Guide to Playing Golf

By John Wagner
Anyone can learn to play and enjoy golf with some basic tips.
Anyone can learn to play and enjoy golf with some basic tips.

Golf is a game that anyone can play. No matter your age or physical ability, you can learn to play golf. It is not, however, a game you want to jump right into. You need to make sure you have a basic understanding of the game before you go and tee it up for the first time. Once you start learning the basics, you may become hooked for life.

Take a Lesson

Before you start playing golf, you want to take a lesson or two on the fundamentals. Golf is a difficult game and you will need help to get started on the right path. A local club professional can help you learn the fundamental grip, set-up and swing basics. Most instructors will provide clubs for you during the lesson if you let them know you are just beginning the game. After the lessons, your local professional can recommend a set of clubs that is right for you.

Get Equipment

As a beginner, you don't need to buy expensive clubs for your first set. Your local professional will most likely recommend a beginner set of irons, woods and a putter. You can get a beginner set at any golf store. As a beginner, your set of clubs will not be as expensive as some others, but can still cost up to $500. You will also need to buy a golf bag ($60) and some golf balls ($20).

Go to a Course

Call a golf pro shop and make a tee time to play. At most courses, you are required to wear a collared shirt to play golf. Arrive at the course 30 minutes before your tee time to check in with the pro shop and warm up. Hit some range balls or practice putting during that time. You should head to the first tee box about five minutes before your scheduled tee time.

Playing Golf

Each hole will have tee markers that designate where you hit from. A standard golf course has ten par-4 holes, and four par-3s and par-5 holes. On most par 4 and 5 holes, you will want to tee off with your driver. On par 3 holes, you will want to use an iron most times. Playing an eighteen hole round of golf can take four hours or more, so be patient and enjoy. Remember, when first starting out, that you may struggle. Don't hold up the groups behind you--pick up your ball and move along to the next hole if you are playing slowly.

About the Author

John Wagner is a certified golf instructor and professional golfer with more than 10 years of experience. As a certified GolfTEC, TPI Level 3 and Chuck Cook Golf Instructor, he has given more than 9,000 golf lessons.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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