The popularity of golf is growing!
According to Golf Digest, 2020 was a “Tiger Woods” good year for the growth of golf.
Golf Digest found, “The NGF count showed 24.8 million golfers in the U.S. in 2020, an increase of 500,000 and 2 percent over 2019. This is the biggest net increase in 17-years. New players (both beginners playing their first round and lapsed golfers coming back to the game for the first time in years) numbered 6.2 million, the highest that number has ever been.”
Needless to state, people around the world are eager to learn more about this game thanks to the events over the last few years. If you’re like most people you might wonder, “How do I learn to golf for the first time?”
It’s a good question because golf is a little intimidating to new players. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with golf club selection, proper golf attire, etiquette, the golf swing itself, how scoring works, choosing the right golf ball and the many rules of golf.
But today we’ll break it down so it’s easy to understand and get started on the right foot.
How do I get started golfing?
These strategies will help you start playing golf and have fun. Hopefully, you will catch the “golf bug” and play this awesome sport the rest of your life.
Find a Friend
As you will learn, golf isn’t the easiest sport to learn. It is difficult to learn golf by yourself.
Instead, find a friend that plays golf and ask them if they can take you to the range and/or golf course. They may have some old golf clubs that you can use to learn before purchasing a new set.
Drive the Driving Range
Once you have found someone who can help you start your golf journey, you can head to the driving course. Not the golf course. Your focus should be to learn to hit the ball and make golf swings.
You need to learn how to hit the golf ball consistently (and not whiff it) before heading to the actual golf course. This will save you money and a lot of frustration for everyone else onThe golf course. Think about it like this, you need to “graduate” from the driving range to the golf course.
But learning golf at the driving range takes some time so here are some of our best pieces of advice. You want to master the golf swing basics below.
Get a Grip
Only one part of your body guides the club through the swing and actually touches the club – your hands. Needless to say, your grip plays a pivotal role in hitting golf balls with consistency.
The sooner you can build a reliable grip, the sooner you can become a consistent golfer. Learn more about the golf grip here.
Once you get a good grip on the golf club, next up is your setup. As you’ll learn in your golf journey, building a strong setup position is key to avoiding common swing issues and playing golf consistently.
Click here to learn more about mastering your setup in golf.
Alignment is another fundamental part of the golf swing. Almost all swing issues are a result of poor alignment so don’t skip this step either.
Click here to learn more about proper alignment as a beginner golfer.
Stop Caring About Others
Whether you’re a brand-new golfer or have been playing for 20 years, it’s easy to compare your swing to others. This is a bad idea!
Everyone has their own unique swing based on age, height, flexibility, sports experience, and natural tendencies. While it’s okay to learn from others, don’t compare your swing to others.
Instead, only compare yourself to your previous swings as you progress in your golf journey. You need to learn to swing your own swing.
Also, don’t worry about others watching you or judging you for being a new player. Everyone had to start somewhere and golfers especially know the steep learning curve involved with the full swing.
Laugh Off Bad Swings
As you start hitting the golf ball, make sure to have the right attitude.
Chances are you’ll get frustrated and/or embarrassed at times but it’s important to laugh it off. Getting mad won’t help and might turn you away from the game Before you see all the good things.
Take the time to laugh at bad shots and take notes on good shots. Learn from every experience.
Get Golf Lessons
As you can see, there are many moving parts to the golf swing. There are many YouTube videos, but sometimes it is worth hiring a professional golfer.
It is a great way for beginners to get a solid foundation by signing up for a group lesson, a clinic or individual lesson. To learn more about beginner golfers, check out your local driving ranges or golf courses.
You can learn some tips and tricks from a certified instructor to help you develop good habits rather than bad ones.
Top Golf has taken the golf world by storm the past five years as it’s a great way to play golf and have fun with a group of people.
Top Golf caters to beginning players, unlike most driving ranges. It’s part driving range, part bowling alley atmosphere, and part restaurant/bar. Needless to say, it’s a great time for everyone – even if you don’t consider yourself a golfer yet.
Since most people don’t bring their own clubs, you can use theirs to test out your swing and play fun games. Click here to learn how to play Top Golf.
Get started with putting
Chances are you’ve been mini-golfing before and know a little bit about putting. But here’s something you probably didn’t know… Tiger Woods (arguably the best golfer ever) learned golf from the green back to the tee.
His dad Earl Woods was an expert on putting and taught his son how he did it. According to the old golf saying, “Drive for show, putt for dough.”
Golfers often ignore the putting range and instead focus on the driving range. This is one of the biggest mistakes they make. Don’t get me wrong, it’s more fun to hit drivers on the range but creating a great short game is how you actually get good at golf.
Make sure you spend the first half of every practice round on the putting green. By going through putting practice first, it’ll ensure you don’t skip it after practice when you’re worn down from hitting golf balls.
These putting posts will greatly improve your game of golf.
- Putting Grip Encyclopedia
- How to Choose the Right Putter
A short game is essential to becoming a great golfer or improving your game every round. A chipping swing can be one of your most reliable shots. It is simple and easy to learn.
You can accelerate your learning curve by mastering the pitch shot and chipping shot sooner than you think. Click here for the basic bump and run shot in golf.
Purchase a Basic Set of golf clubs
After a few visits to the driving range you can usually tell if you’re liking the challenge or don’t think it’s right for you. If you do start to catch the “golf bug” and want to hit the range more consistently to eventually play golf, buy a beginner set of golf clubs.
You will see that your equipment can make the game more or less difficult. A beginner golf set contains clubs that are lighter, more comfortable to hit and better suited for beginners.
A fairway wood is a shorter than a long iron, a pitching or sandwedge, and two to three clubs (irons or hybrids) are necessary for beginners. New golfers don’t need a full set of clubs yet!
You will also need to buy a pair or golf shoes, a bag, ball mark, as well as other supplies such as divot tools, balls, tees, and balls. You can find clubs and other supplies at your local golf shop, or Amazon.
Start with Par 3 Courses
Once you have your own set of clubs, you can celebrate your “golf graduation” at a short, par 3 golf course (also known as executive courses). These tracks are ideal for beginners and are shorter than regular, full-length real golf courses.
Learn More About Golf
Before moving from short courses to full-length golf courses, it’s a good idea to learn more about etiquette, common terms, and rules. To help you get to grips with the complexities of golf faster, we have an article on each.
- These are the basics of golf terms: Every golfer should know these rules.
- Golf Etiquette: Learn how to dress and act on the course using proper golf etiquette.
- Rules of Golf: These are the most common rules for golf.
Avoid Common Golf Mistakes
Golf is a game of trial-and-error. But to help you hit better golf shots, make sure you check out the most common golf mistakes.
Golf on TV
Anytime you’re learning a new sport or skill, it’s always best to learn from the masters of their craft. This can be done anytime by watching highlights of the PGA Tour on YouTube or LIV Golf. Tony Robbins once said that, “Success always leaves clues.”
Watching the best golfers can teach you a lot about mindset, routines, swing tips, swing tips, how you hit different clubs, and other game tips. Click here to find out more about professional golf.
Check out these Golf Books
Did you know that golf has existed since the 1800s? It’s hard to believe but people have been trying to master this game for centuries.
The good news? There are still tons of books about all aspects of golf. There are many options available for learning about golf history, bucket list courses, improving your mindset, building a consistent swing or learning about how to improve your mindset.
Click here to find out more about the best golf books.
If you’re the type of person who prefers movies to reading, there are some decent golf movies out there too. These classics will help you learn the game and improve your playing.
Click here for the best golf movies.
Always Have Fun
While we’ve given you a ton of strategies to start golfing, it’s important to remember the main rule – always have fun. Whether you’re 20 or 70 years old starting this game, don’t forget it’s just that… a game!
The same reason golf is so fun is the same reason many people lose interest in the game – it’s incredibly difficult! You could be great in four other sports but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll become a good golfer.
Some people lose interest when they see the steep learning curve. Some people love the challenge, and they want to learn as much as possible to play better and score lower to beat other golfers.
No matter what your goal, whether its to improve your game, play with clients, have fun with the family, win a tournament, or play in a member-guest tournament, remember to have fun. If your health permits, golf is a game that you can play for the rest your life.
Don’t quit from getting overly mad or frustrated too early in the journey! Just remember, even the best golfers in the world still hit bad shots and have bad rounds – that’s part of this crazy game.
FAQs on Learning How To Play Golf (Golf Beginners)
Are you looking for more information about the game of golf? Continue reading to find answers to your most common questions about learning the game of golf.
Can I learn golf by myself?
It all depends on your learning style and who you are. Some golfers have the ability to create a “homegrown” swing and figure it out as they go. Others take lessons to learn the basics of golf swing construction.
But it’s never been easier to teach yourself how to swing a golf club thanks to social media and YouTube. There are tons of videos on golf that will help you learn how it feels to grip, swing and play.
My advice is to avoid falling for the YouTube trap.
As I’ve found in my own golf journey, golfers tend to always want to improve. Although you need to be proactive in the beginning, too many learning can lead into overwhelm. This can make it easier to play your golf swing, as opposed to playing golf, which is something almost everyone has done before. It’s key to not carry around a a bunch of swing thoughts.
With so much content online, it’s easy to overdo it. It’s best to pick a coach or one specific person and learn from them to not have too many conflicting swing thoughts. When it comes to learning how the golf club swing works, sometimes less is more. Here’s some tips for how to work with a golf coach.
How difficult is it to learn golf?
Golf isn’t the easiest game in the world to learn but it’s incredible once you start to make progress. Golf is such a challenge to learn as it’s not a normal motion and the mechanics are complex.
You’re basically trying to hit a dimpled ball with a crooked stick and make it go straight. All this while swinging at an extremely high speed for 18 holes.
Is it difficult to learn golf?
I won’t lie to you, golf is very difficult for beginners and even seasoned players. Only a few golfers have mastered the art of playing consistently.
But before you ever give it a shot – hear me out. Golf can be hard for beginners. However, once you have mastered the game you will likely become addicted and want to play it for the rest of you life.
The addictive nature of golf is that you can still miss bad shots, regardless how good you are. It’s not like basketball or football where you rarely hit rookie-like mistakes as a pro.
Golf teaches you that anything is possible.
However, when you start to improve, shoot lower scores, and play better, it’s intoxicating (in a good way). It’s almost a form of personal development as you can grow with the game.
Its a great way to meet new people, make new friends and create amazing memories. So yes, it’s hard but we think it’s 100% worth it!
How can I get my children interested in golf?
Golf is a great activity for your kids as they’ll get outside, play a new sport, meet people, and possibly play for life! But it’s important to not force them into the game as they might get frustrated with the challenges before they enjoy it.
These articles will help you get your kids excited about golf.
- Best Golf Tips For Kids
- Golf lessons for children: What you need to know
Final Thoughts about Learning How to Golf
Learning golf isn’t easy but once you hit a good shot, it’s easy to see why people get hooked for life. It’s also easy to see why many people consider it the greatest game ever played. I’ve been playing for 25 years and still feel like I have too much to learn in this amazing game.
The metaphor of golf is many things, and I encourage everyone to give it another try. Bobby Jones said it best: “Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks for good shots, but you get good breaks for bad shots. But you have to play the ball where it lies.”
Borrow or buy clubs, and then head to the local course to hit the range balls and play your first round.