Golf for Beginners – How to Start Playing Golf.
Have you ever been asked to play golf and were not sure what to do or were afraid you would be embarrassed because you are a beginner?
Are you interested in the game but just don’t know where to start? Maybe your kids have grown older and you are about to be an empty nester or are soon to be retired and will have more free time. Golf is a wonderful game to learn.
Many people hesitate or don’t play because it seems intimidating and hard to pick up.
While there are many aspects to the game of golf, it can be done one step at a time as long as you make the decision to commit, practice, and play.
In simple terms, golf sounds easy. Hit a little compact ball into a hole hundreds of yards away using a golf club. Doesn’t sound so hard, does it?
The hardest part about golf for beginners is learning how to hit the golf ball and understanding the rules and etiquette of the game. If you can break it down and find the right individuals or groups to help you, you can play!
Here are 7 easy steps. Follow this golf for beginners guide to help you get started in golf.
1. Borrow Clubs or Buy a Beginner Golf Club Set
As someone new to golf, you can borrow clubs or buy a golf club set. These golf sets are affordable and come with all the basic clubs you will need. Read my buying guide on how to purchase a golf club set for beginners.
All you need for now is a driver, a wood or hybrid, a few irons, a wedge, and a putter. I used my grandmother’s golf clubs when I first started out.
They were old but good quality and worked just fine. It is ok to borrow clubs in the beginning if you know someone. Often times, a teaching instructor or clinics you attend will have extra clubs that you can use.
As you improve and start playing more, you can purchase a set of your own. Each year, manufacturers come out with the newest technology and equipment with plenty to choose from.
2. Learn How to Swing The Golf Club
The best thing they say to do is to take lessons from a golf professional who specializes in teaching the mechanics of the proper golf swing.
Most people swear by a teaching golf professional who can instruct and give you a good base of skills and techniques to learn from. Here is a list of LPGA and PGA professionals that can help you learn the golf swing.
However, full disclosure here. I actually learned how to swing the golf club and learned the game from my Dad as an adult. He was a really good teacher and I learned a ton from him. In fact, it was 7 years later when I actually took my first lesson from a professional. So, everyone is different. As long as you have someone who can teach you and show you in the beginning, it will be really helpful.
Another great way to learn is to find a group class or clinic. You can find these offered at your local golf courses or practice facilities as well as with women’s golf organizations that have local chapters, possibly in your area.
These are so much fun because they are informal, low key and you can learn with others who are also just starting out. Best thing is it’s social!
3. Be consistent about your lessons and practice in between.
Do not just get one lesson or attend one clinic and be on your way. Learning the golf swing is not the most natural movement and is hard to learn in one 30 minute or hour lesson. There are also different swings for different clubs!
Participating in at least a 6 week time frame is good to start with. After each lesson be sure to practice what was taught so you can help your muscle memory. Doing this will ensure improvement over time and will maximize your lessons.
4. Learn the very basics, some terminology, and how the game is played.
You don’t need to know a lot when you are first learning how to hit the golf ball. Very rarely will you be heading out on the golf course for the very first time without ever hitting a club. However, after you have taken some lessons, hit balls at the driving range you may go out and play a bit on a golf course.
If you do, this is when you will need to know some of the terms and etiquette of golf. Here is a post on Basic Golf Terms for Beginners that I put together that can help as you are just starting out.
You can also learn them as you play with your partner if he or she is more experienced and is willing to do so.
This is how most of us learned how to play golf. Someone showed us the ropes and helped us learn the game.
5. Find a partner, friend, parent, grandparent or social group that you can play with.
This is probably the most important part and many times it can be a challenge. You must try to find someone to play with. When asked, most golfers are usually up for playing.
Golf is the kind of sport and activity that anyone can play together no matter their level of skill.
Essentially you are playing against the golf course and your main objective, in the beginning, is to learn the game and how to hit the golf ball.
As you become a more experienced player, there are many ways to make golf fun or competitive and you can play against an opponent.
I was fortunate that I met my future husband right after I learned the game. He loved to golf and was all about taking me out to play. I believe it was the main reason I am still playing today.
I had a golfing partner from the beginning who was patient and fun to play with!
If you don’t have someone to play with, check with your local golf courses, practice facilities and women’s groups. They may have social groups that go out on a regular basis. If you took a clinic, check with the other participants who might want to play as you’ll be at the same level.
6. Play on a golf course.
Now that you have committed to learning golf and have some confidence hitting the golf ball, it is time to play on an actual golf course.
It is also a good idea to read up on some of the most important tips on etiquette, which you can find here.
If you have the opportunity to select the type of golf course, there are many to choose from.
Playing 18 holes as a beginner can be extremely overwhelming and I do not recommend it.
Much more enjoyable would be a 9 hole course, an Executive 9 hole course, or even a Par 3 course.
You will find that hitting balls at a driving range is a different experience than playing on a course.
Start from the most forward tees possible or even the family tees if available. They are closer to the hole and you will enjoy the round more.
Your purpose for playing is to have fun and not worry about score or number of times you hit the golf ball.
My objective, in the beginning, was to learn the game and to hit the ball as well as I could each time. It took me a year or more before I focused on scoring.
7. Enjoy the journey and the game.
When I first started golfing, I was happy to pick up my ball and put it in my pocket when I hit my limit of balls on a given hole. Especially if I felt like I was slowing down the group. It is the surest way to have fun.
When you start out playing, there are so many things going on in your head to remember.
Do not worry so much, take it one step at a time.
If you take it too seriously, it can quickly become a very frustrating game.
Learn the rules and etiquette as much as you can, remember to be courteous and respectful, and don’t stress about it too much.
Everyone was a beginner at one time or another and the majority of people I have played with are happy to help you along.
And if you want to stay up to date on the latest posts and articles related to this amazing game, be sure to subscribe here to my newsletter and join our new Facebook Group, Beginner Golf for Women. I’m hoping this group will provide a community of new golfers that can ask questions and get tips and help they need when first starting out.
Best of luck to you as you start this journey – I’m sure you will love it!