11 Practical Golf Tips for Beginners

golf tips

As a beginner, you are going to be subject to quite a few tips of advice. Some of these will be great tips that will make you a better player, and some will overwhelm you.

We have put together 11 tips about golf that are specifically geared towards the beginner.

If you are new to the game, read this list before you listen to that friend who made an eight on the last hole! 

1. Focus On The Basics: Stance, Setup, Posture

We understand entirely, hitting the golf ball a long way is much more fun than working on how to stand.

Stance, setup, and posture all seem like they are relatively straightforward, and they can be achieved and mastered in a few minutes’ time. This is just not the case.

Golf professionals work on their stance, setup, and posture more than any part of their golf game.

proper posture setting to hit ball
The proper posture when setting up to hit a golf ball

To get yourself in the right position before you swing the club, you should know a few basic things.

Feet shoulder-width apart
Weight balanced in the center of your feet
Your spine angle should not be slouched or too upright
When you drop your club down to the ground, you should not be reaching or feel too crammed to swing
The golf ball should be in the middle of the stance for most clubs
For a driver keep the ball more towards the front foot
A driver stance will be wider than a wedge stance

If you can get these basics down, you will make sure that you’re putting yourself in a good position before you actually swing the club.

2. Gripping The Golf Club – The Right Way

As a beginner, you will hear about three different golf grips, the overlap, the interlock, and the ten-finger grip.

golf grips comparison
The different ways to grip a golf club

You can grip the club in the way that feels most comfortable to you. It is essential to ensure that the club sits in the fingers of your hand and not in your palm.

Interlock Grip: The index finger of your left hand and the pinky of your right hand will interlock. This is best for players with smaller hands.
Overlap Grip: The index finger of your left hand and your right hand’s pinky will overlap. The overlap grip is best for players with large hands.
Ten Finger Grip: All ten fingers will sit on the club. The ten-finger grip is good for beginners and those who lack strength.

It does not matter which of the three grips you decide to use. Choose one that feels comfortable and gives you results.

You can always change the grip at some point when you progress with your game. 

3. Use Proper Equipment

If you are heading out to golf for the first time and you are using your grandfather’s old clubs from the garage, you may have a rough day.

Beginner golf equipment is specifically designed to give beginning golfers the ball flight, distance, and forgiveness they need.

In order to get the ball in the air, you will have to do quite a few things right; beginner golf clubs make this much more manageable.

Not only do you need to make sure that your equipment is the right level for you (flex, weight, club head design), but you should also guarantee that it is the right height.

If you are shorter than 5’6″ and taller than 6’1″ you may need something outside of a standard length golf club.

The proper equipment helps make the game easier, it’s worth spending some time and money when you first start to help make this possible.

4. When, Where and How To Practice

The driving range is going to be your new hang out spot if you are a beginner. Golf takes time to perfect, and you will have to hit many golf balls to be able to feel comfortable on the golf course.

You should aim to do some sort of a practice session at least four times a week as a new golfer. These do not all have to be at the driving range; you can practice lots of places.

Work on your grip in your office with a club you keep by your desk
Hit a few putts at home each nigh
Chip some tennis balls in the yard for the dog to chase after
Stop by the range for a thirty-minute practice session
After you play a round of golf hit fifty balls at the range
Read a book about golf and watch how the pros manage their own golf game 

Practice is not a requirement when you take up golf, but it will make a big difference in the speed at which you improve.

5. Learning To Increase Swing Speed

There are two types of beginning golfers, those that go after the ball and those that are afraid to. In the long run, swing speed is your friend.

Golfers with more swing speed will go further in this game. They can generate enough momentum to compress a ball, spin a ball, and hit a ball the proper way. 

It takes a little bit of time to learn how to increase your swing speed while still maintaining your tempo correctly. You should start by using a weighted golf club to help you improve your strength while still maintaining balance, posture, and tempo. 

When people tell beginners to slow down their swing, they don’t mean that they should decrease their swing speed.

Decreasing swing speed is not ideal, managing the swing speed, handling your tempo, and applying that swing speed correctly is the best thing a beginner can do. 

Try to always remember that when people say slow down they don’t mean you should stop attempting to hit the ball with force and speed. 

6. Fixing A Slice

proper golf swing path
The proper path of the golf swing when fixing a slice

Having a slice at some point is sort of a right of passage of becoming a golfer. The majority of golfers are going to struggle with a slice at some point.

Here are a few golfer tips to help you get rid of a slice. 

Check that your driver has enough loft for you to get the ball in the air every time, beginners need higher lofted golf clubs for added forgiveness
A proper golf grip will help protect against a slice, check to see that your golf grip is not too weak
Don’t aim left as it could cause you to swing across and slice the ball, even more, focus on fixing the slice not accommodating it
A swing path that is more upright and comes from the outside will cause a slice, to fix a slice you need the club to travel on a more shallow plane and attack the ball from the inside

Remember that there are several ways that a slice can happen but you will almost always have an open clubface at impact, pay attention to the angle of your clubface and you will learn how to work your slice out.

7. Fixing A Hook

Although a hook is a bit rarer for the beginner, it’s essential to have some ideas as to how to fix this if you want your game to progress to the next level.

There are several reasons that you could be hooking the golf ball, but here are a few golfers tips to get you hitting the ball straight again.

Aim to your target, do not aim right of your target and wait for the hook, this aiming right could be what is causing the hook in the first place
When you hit the ball your weight may be staying on your back foot a bit too long; beginners need to learn how to transfer their weight from the back to the front at impact
Check that your grip is not too strong and causing you to turn your hands over too soon, sometimes a quick shift of your hands can cause you to stop hooking the golf ball
When you line up to hit a shot the clubface should sit square; if you are closing the clubface with your hands at setup it could cause a hook

When working on fixing a hook remember that the clubface is going to be closed at impact. Work on making sure it is square at impact and you will see much straighter shots.

8. Working On Balance

One of the areas of golf where beginners tend to struggle is balance. If golfers can’t stay on their feet and feel comfortable and controlled in their swing, they will struggle to get better at the game.

You can work on your balance at all times, not just while on the golf course.

balance in golf
Leaning or tilting will cause you to get off balance

At home, you can put your hands across your shoulders and take practice swings without holding a club. This will start to strengthen your lower body and help you perfect your golf turn at the same time.

Many golfers make this process a bit harder by adding in a weighted medicine ball or weighted golf club. You can work on your balance by cross-training and playing other sports as well.

Golfers who are in good physical condition tend to get better at golf faster than those that are not. A golf swing is a very physical activity, and it takes a little while to incorporate balance, but it is one of the golf tips for beginners that often gets overlooked.

9. Pace Of Play

One of the best tips for beginners is to learn how to play fast golf. Many golfers are not going to care if you shoot 120 or 70 as long as you keep yourself moving through the game.

Players that don’t understand how to look for their ball, or play ready golf are going to frustrate other golfers.

As a beginner, you are going to take more shots than a seasoned golfer. This is expected. If you are moving from one shot to the next quickly and you have your golf club in hand ready to go, your pace will be fine.

Here are a few tips for golf beginners to speed up their pace of play:

Always think about what club you will hit next
Park the golf cart in smart locations
Don’t spend too much time looking for a lost golf ball
Don’t worry about scoring so much in the beginning
Play from a set of tees that works for your skill level
Don’t take too many practice swings
If you have a terrible hole, it is ok to pick up

Learning to play fast is one of the best things you can do for your golf game and your friends. Have some awareness as you play and these things will come naturally to you.

10. Don’t Keep Score Until You Are Ready

We touched on this a bit when we talked about the pace of play, but as a beginner, the score is unimportant. Focus on taking a good swing and hitting solid shots. There is no reason to put pressure on yourself to try and make pars or birdies right from the start.

Focus on working on your golf swing and your short game. Learn to hit the ball well and get off each green after just a few putts. When you can do this consistently, you are very likely ready to start keeping score.

If you want to challenge yourself before you are ready to keep score, you can do things like trying to get through nine holes without losing a golf ball or not taking over three-putts on each green.

11. Golf Course Management

Golf course management is a tip that many people forget to give to a new player. As you get better at golf, you realize which shots make sense to hit and which ones don’t.

If you have never hit a fairway wood off of a fairway, but you try and hit one 190 yards over a water hazard, that is not a percentage shot.

Part of golf course management comes down to learning your strengths and weaknesses. If you are good at your short game, you will need to use that to help you score.

Don’t try any crazy shots when you are new to the game. Work on keeping the ball in the center of the fairway.

You don’t need to use a driver off of every tee
Use different clubs for short game and chipping, don’t get stuck on one wedge
Pay attention to where on the green you want your ball to land
Look for trouble, water, sand, rough, etc. and try to avoid it
When you get into trouble, take a stroke and get out, don’t make things worse

Take time to look at each hole and determine a path that you want to go down. Not every hole should be played on a straight line.

Conclusion

We hope that our golf tips for beginners make you feel like you have a better handle on what matters and what doesn’t when it comes to the new golfer. This sport can be overwhelming, and you will be getting golf tips from many different sources.

Every time someone gives you advice about the game, try and ensure that it is relevant, accurate, and helpful before applying it.

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