Golf Tips for Beginners
So you’ve decided to take the plunge and you’re going to learn how to play golf.
Let me be the first to congratulate you on your decision.
Whatever your reason for learning to play, golf is the greatest sport there is. Built on honor, integrity and sportsmanship (embodied by The First Tee); golf is a window into a person’s soul. You can learn a lot about someone just by how they conduct themselves on the golf course. Being outdoors in the fresh air and getting some good cardio exercise also isn’t a bad way to spend 4 hours either. You may also want to keep a psychiatrist on speed dial, too. Golf can be frustrating and drive you to the brink of insanity if you let it, but let’s not get into that right now. The game is magical.
There’s no need to buy a book called “Golf Tips for Beginners” or anything like that, because I’m going to hook you up with some free tips. You’re welcome.
“….golf is a window into a person’s soul.”
1. The Proper Golf Grip
The first golf tip for beginners is the most basic and the most important. You can’t swing a club properly with the wrong grip. To start gripping the club, hold it in front of you at eye level with your right hand (assuming you’re right-handed). Now take your left hand and put the pad of your hand on the top of the club and close your fingers around the club. Got that? Great. If you want to do a test to see if you have it right, let your arm fall by your side and push the top of the club down, if the bottom of the club comes up, you’ve done it properly.
Here’s a great video outlining.
Another golf tip for beginners worth knowing focuses on putting– specifically, your set up to putting. You can’t make a lot of putts without first having proper fundamentals.
The putting stroke resembles a pendulum. Back and forth. Same speed back as forward, regardless how long or short your putt is. To achieve this pendulum swing, your shoulders must be level.
If you’re right shoulder dips lower than your left, the putter will swing low to high and that’s not good. Keep those shoulders square and make sure your putter is aligned with your forearm. The shaft of the putter shouldn’t be dipping below your arms or be above it either. Having a proper set up on the greens is going to allow you to make far more putts.
The next golf tip for you beginners is about chipping.
Even the best of players miss the green from time to time. You will too. Having a good short game is a sure-fire way to lower your score.
Again, you need to be properly set up to execute quality recovery shots. Your wedge has built in loft to help get the ball in the air and out of the thick grass. Let the club do its job.
If you have the ball too far back in your stance, you automatically decrease the loft on your club. That means you will hit down on the ball and pop it about it about a foot in front of you. Not good. Instead, move the ball to the center of your stance and have your weight a little forward. This lets the club do the work. Moving softly through the grass and getting the ball in the air much higher so you can land in the on the green and let it roll to the flagstick.
Here’s a great video from Todd Kolb:
I’m sure your head is spinning now, but stay with me. It’s a lot to process but, again, repetition and practice is the key. Tiger didn’t break par during his first round and neither will you. But these golf tips for beginners can help get you there if you put in the work.
4. Iron Play
This next tip is on iron play.
There are few greater sensations in golf than watching one of your majestic iron shots soar through the sky towards the green, and landing safely close to the hole. A well struck iron is poetic in its beauty.
Ideally, you want the sweet spot of the club hitting the ball at the absolute bottom of your swing arc. The ball will sit a little forward of center in your stance with your weight about 60 percent on your front foot.
As you swing the club back, you still want your weight distribution to remain the same. Don’t shift all your weight to your back foot. That will move the bottom of your swing arc well behind the ball and you can’t make solid contact.
Keep your weight balance at 60-40 and strike the ball on a descending blow. Now hold that finish and watch your shot soar.
Todd Kolb breaks the idea down wonderfully:
5. Hitting the Driver
The final golf tip for beginners I have is about your driver.
You may only use it 10-15 times a round, but it sets the tone for the hole. In fact, hitting the driver well can set the tone for your entire round. A poor drive can bring all sorts of numbers into play. But if you can consistently split the fairway, not only will you be the envy of your foursome as you casually pick up the tee and give a quick glance at your ball bounding down the fairway; you’ll also see a lot more 4s and 5s on your card and not so many 6s or 7s.
With the driver, you want to catch the ball on a slightly upward motion in your swing. Have the ball teed up just off the back of your left heel and this time, have your weight evenly distributed between your feet. Again, don’t shift your weight back as you swing the club back. That will move the bottom of your swing arc, just like with your irons.
Keep your weight balanced 50-50 and this will allow you to hit the ball on an upward path and get your drives in the air and on the right path.
There are a million golf tips for beginners out there, and it can be overwhelming at times.
The tips here are easy to follow, easy to do and they work. Golf can’t be mastered in a day or a week and truthfully, I’m not sure it ever can be. But if you have the proper fundamentals, you’ve already taken a big step towards improving your game and having more fun on the course.
Golf has brought me far more enjoyment and fun than I could ever express here. I can easily recall good shots and great rounds I had 20 or 30 years ago. Golf is a game for a lifetime and I applaud you for taking the first step.
Good luck, work hard and most of all have fun.