Golf Basics for Women

By Sharon Penn
Learning the basics from a golf professional can really help get you going in the right direction.
Learning the basics from a golf professional can really help get you going in the right direction.

The game of golf is a lot of fun, but it is essential to learn the basics from a professional right from the start. Consider attending a golf clinic. This will help you avoid the development of bad habits and ensure that you begin to practice with the right technique. Many women enjoy learning to play golf with a friend. This can help turn a difficult, and sometimes frustrating, process into a fun outing.


A good way to start off is to participate in a beginner's golf clinic. There are clinics designed for women only, and they are typically limited to a few participants. The teaching professionals who run these clinics can introduce you to the clubs and make recommendations about which clubs to buy. You can learn the basics of the grip, the setup, putting, pitching and even golf etiquette. As you progress, you can also learn the full swing at a golf clinic. Clinics are a good way to meet other beginning golfers, and they can provide the instruction you need for a refresher course as you improve. After you learn the basics, you can sign up for private lessons, which are more costly.

The Setup

A proper golf swing begins before you hit the ball. You can use the overlapping, interlocking or ten-finger (baseball) grip. The ten-finger grip is recommended for women with small or weak hands. The hands meet with the index finger of the left hand touching the pinkie finger of the right hand below. You will be holding the club between the first and second joints of the index finger of the left hand back to the base of the pinkie. Apply equal pressure with both hands. Assume the correct posture by placing your feet as wide as your hips for a full swing for most clubs, and a little wider for the driver. Place the ball off the front foot for the driver and more toward the center for other clubs. To align your club and body toward the pin, select an “intermediate target.” Step behind the ball and locate something like a twig or discoloration in the grass around two feet in front of the ball, between the ball and the target. When you address the ball, that target will help keep you on line.

Hitting the Ball

Begin the takeaway with a shoulder turn. Your arms and hands should not be tense. By the time the arms and club are parallel to the ground, the wrists should be cocked at 90 degrees. Your left arm can be bent slightly, and the club comes back to where the left shoulder approaches the right armpit. Your weight will shift to the back leg with your left heel down. For the downswing, move the left knee toward the target and begin transferring your weight to the right side. Hold the wrist hinge until release, and extend your arms so that the shaft of the club and your left arm form a straight line upon impact. Complete the swing with a follow through, with your weight shifted to the front foot and your chest toward the pin. Your right heel will come up.

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