Updated: Sep 18
Are you just starting out in the fabulous game of golf? Then we have the complete beginners guide to golf for you right here. In this post we will run through everything from how to play to what rules to follow.
So if you are new to golf let's start from the beginning.
Golf is a sport in which players use various clubs to hit a small ball into a hole on a course. The goal of the game is to complete the course in as few strokes as possible.
Golf originated in Scotland in the 15th century and has since become a popular sport around the world.
Golf is popular for a variety of reasons.
One reason is that it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. It can be played as a casual pastime or as a highly competitive sport. It also provides an opportunity for physical activity and socialization, as many golfers play in groups.
Additionally, golf courses are often set in beautiful natural environments, providing a peaceful and scenic setting for play.
Another reason for its popularity is that it can be a lifelong sport. It's a great way to stay active, both physically and mentally.
It's also a great way to make new friends and business connections. Golf can be played individually or with a group, so it can be enjoyed by people of all skill levels and interests. It's a sport that can be played for fun, recreation or even as a career.
Overall, golf is a sport that combines physical activity, strategy, and social interaction, making it a popular choice for people of all ages and abilities.
This guide you are about to read will cover everything you need to become a great beginner golfer. From what to wear to how to play different shots. Here is a list of what it will cover;
Different types of clubs and their uses
Basic Swing Techniques
Rules & Etiquette
On course Tips
Choosing The Right Equipment
If your not looking for a full on guide then check out our quick post on The 50 best beginner golfer tips.
Different Types Of Clubs And Their Uses - Beginners Guide To Golf
There are several different types of golf clubs, each designed for a specific purpose. The most commonly used clubs include:
Driver: The driver is a large club with a long shaft and a large, rounded head. It is used for tee shots on par 4 and par 5 holes, and is designed to hit the ball a long distance. Of you need help choosing a driver then check out our guide on The Best Drivers For Beginners and High Handicappers
Fairway woods: These clubs are similar to drivers, but have a smaller head and a shorter shaft. They are used for shots from the fairway, and are designed to hit the ball a medium distance. Take a look for some yourself here The Best 3 Wood For a High Handicapper
Irons: Irons have a shorter shaft and a smaller, flatter head than woods. They are used for a variety of shots, including approach shots to the green, and are designed to hit the ball a shorter distance with more accuracy. If your looking for a set check out our post on The Best Beginner Golf Irons
Wedges: Wedges are similar to irons, but have a higher degree of loft, which helps the ball to stop quickly on the green. They are used for shots around the green, such as chip shots and bunker shots. Best Wedges For Beginners
Putters: Putters have a shorter shaft and a flat, smooth head. They are used for making strokes on the green to roll the ball into the hole. If you are looking specifically for a putter, then check out our guide on The Best Putter for Beginners and High Handicappers.
Hybrids: A hybrid is a cross between a fairway wood and an iron, They are designed to make it easier for golfers to hit the ball, particularly from tricky lies such as rough or uneven terrain.Take a look at our guide for The Best Hybrid Golf Clubs For Beginners
Each club has a specific use and is designed to perform a specific function. The driver is used for long-distance shots, fairway woods and hybrids are used for medium-distance shots, irons are used for approach shots and wedges for shorter shots around the green.
The putter is used for the final strokes on the green. Understanding the proper use and function of each club is essential to maximizing your performance on the golf course.
When choosing golf clubs as a beginner, there are a few key factors to consider:
Shaft flex: The shaft flex refers to the amount of bend in the shaft of the club. Beginners should choose a shaft flex that is considered "regular" or "soft regular" as this will provide more forgiveness on off-center hits.
Length: The length of the club should be appropriate for your height and arm length. A club that is too long or too short will make it difficult to make a proper swing. It is recommended that you consult a professional club fitter or take a lesson to ensure that you are getting the right length of club.
Grips: Grips that fit your hand properly will help you have a better grip on the club, allowing you to make a more accurate shot.
Budget: Golf clubs can be expensive, so it's important to consider your budget when purchasing a set. Keep in mind that you can always upgrade to better clubs as you improve your skills and gain more experience.
Brand: There are many brands of golf clubs available, each with their own unique features and technologies. Some popular brands for beginner sets include Callaway, PING, and TaylorMade.
It's also important to note that it is not necessary to buy the most expensive clubs to start with, as your skill level and technique will be more important in your initial stage of learning the game.
Many beginner sets are available at a lower cost, and they're a good way to get started without breaking the bank.
If you are looking for your own set then check out our guide on The Best Beginner Golf Sets
Ultimately, the most important thing is to find a set of clubs that feels comfortable to you and that you feel confident using. Keep in mind that the most important thing is to enjoy the game, and the right set of clubs can help you do just that.
Proper fitment of golf clubs- Beginners Guide To Golf
Proper fitting and maintenance of golf clubs are essential for achieving optimal performance on the course.
Proper fitting involves selecting golf clubs that are tailored to an individual's physical characteristics, such as height, arm length, and hand size.
A professional club fitter can help you determine the correct length, lie angle, and loft of your clubs to ensure that you are able to make a proper swing and hit the ball correctly.
Proper maintenance of golf clubs includes cleaning the heads of the clubs after each round, replacing worn grips, and keeping the shafts clean and free of rust.
Additionally, it's important to ensure that the clubheads are properly tightened to the shafts and that the club faces are square and free of dents or scratches.
Failure to properly fit and maintain golf clubs can lead to a number of problems on the course, such as inconsistent shots, poor distance control, and difficulty making accurate shots.
Properly fitted and well-maintained clubs can help a golfer achieve better performance and lower scores.
Overall, proper fitting and maintenance of golf clubs can help you to play your best golf, and also prolong the life of your clubs.
It's important to invest the time and effort to make sure that your clubs are the right fit for you and that they are well-maintained to ensure maximum performance on the course.
Basic Swing Techniques- Beginners Guide To Golf
In golf, there are several different types of swings that a player can use, each with its own specific purpose and technique.
Full Swing: This is the most basic and common type of swing used in golf. The full swing is used for shots from the tee box, fairway, and rough. It involves a backswing, where the club is pulled back and the weight is shifted to the back foot, and a downswing, where the club is brought forward and the weight is shifted to the front foot. The goal of a full swing is to hit the ball as far as possible while maintaining accuracy. Take a look at our post on The best beginner driving tips for more details.
Chipping: A chip shot is a short, low-flying shot that is used to get the ball out of tricky situations, such as bunkers or roughs. Chip shots typically involve a shorter backswing and a more vertical downswing, with the goal of getting the ball onto the green with minimal roll.
Pitching: A pitch shot is similar to a chip shot, but it's a longer shot that's used to get the ball onto the green from a greater distance. A pitch shot involves a longer backswing and a more downward strike on the ball, with the goal of getting the ball to stop close to the hole.
Bunker shot: A bunker shot is a shot that's played from a sand bunker. Bunker shots require a specific technique, which involves opening the clubface, digging the club into the sand behind the ball, and striking the sand with the club, rather than the ball.
Putting: Putting is the final part of the golf game, where the ball is hit into the hole. Putting is a delicate and precise shot that requires a smooth and steady swing, with the goal of getting the ball into the hole with minimal roll.
Half Swing: Half swing is used for shots that require less distance such as for example when you are hitting the ball from the fairway to the green. This swing is quicker and shorter than a full swing, and it is more accurate, therefore it is used in situations where you don't need to hit the ball as far as you can.
Each type of swing requires a specific technique and set of skills, and it's important for golfers to practice and master each one in order to play their best golf.
Video Of A Slow Motion Swing
Here are some drills that can help you improve your swing technique:
Alignment sticks: Place alignment sticks in the ground to help you focus on your swing path and ensure that your club is moving on the correct plane.
Impact bag: Hit balls into an impact bag to improve your swing impact and learn to strike the ball cleanly.
Slow-motion swing: Record your swing and watch it in slow motion to identify areas for improvement, such as swing plane or body positioning.
Weight shift drill: Practice shifting your weight from your back foot to your front foot during the swing to improve your balance and power.
Swing with a shorter club: Practice swinging with a shorter club, such as a pitching wedge or sand wedge, to improve your control and accuracy.
Focus on the follow-through: Make sure you're finishing your swing correctly by focusing on the follow-through and making sure your club is pointing towards the target.
Repeat swings: Focus on repeating the same swing multiple times to ingrain the muscle memory and make it more natural.
If you are looking for something different then check out our post on the Best Golf Books For Beginners
Rules & Etiquette
Golf is a sport that is played by hitting a small ball into a series of holes using various clubs. The basic rules of golf are designed to ensure fair play and safety for all players. Here is an overview of the basic rules of golf:
The object of the game is to complete each hole in the fewest strokes possible.
Players must tee off from the designated tee box at the start of each hole.
Players must play the ball as it lies and may not move or alter the course or obstructions.
Players must not take more than a certain number of strokes, or penalty strokes may be added to the score.
Players must replace divots and repair ball marks on the green.
Players must not touch the ground with their club or hand in a bunker.
Players must not play out of turn.
Players must not talk or make noise while an opponent is making a stroke.
Players must not give advice to other players during a round.
Players are responsible for knowing and following the rules of golf.
Players must finish each hole before starting the next hole.
Players must keep score for themselves and their opponents.
Players must return their cards to the scoring area and sign them.
Players must follow dress code in the golf course
Players are responsible for their own equipment.
These are the basic rules of golf, but there are many more detailed rules that govern different situations and circumstances that can arise during a round of golf.
It is a good idea for golfers to familiarize themselves with the official rules of golf before playing.
Golf course etiquette refers to the unwritten rules and guidelines that govern behavior on the golf course. Adhering to proper etiquette is an important part of the game, as it helps ensure that the course is safe and enjoyable for all players. Here are some examples of golf course etiquette:
Be punctual: Arrive at your tee time on time and be ready to play when it is your turn.
Be respectful of other players: Avoid making noise or talking while others are hitting, and do not give unsolicited advice.
Keep the course in good condition: Repair ball marks on the green, replace divots, and rake bunkers.
Be mindful of the pace of play: Keep up with the group in front of you, and be ready to play when it is your turn.
Allow faster groups to play through: If you are playing slower than the group behind you, let them play through.
Be respectful of the course: Do not damage the course or facilities, and follow all posted signs and rules.
Dress code: Follow the dress code of the course and wear appropriate attire.
Respect the local culture: When playing in a foreign country, be mindful of the local customs and culture.
Be a good sportsman: Congratulate your opponents on good shots, and accept defeat graciously.
Be aware of safety rules and protocols: Follow safety rules and protocols of the course and be aware of others around you.
By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that the course is a pleasant and safe place for all players.
Take a look at our full post of Etiquette For Golf to gain more insight into etiquette on the golf course.
Golf is a sport that has a unique culture, and by following etiquette and rules, you'll be ensuring that everyone around you has a better experience as well.
Keeping score in golf is an important part of the game, as it allows players to track their progress and measure their performance over time. Here are some tips on how to keep score and track your progress on the golf course:
Understand the scoring system: Golf is typically played with a stroke play format, where the number of strokes taken to complete the round is used to determine the winner.
Use a scorecard: Keep a scorecard with you at all times and record your score for each hole, including any penalty strokes.
Keep a running total: Keep a running total of your score as you play, so you always know where you stand.
Keep track of fairways hit, greens in regulation, sand saves, and putts per hole: these statistics can give an idea of how consistent you are in different parts of the game.
Analyze your round: After your round, analyze your scorecard and statistics to identify areas of your game that need improvement.
Use a golf GPS or a rangefinder: These devices can help you know the distance to the hole and other details of the course that can help you make more informed decisions on club selection.
Use a golf app or software: Many golf apps and software allow you to track your score, statistics, and progress over time.
Keep a golf log book: A golf log book can be helpful for tracking your score and progress over time, as well as for identifying patterns and trends in your game.
By keeping score and tracking your progress, you can identify areas of your game that need improvement and make adjustments to help you improve your scores over time. Golf is a game that requires patience and persistence, by keeping track of your progress you will be able to measure your improvement and set goals for yourself.
A Few On Course Tips
Reading Greens & Choosing The Right Club For The Shot
Reading greens and choosing the right club for a shot are important skills to master in golf. To read greens, you need to pay attention to the slope and contours of the green, as well as any breaks or undulations that may affect the roll of the ball. To choose the right club for a shot, you need to consider the distance to the hole, the type of shot you are making, and any hazards or obstacles that may be in the way.
Here are a few tips for reading greens and choosing the right club:
Look for the high and low points on the green: Identify the high and low points on the green, as these will affect the direction and speed of the roll of the ball.
Observe the slope: Look for the slope of the green and how it affects the roll of the ball.
Study the grain of the grass: The direction of the grass can affect the ball's roll and speed.
Use your club distance markers as a guide: Know how far you hit each club, this will help you to pick the right club.
Take a practice swing: Take a practice swing to get a feel for the club and the shot.
Take into account the wind and weather conditions: Know how to adjust your swing accordingly.
Trust your instincts: Ultimately, you need to trust your instincts and make the best decision based on the information you have.
Reading greens and choosing the right club are both essential skills that require practice and experience to master. By paying attention to the slope and contours of the green, as well as the distance and hazards, you can make more informed decisions on club selection and improve your chances of hitting the ball closer to the hole.
Course management & Different Types Of Shots
When playing golf, there are many different types of shots that you may encounter, such as shots out of bunkers, over water, and from tricky lies. These shots can be challenging, but with the right technique and strategy, you can improve your chances of success.
To play a shot out of a bunker, you need to use a sand wedge or a lob wedge, which have a higher loft and a flatter clubface. The key is to open the clubface, use a firm grip, and make a sweeping motion, rather than trying to chop down on the ball. The goal is to hit the sand behind the ball, which will propel the ball out of the bunker and onto the green.
To play a shot over water, you need to use a club that has enough distance to clear the water, but not too much that the ball will go too far. A good strategy is to use a club that you are comfortable with and have confidence in, and to aim for a spot just beyond the water. It is also important to be aware of the wind direction and speed, which can affect the flight of the ball.
When playing a round of golf, it is important to manage your game effectively, in order to maximize your chances of success. This includes things such as selecting the right club for each shot, playing conservatively when necessary, and being aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, it is important to have a good mental attitude and to stay focused on the task at hand, rather than getting distracted by things like the weather or other players.
It is also important to know when to take a risk and when to play it safe. Sometimes, it may be worth taking a risk if you are in a good position and can make a great score, but other times it may be better to play it safe and make sure you don't lose strokes.
Another important aspect of managing your game is knowing when to use different types of shots such as the bump and run, the flop shot or the lob shot. Knowing when to use these shots will give you more options on the course and make you more versatile.
Finally, good course management means knowing when to be aggressive and when to be defensive, depending on the hole and the situation. A good golfer knows how to use his/her game to play to the strengths of the course and take advantage of the weaknesses of the course.
In summary, playing different types of shots, such as out of bunkers and over water, requires the right technique and strategy, as well as practice and experience. Additionally, managing your game effectively, including things such as selecting the right club for each shot, playing conservatively when necessary, and having a good mental attitude, can improve your chances of success on the golf course.
Congratulations on taking the first step towards mastering the wonderful game of golf! The fact that you have read a beginner's guide shows that you are eager to learn and improve, and that is the most important quality that any golfer can possess.
Golf can be a challenging and frustrating game at times, but don't let that discourage you. Remember that every great golfer was once a beginner just like you, and that with time, patience, and practice, you too can become a skilled player.
Don't be afraid to make mistakes or ask questions along the way. Golf is a sport that requires both physical and mental skills, and there is always something new to learn. Take the time to observe and learn from more experienced players, and don't hesitate to seek advice from golf professionals or coaches.
Most importantly, don't forget to enjoy yourself! Golf is a beautiful and relaxing game that can be played for a lifetime. Appreciate the scenery, embrace the challenge, and have fun every time you step onto the course. With dedication and a positive attitude, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to in the game of golf.