Golfing for Novices

By Teresa Justine Kelly
Spend plenty of time practicing to learn the finer points of the swing.
Spend plenty of time practicing to learn the finer points of the swing.

Many novice golfers head directly to a pro shop or golf retail store to buy the latest equipment, hoping their game will reflect the kind of money they spent on their equipment. Frustration sets in when they discover that no matter what they paid for their golf clubs, their game needs a lot of work. Before spending tons of money on golf clubs, novice golfers would be best advised to take a few beginner golf tips into consideration to maximize the quality of their game and, ultimately, the joy they will experience with this fascinating sport.

The Fundamentals

Buy a half set of inexpensive golf clubs. Check out sources like Play It Again Sports, the classified section of your newspaper or e-Bay to find some clubs suitable for a beginner golfer. A half set usually consists of a driver; 3 wood; 5 wood; a few mid irons like the 5, 7 and 9; a sand wedge; and a putter.

Enroll in golf lessons at a local golf course, whether it be private or semiprivate lessons or a golf clinic with several students, to get you started in the right direction. You will be taught the fundamentals of golf, like the grip, stance and alignment.

Invest in a golf guidebook for beginners. This guidebook will help you understand not only the fundamental golf instructions, layout of a course and basic rules of golf, but also tips on etiquette, how to mark a scorecard, and how to buy your first clubs and other equipment required for your round of golf.

Practice the instruction you learned at your golf lesson. Most golf courses have driving ranges where, for a few dollars, you can purchase a bucket of balls to practice and groove your swing. Practice on the putting green, and if the course has a chipping and sand bunker area, practice your chip and sand shots, too. Plastic golf balls are a good way to practice in your own back yard.

Take your game to an executive or par-3 course. These short courses are excellent training courses for beginners. The course has only nine holes, and the fairways are much shorter than standard courses. Once you get comfortable with the game, you can advance to a regulation size 18-hole golf course.

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