stroke counters weren’t available back then or that I knew of.
11. Water or Water Bottle
Water is a necessity and essential out on the course. At least some kind of beverage. Some public courses may not have water on the course so it is important to bring your own. Some courses provide coolers or dispensers where you can refill a water bottle. And some may have a beverage cart that travels around to golfers selling snacks and beverages.
12. Ball Marker
A ball marker is necessary to have on the putting green to mark your ball. They are offered at some golf courses along with the golf tees. Most public courses don’t supply these for free. It is best to bring your own. Golfers can use coins, poker chips, logoed markers from golf courses as well as lots of fun markers you can find online. I like to keep mine clipped to my hat so it is easy to grab and mark and easy to put away.
13. Divot Repair Tool
This is really important in helping to keep the greens as pretty as possible and in good shape. When a ball lands on the putting green, it might leave a mark. This is called a divot or ball mark. A divot repair tool helps to repair these marks and allows the grass to grow back in.
14. Cash or Credit Card
There may be a need for cash or a credit card these days. Beverage carts, snack shops, bets, service tips, and 19th hole drinks after the round. Just be sure to bring your wallet and put it in your golf bag.
15. Umbrella, Rain Gear or Extra Clothing for Inclement Weather
Golf is played outdoors which means any kind of weather can play a major factor. The key is preparation. Just be sure to look at the forecast and be prepared. An umbrella or a light rain jacket for a quick shower, or an extra layer for cooler temperatures or winds is always a good idea. You’ll be much more comfortable when prepared.
16. Ball Retriever
Remember when I mentioned that you may lose some balls in the water hazards or other places along the course? Well, a ball retriever is a great way to retrieve and keep your ball. Other than landing in the water, there is nothing worse than seeing your ball in the water and it being just out of reach. With a handy ball retriever, you don’t have to lose your golf ball.
17. A great attitude
This last one is a golf essential and must-have. Having a great attitude will make the day on the golf course so much more fun and will open your eyes to how wonderful this game is.
With these golf essentials for beginners and must-haves, you’ll be ready and prepared for a wonderful start to your golfing adventures.
Have a great time out there!