- How To Play Golf: A Quick & Easy Guide For Beginners
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- Top 5 Tips On Beginner Golf Driving
If it is, we recommend to buy the club online as prices are usually much cheaper than in a local golf shop. Ask a professional to help you in finding the right clubs for you. When you go into a shop or store for your search, find a knowledgeable staff member and explain your plan. When talking with a golf professional, two things are critical to ask for when finding the right clubs. The first is that the club heads are cavity-backed with perimeter weighting.
These clubs are the simplest method of getting the golf ball into the air. As your swing progresses, these clubs will make the learning curve easier and maximize your enjoyment of the sport. The second thing to look for is the measure of flex on the shaft of the club. Clubs typically offer a ladies, senior, regular, stiff and extra stiff shaft. Ask the professional for help determining which shaft is correct for you. You may also want to shop for new clothing, as specifically designed golf clothing will reduce sweat and be more comfortable.
How To Play Golf: A Quick & Easy Guide For Beginners
Particularly golf shoes will be a must have as a game of golf comes with a few hours spent walking. Quality used clubs are instantly restored with new grips. The cardinal rule for changing out your golf grips is every 40 rounds. So when you find the right club, immediately get them re-gripped by a professional. I want small victories from my beginning students and that is why I always suggest starting with a reduced golf club set. The worst thing a beginner can do is to show up to the range with a club set , pull out the driver and attempt to hit 50 perfect balls at the yard sign.
By reducing your focus to these specific five clubs, you are preparing your swing for success. The benefits of having a professional to guide your way are plentiful and numerous. First, by having the correct fundamentals in place as you start golfing, your learning curve will be much shorter than those who go at it alone.
These dedicated professionals will support and encourage you to stick with the game and continue to get better. Golf is a challenging game that will certainly test your patience but it also gives you the opportunity to share time with family and friends. Bubba Watson. Much has been made over the years of how two-time major winner Bubba Watson never took a lesson from a professional. Growing up, Watson would intentionally create inventive obstacles to work shots with the golf ball.
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He would hit plastic golf balls in his living room around chairs, couches, and lamps. When Bubba ventured outside, he would find trees to assist him in shaping shots.
He would master hitting balls high, low and around these trees to perfect his ability to play from anywhere. Known for playing complete rounds with a single club, Watson thrived on challenging himself to be unique with his golf game. Once you start to understand the swing the best way to gain consistency is to work on a pre-shot routine. The first is visualization. You need to see each shot before you address the golf ball. By perceiving the shot in your mind, you focus on the indispensable parts of your golf swing. Seeing the quiet takeaway of the golf club, the proper shoulder turn, the solid base of flexed legs and the correct plane that your club follows to contact are all necessary items on your checklist when picturing the swing in your mind.
For the amateur, my next suggestion is always to take a few practice swings to get a feel for the upcoming swing and to keep the muscles loose between shots. This practice swing can be taken while visualizing the forthcoming shot. Borrowing from Tiger, find your target line and then your alignment spot in front of the golf ball. Once you have settled on a proper pre-shot routine, then take it to the range and implement it in your practice sessions. Bending from the waist helps with your balance and allows the club to take a natural path around your body. When addressing the golf ball, you want to feel natural yet maintain a straight line along your back for correct posture.
With a straight back, the feet become incredibly important in maintaining balance throughout swinging the club. Having your feet at shoulder-width apart will allow the hips to engage and help complete a proper takeaway. On the follow through, a stable foundation will permit the hips to clear and for the clubface to square at impact. If the ball is too far back in the stance, then the ball will fly low and become susceptible to a slice or hook path of flight.
The ideal position when using an iron is slightly ahead of the center of the sternum. Anything farther than this and you open yourself up to topping your golf shots with weak contact. Each club will dictate where you place the ball in your stance. You will want to experiment with your irons and woods when you feel a level of competence with your swing to determine the best placement for your swing.
One of the biggest mistakes that amateurs make is not understanding how the relation of your feet to the golf ball at address affects the outcome of the swing. If your feet are below the golf ball, then you are susceptible to drawing the ball or pushing it to the left of your intended target.
In contrast, if your feet sit higher than the ball at address, then you are likely to fade your golf ball or find it moving to the right of where you want it to land. When practicing, find similar areas that will train your swing when faced with both situations. But as you grow with your swing, pay attention to the yardage area you commonly find your shots landing within.
Even more important is when using your wedges to know your distances with variations of your swing. Half-swings and three-quarter swings will give you different yardage with various clubs. Know this yardage like the back of your hand as it will allow you to get closer to the hole when you need to save par. The first place to begin is with the grip. The putting grip is different than the ones we use for our swing. Rather than overlapping our pinky fingers, we join our hands to create a stable point from where to swing the putter.
Several putting grips are popular among golfers today. Tiger Woods is a massive fan of the traditional grip. My grip is conventional. The handle runs under the butt of my left hand, and the back of my right hand is parallel to my left. I position both thumbs directly down the top of the handle, and my left forefinger lies across the fingers of my right hand, to provide unity. Another popular approach is the cross-handed grip that pros like Jim Furyk adopted after seeing legends like Arnold Palmer and Gary Player use this grip to massive success.
Other grips include split handed and the claw grip where the bottom hand holds the putter like a writing pen. When choosing a grip, first consult with your coach for the approach they feel would work best for you. The most important thing to remember when making a putting stroke is to keep your head still. One of the greatest areas that amateurs ignore when thinking about how to shave strokes from their scores is through chip shots from just off the green.
One of the most significant problems that face amateurs when chipping is dealing with weak contact. A great way to alleviate these issues is to approach your chipping by first using your putting grip when holding the club. By doing this, the beginner creates immediate confidence by using a grip they that gives them comfort. After establishing a grip, one of the major steps of chipping is the relation of ball placement and the location of the wrists at impact. What you want to avoid when chipping is the instinct to try to lift the ball with the clubface rather than finishing the stroke and letting the loft of the club to do the work.
This is why strong wrists are important when striking the golf ball. Failure to keep the wrists firm and the club face down causes the chunks and blades we are hoping to avoid. When addressing the golf ball for chipping, most professionals like to take a tight stance with their feet. By doing this, they leave the ball in the back of their stance so that their hands press forward at impact. By consistently getting your chips closer to the hole, you reduce the distance of your final putts.
This equates into more pars and saving yourself from disasters like double and triple bogeys. Becoming comfortable with chipping early in your golfing journey will provide the opportunity to lower your scores quickly. With that in mind, after you book your tee time, four areas need your attention before you hit the course. Arrive at the course no later than 30 minutes before your tee time. After taking care of your green and cart fees, grab a bucket of practice balls to get your swing in tune before the round.
Before hitting the balls on the range, take a few minutes first to gently stretch. Flexibility is essential in swinging the golf club with consistency over the course of 18 holes. The first exercise I encourage my beginners to do when they reach the range is to take a club, grip both ends, raise it above your head and move it behind you to stretch out your shoulders. Stretches that loosen your back, hamstrings, calves, and arms are a great place to begin your day at the course.
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If you want to make sure your early experiences on the golf course are positive ones, it's best to know your limitations, then build yourself up. Here's what to keep in mind. Start small: Golf is hard enough without needing eight shots just to get to the green. Start on a par 3 or "executive" course before you try an hole championship course. On a par-3 course, all the holes are par 3s -- that is, usually less than yards. Executive courses typically have multiple par-3 holes and their par 4s and 5s are shorter than what you'd find on a championship course.
Give yourself some time to get acclimated here before taking on a bigger challenge. Play three holes: In a way, golf its own kind of an endurance sport, and you need to build yourself up to playing 18 holes. Consider starting by playing three holes of a nine-hole course late in the afternoon when the course is less crowded and rates are cheaper.
The course might not charge a three-hole rate, so just play until you start getting frustrated, then come back another day. Choose the right course: Don't start on Bethpage Black, or any course that's going to have you discouraged before you reach the first green. A good beginner course is flat, short and doesn't have many hazards or forced carries -- that is, waste areas or hazards you have to hit over to get to the fairway.
There'll be plenty of time to test yourself on tougher layouts, but for now, give yourself a chance to gather some positive momentum.
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Move on up: Forget about ego, and feel free to play from the forward set of tees. Playing the course at 5, yards or less will save you time, frustration and golf balls. And you'll be in good company: there's a nationwide push for recreational golfers of all levels to be playing courses from shorter distances. Keep up the pace: Most golf courses ask that you finish 18 holes in four-and-a-half hours, but you can do better than that. One way to maintain a decent pace is to limit yourself to a certain number of strokes per hole.
We suggest a maximum of seven strokes per hole. As a beginning golfer, there's nothing wrong with picking up your ball if you're holding your playing partners up. Trust us, they'll appreciate it. You've been invited out for a round of golf by a friend or a family member or gulp maybe even your boss. You're excited, but you're also petrified you might embarrass yourself because you're not quite sure of the protocol either on or off the course. Golf etiquette may seem complicated, and in truth, there's plenty you'll learn the more you play. But if you start with the following five points, you'll be fine.
And remember, if you're still not sure of something, there's nothing wrong with asking. Don't lag behind: The easiest way to endear yourself to playing partners has nothing to do with how well you play, but rather, how fast. That doesn't mean you have to rush your shots or run to your ball. It simply means you should take just one or two practice swings and be ready to hit when it's your turn. That still leaves plenty of time to chat between shots but never when someone is getting ready to hit.
Additionally, on the green if it is a casual round of golf, very short putts roughly two feet or less are generally "given. A good way to monitor your pace of play is to always remain a half hole behind the group in front of you. Wait your turn: If all golfers hit at the same time, it would be mass confusion, so knowing when to go is important. Traditionally, the person who had the best score on the previous hole has "the honor" and tees off first and so on.
From there, the general rule is the person furthest from the hole -- or "away" -- hits next. Bear in mind, however, that your group might decide it wants to play "ready golf," which means anyone who is ready to hit can go. Once you're on the green, another consideration is the flagstick. If you're the closest to the hole, you're in charge of removing the flagstick if everyone says they can see the cup clearly, tending the flagstick which means pulling it from the hole as a putt tracks closer to the hole if they can't, then putting the flagstick back in the hole when your group leaves the green.
Don't kill anyone. Yell "Fore! Shouting "Fore! A couple of things to know about using this term: First, don't wait. The moment you realize a ball has even a remote chance of hitting another person, shout it out. Using the term at anything less than full voice is a disservice. It is a warning to other golfers.
Also helpful is to yell the direction the ball is headed in, as in "Fore right! There is no harm in yelling "Fore! Take care of the course: It's hard work to make a golf course look as good as it does. Do your part to take care of it. For starters, if you're in a golf cart, find out if it is OK to take the carts on the grass or if they must remain on the cart path.
Either way, never drive the cart near the putting green. On the course, if you take a divot a piece of turf when hitting a shot , you should either replace it by carefully placing it in the spot and then firmly pressing down on it with your foot, or filling the hole with some seed mix. Shots hit to the green often leave a ball mark. If you don't know how to properly fix them, ask one of your playing partners to show you. And make sure you rake the bunker after you hit out of one.
The sand is daunting enough without having to contend with someone's footprint. Know where to stand: Golf may seem like a genteel sport, but keep in mind it is played with blunt objects. If golfers seem obsessive about where people are standing, it's because they don't want anyone to get hurt. They also don't want anything interfering with their concentration on a shot. A good rule of thumb is to stand to the side and slightly behind the ball several yards away.
If a player is in a bunker, stay alert and stand well off to the side. Those shots come out fast and can go anywhere. On the green, try to stay out of the line of sight of the person putting. Further, when walking on the green be aware of the line from other player's balls and the hole and don't step in those lines. Yes, it's true, the Rules of Golf is pages long and understanding many of the game's 34 rules is important. But don't worry. Most golfers, including those guys who turned their noses up at playing with a newcomer like you, have very little knowledge of how to play the game correctly.
You'd be surprised by how many golfers just make rules up as they go , so don't fret if you're not sure about what's OK and what's a violation. Just remember these key points and you'll do fine for now. Don't move your ball: Unless you're on a putting green, don't move your ball under any circumstance.
Play it as it lies unless it's interfered with by an obstruction think man-made object -- yardage marker, beer can, etc. And if you're not sure what an obstruction is, ask the head pro or an experienced golfer. On the putting green, you have to mark the ball's position before lifting it, usually with a coin or a small ball marker. Stick with your own ball: If you see a ball that's not your own, you may think, "Hey, free ball! Believe it or not, you're not the only golfer on the course who is hitting his ball to unintended locations, so it could be another player's ball from another hole.
And speaking of which It's mostly OK to play from another hole: If your shot lands in another fairway, you can play the ball as it lies as long as that fairway is not designated as out of bounds white stakes or lines. If you don't see white stakes or lines, you can play back to the hole you're playing. Just don't interfere with players on that particular hole.
Let them play through unless they give you permission to go first. If your ball is outside the out-of-bounds markers, take a one-stroke penalty and play another shot from the spot you just hit from. Only take five minutes to look for a ball: If you hit a shot and you can't find the ball after five minutes of searching, take a one-stroke penalty and play another shot from as close as possible to the last spot you played from.
This might require you to drop a ball. If so, extend your hand at shoulder height over that area, simply drop it, then play from there. Play within the golf course: If you ever hit a shot out-of-bounds white stakes or lines , you have to replay a shot from as close as possible to where you just hit and add a stroke penalty to your score. So, for instance, if you teed off and hit a shot out of bounds, take a stroke penalty and play your third shot again from the tee. There's a reason why you can't accelerate through the ball like a touring pro and it's not because you weren't handed a golf club in your crib.
A key component to making an efficient, powerful and correct golf swing is having a body that's able to do it. Strong hip muscles, flexible hamstrings and a stable back are just a few reasons why tour pros are tour pros and most of the rest of us are, well, not. If you want to play well, and play this game for the rest of your life, you have to exercise and pay specific attention to the muscles that will allow you to do it. Start with these areas and you'll be in great "golf shape" in no time. Walk, don't ride: Whenever you can, no matter how tiring it might seem, walk instead of riding in a golf cart.
And carry your clubs when you can. A seven-mile walk with clubs on your back might seem daunting now, but it will get easier the more you do it. And if you're worried your golf bag is too heavy, our golf bag Hot List features several great lightweight bags with pop-up stands. Stretch the right way: Save long-hold stretches for after the round or at night. Before the round, do dynamic stretches that prep your muscles for the golf swing. For instance, swinging a leg back and forth like you're kicking a ball.
Make this kicking motion 10 times for each leg trying to kick higher each time. To see a couple of more dynamic stretches you can do before your round, see these examples provided by Golf Digest fitness expert Randy Myers and Dustin Johnson. Pack your own snacks and hydrate: Almost all food served at golf courses is trouble. Burgers, dogs, granola bars, chips -- they may seem appealing at the moment, but they're not going to help your performance.
The best foods to eat for a round of golf are lean protein such as chicken or turkey and complex carbohydrates such as all-bran cereal or a banana. You should eat before the round and again at the turn, or on the back nine, to maintain energy and concentration. And drink lots and lots of water. If you're urine is not clear in color, you are likely dehydrated.
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Train the right muscles: The most important muscles in the golf swing are located from the top of your knees to under your chest. Focus on them when you weight train and you'll have a powerful swing and stay injury free. Put it on ice: If you're sore after a round, ice is OK to reduce swelling, but only apply to the sore area for 15 minutes per hour, max. In the morning, apply heat a warm shower will help or heat wraps and consider taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin or naproxen sodium before playing. But do so only with a doctor's blessing since the masking of pain can lead to further injury.
Learning how to play may be the most important part of becoming a golfer, but not to be overlooked is knowing what to wear. Your attire matters for a variety of reasons: because most golf courses enforce some kind of dress code some stricter than others ; because you'll be spending at least four hours outdoors; and because, frankly, who doesn't want to look sharp?
Top 5 Tips On Beginner Golf Driving
With that in mind, we provide five pointers to make sure you're outfitted right for the course. Pick the right collared shirt: Most courses, even public ones, require that men wear a collared polo women are more often allowed to play without a collared top. There are two main types of collared shirts: those made of cotton, and others made of more technical fabrics.
If you feel more comfortable in a traditionally-cut polo, stick with cotton. But if it'll be hot on the golf course, collared shirts made of technical fabrics, such as those made by Adidas, Nike and Callaway, will help keep you dry by wicking moisture away from your skin. Stick to khakis: Hands down, these are the most comfortable pants to play in, especially since khaki fabric is more breathable than ever before.
And you won't find a golf course that doesn't allow you to wear khaki pants. Most courses, save for a few traditional private clubs, now allow shorts as well, although some are iffy on cargo shorts. As for jeans, best to leave those at home. Even if a course allows them, they're uncomfortable for golf. Prepare yourself for the elements: If all goes well, you won't be spending your entire round punching your ball out from under trees, so shielding yourself from the sun will be important.
A basic baseball cap never fails, and when it's time to buy sunglasses for golf, make sure the lens blocks UVA and UVB rays, and that they wrap around your eyes to offer complete coverage. Of course, golf is played in all kinds of weather. You'll need a good rain jacket for wet conditions, and you should always carry a dry towel to keep your grips dry.
For starters, go with sneakers, not golf shoes: Hold off on purchasing golf shoes until you become really serious about the game. Stick with sneakers, which you'll be able to use on and off the course. Since you'll want to stay as level to the ground as possible, make sure you don't wear running sneakers, which have too much cushion under the heal of your foot. Apply sunblock: A must-have accessory for all golfers. You'll need to apply sunblock 30 minutes before your round and again at the turn, since the SPF in sunblock wears off after a couple of hours. See our skin cancer guide here.
Look for a sunblock with an SPF of at least Also, try spray sunblocks when you reapply during your round, since you can apply it without making your hands slippery, and don't forget to apply a lip balm with SPF. The legendary amateur golfer Bobby Jones once said, "There's golf and then there's tournament golf, and neither one resembles the other. All Jones meant is that standing over shots that matter is an experience far richer than just hacking around with buddies.
It's fun to feel butterflies in your stomach, to feel your hands shake. Even if you shoot a million, what follows are five points to help you look like you've played tournament golf before. Know the format: Such as with darts and billiards, there are lots of different ways to score golf events. While the goal of getting the ball in the cup in the fewest strokes possible never varies, understanding how your group's round is being tabulated will help you maximize strategy and save time. For events in which the ability levels of participants are widespread, the most common formats are a Scramble and Best Ball.
Because team formats are designed to reward aggressive play, you'll often be in a situation where only a one putt will suffice so don't leave the putt short , or, after several bad shots, your score on a hole will likely not count, in which case you should pick up. When in doubt, ask your group's scorekeeper how to proceed. Use the right gear: Besides clubs, two essential items for tournament play are a Sharpie and a coin.
Use the Sharpie to draw unique dots or lines on your ball. Simply knowing what brand and number you're playing Titleist 1, Callaway 2, Nike 3, etc. Have a ball ready with a slightly different marking in case you need to hit a provisional. You'll use the coin, or a plastic ballmarker, to mark your ball on the greens.