How to Learn the Game of Golf

By Brian Hill
The easiest way to get started is to find a friend with patience or take a group lesson.
The easiest way to get started is to find a friend with patience or take a group lesson.

When you begin learning the challenging game of golf, it’s easy to become frustrated. It can seem like an impossible task to swing a club as far back as you can and deliver it back to the exact right spot behind the ball--over and over. Even experienced players who live in colder climates and don’t play during the winter months find that when they resume playing in the spring, it can take a while for the club to feel comfortable in their hands again.

Learn from someone you know. Have an experienced player show you the basics of the game--the grip, the stance, the backswing, downswing and follow through. Choose someone who has an easygoing attitude and can make your first experience with a golf club fun. Being patient with your progress is very important.

Go out with good players. Ask some friends who are good players to join you on the driving range or the golf course itself--once you are gaining confidence in your fundamentals. Their good swing fundamentals are bound to rub off on you as you watch them. Ask questions about difficulties you may be having with your own swing. Golfers enjoy the opportunity to help players new to the game.

Take lessons. Your continued improvement depends on getting better and better instruction. Sign up for a sequence of lessons from a PGA professional at a course in your area. You will find the PGA pro explains golf fundamentals more clearly than your friends could. The pro will spot flaws in your swing that you may not have noticed at all--a good golf swing requires doing many things well at once. Write down what you learn after each lesson so you can retain the information and incorporate it into your practice routine.

Watch the pros play. Attending a men’s or women’s professional golf event provides a valuable learning experience for beginning players. Observe how hitting the golf ball a long distance does not require tremendous exertion. It is a matter of timing--delivering the clubhead to the ball with maximum speed at impact. Try to memorize the rhythm they have with their swings and emulate it the next time you are playing.

Study instruction books and videos. Some golf instruction books have full color illustrations of the proper golf swing technique from various angles. The pictures can be as valuable to you as the words. Get a mental image of the correct takeaway position, or where the hands should be at the top of the swing. Use these images to improve your own swing technique. Gain better understanding of tempo and rhythm in the golf swing by watching instruction videos, which show good golfers’ swings in slow motion and in real time.

Practice often. Get out to the practice range as much as you can. It’s not as fun as playing golf but a beginner needs to get as many repetitions of correct technique as he can in order to build muscle memory. Build confidence in your swing through diligent practice. Work on making your swing more fluid, so when you get to the course, your arms, hands, shoulders and legs will work together.

About the Author

Brian Hill is the author of four popular business and finance books: "The Making of a Bestseller," "Inside Secrets to Venture Capital," "Attracting Capital from Angels" and his latest book, published in 2013, "The Pocket Small Business Owner's Guide to Business Plans."

Photo Credits

  • Siri Stafford/Photodisc/Getty Images
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