Learning the basics of golf can help you get rid of an annoying slice or get off to a fast start if you're a beginner. How you learn is a matter of personal choice, according to professional players such as Bubba Watson. One of the longest hitters on the PGA Tour, Watson has never had a golf lesson. He is completely self-taught and told "The Wall Street Journal" that he'll never take a lesson. Watson's obvious natural talent made him a quick study, but other pros such as Lee Trevino recommend taking a more structured approach to learning the game.
Schedule a lesson with a PGA or LPGA golf professional. Trevino, a golfing legend who won six major championships, also taught himself how to play but he maintains that approach is too hard for most people. He recommends hiring an instructor to teach you the basics about the golf grip, alignment, balance and how to start the downswing. Find a teaching pro in your area by contacting a local golf course or visiting the websites of the PGA and LPGA. Interview three or four instructors about their teaching philosophy, availability and cost of the lessons before making a decision.
Watch golf on television. Learn a lot about the basics of golf by watching the pros play and listening to the television announcers. Many of the announcers are golf pros and spend much of the broadcast analyzing the swings of the competing players while offering tips for the viewing audience. One TV channel dedicates all of its programming to golf, with regular shows on how to play golf.
Read books on golf. Numerous books are available covering the game's basics. If you're taking lessons from a pro, use golf books to supplement your learning and as a basis for asking questions during your next lesson.
Play golf with good golfers. Playing friendly rounds with accomplished golfers can help you learn a lot about the basics of the game. Playing with excellent golfers can be intimidating if you're a beginner, but it can be a rewarding learning opportunity. Learn basic tips by watching the experienced golfers as they rake bunkers, take a drop after hitting a ball in the water, or decide who should putt first on the putting green or tee off first on the next tee box.
Practice and play on your own as much as possible. Focus on the good fundamentals that you've learned from instructors, good players and studying as you hone your skills and learn even more about the game.