Golf Made Simple

By Steve Silverman
Enjoy the day outdoors during a round of golf with friends or new acquaintances.
Enjoy the day outdoors during a round of golf with friends or new acquaintances.

When you see professional golfers competing on television, you see the best golfers in the world who excel at their craft. Theirs is a complicated business that requires devotion to their profession and constant refinement of their game. But for amateur golfers -- especially beginners -- golf is a game for relaxation and enjoyment.

Buy golf clubs that fit you. The clubs don't have to be the most modern, titanium-shafted clubs with extra-large heads. They just have to be the right length and feel comfortable in your hands. You can't swing the clubs comfortably if they are not the right length or shaft flex.

Swing the club at a reasonable pace. Some new golfers want to hammer the ball down the fairway with their driver when they get on the tee at the first hole. Instead, keep your swing pace steady and smooth with your focus remaining on the back of the ball. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, and your left (front) shoulder should be parallel to your target line.

Learn how your clubs differ from one another and how far you hit each one. For shorter shots, choose and iron, which range from the wedges to the 3-, 4- or 5-iron, depending on your set of clubs. Use your hybrid clubs and fairway woods for longer shots from the fairway or rough. Use your driver or 3-wood from the teeing ground, depending on the length of the hole.

Read the green before you stand over your putt. Get about 10 feet behind your ball on the putting green, and look for the angle of the breaks of the green. Sometimes the slope of the green will be obvious, but other times the breaks will be subtle. Do not stand over your ball for more than 5 seconds once you have read the green. Take one practice swing and putt the ball.

Take lessons and go to the practice range to develop a smooth and cohesive swing. Your swing becomes your signature, and it takes time to develop a good one. Try to get to the range at least twice a week if your schedule will allow it. Ultimately, though, the quality of your practice is more important than the frequency.

About the Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

Photo Credits

  • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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