Tips on Learning to Play Golf

By Sharon Penn
If you have access to a shorter, executive or par-3 course, you are more likely to be around other beginners which can make your experience more relaxed.
If you have access to a shorter, executive or par-3 course, you are more likely to be around other beginners which can make your experience more relaxed.

Learning to play golf takes time. Once you know the basic swing, you can practice on a driving range until it becomes second nature. To practice specific moves, golf drills can help. A good way to learn which clubs to buy is to get measured and visit your golf pro for advice.

Get Videotaped

The best thing you can do to learn to play golf is to take a series of lessons from a PGA teaching pro. You might want to start out with group lessons, which can teach you the correct grip, stance and swing. After you learn the basics, you can consider moving on to individual lessons. You might want to have your pro videotape your swing and then analyze it as you both view the tape. By using this teaching technique, your golf pro can fast-forward your learning curve by showing you your swing mechanics and making specific suggestions for improvement. A follow-up videotape can show your improvement.

Get Fitted for Clubs

Using the right golf clubs can make a big difference in your golf game. Your pro can make recommendations for clubs based on your measurements and ability. Have your swing measured by a launch monitor, and ask to be measured for your wrist-to-floor measurement. You can then have a discussion with your pro and golf retailer about what features to look for in a club. As a beginner, you might have a slower swing speed of less than 80 mph. A large clubface with a flexible, graphite shaft can help you achieve the distance you want. The shaft length may have to be adjusted from the standard size to suit your measurements.

Beginning golfers sometimes use the more lofted 3-wood instead of a driver off the tee, and a 5-, 7- and 9-wood from the fairway if launching the ball is a problem. Also, using hybrids instead of some of the longer irons can help a new golfer with distance as well as accuracy.

Use Drills to Practice

Drills can help to give you a feeling for the swing. One beginner drill is the hip-turn drill. Place a golf club horizontally across your belt, tilt from the waist and pivot to rotate your hips. Your right heel comes up as you turn. This drill will give the beginning golfer the feeling of using the bottom part of the body to generate power through the swing.

About the Author

Sharon Penn is a writer based in South Florida. A professional writer since 1981, she has created numerous materials for a Princeton advertising agency. Her articles have appeared in "Golf Journal" and on industry blogs. Penn has traveled extensively, is an avid golfer and is eager to share her interests with her readers. She holds a Master of Science in Education.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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