Jun
14
2016

Tips for the Beginner Golfer

by Mae Williams for Cleveland, General Information

Tips for Beginner Golfers

Sleepy Hollow Golf Course. Photo courtesy of worldgolf.com.

Golfing can both be a relaxing and frustrating activity. It is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get exercise at the same time. For new golfers there are many things to learn about the sport that was created in Scotland centuries ago. There are rules to learn, terms to memorize and stances to perfect. The PGA has put together a glossary of terms, a list of rules and etiquette of the game for new and old players. Once a new golfer has understood the basics of the game, it can be a rewarding and relaxing pastime that can be played for many years.

Practice Makes Perfect

If you are a new golfer, there are many tips to get you started into becoming more comfortable with the game. There are many online sites that offer tips and video explanations. Items to focus on for new golfers include grip, stance, approach and swing. It is highly recommended for new golfers to invest in lessons before they hit the links. Golf pros will help new golfers with the right approach, stance, learning correct golf habits before they start their game as well as share advice for buying the correct equipment.

Beginner Golfer Tips

Consistency is key to a good swing and stance and the ability to hit a golf ball where you want it to go. Practice before hitting the golf course is key to enjoying the game.  Taking a trip to a hitting range to practice swings and hitting the golf ball is important to jump start your game. The more comfortable you are with your swing and correctly hitting the ball, the more comfortable you will be on the actual golf course. Another recommendation for first time golfers is to go to Par 3 or executive courses when you start out. These courses are not as daunting and the distance to the holes are much smaller than some golf courses. Below are a few tips to help the first time golfer get started with their game.

  • Grip: The grip for a golf club is one of the first things that has to be learned by a new golfer. Golfers do not grip their golf club like a baseball bat or a tennis racket. To properly grip the golf club, take the club in the palm of the hand that is closest to the hole. The thumb should be run along the top of the grip going down. Slide the back hand just below the lead hand interlocking the back hand pinkie finger with the lead hand pointer finger. The back hand thumb should also run down the front of the grip just below the lead hand thumb.
  • Stance and Approach: It is important to stand comfortably in front of the golf ball, which is called the approach. Golfers should stand with slightly bent knees with their upper body leaning over the ball. The arms should be out in front, but not overly extended. The feet should be a shoulder width apart with the ball positioned so there is equal distance between back and front foot.
  • Swing: Three essential steps to the golf swing are the take away, impact or follow through. Each step in the swing is important in order to make good contact with the ball. Beginner golfers should keep their feet planted during take away and impact. The head and upper body should remain relatively still. As you bring the club back, keep the lead arm as straight as possible, rotating hips and transitioning the weight to the back foot. As your swing comes down for impact, the hips should begin forward rotation while the weight shifts to the lead foot. Always remember to keep the eye on the ball as you make contact.
  • Equipment: For beginning golfers, there is quite a lot to learn especially about the equipment needed to learn the game. Woods and hybrids golf clubs are used for long shots, irons and wedges for shorter shots and a putter is used for around the hole. Golf rules state a golfer can carry 14 clubs in the bag. Golfers need to have specific shoes and gloves for playing as well. Consult with a golf pro for suggestions about the equipment you will need as a beginner golfer.

Golfing in the Cleveland Area

There are many gorgeous golf courses in the Cleveland area from private golf clubs to public golf courses. The Cleveland Metroparks has eight golf courses throughout the park including Big and Little Met Golf Courses, Manikiki Golf Course and Sleepy Hollow Golf Course. All courses are quite popular and require scheduling a tee time and fees.

Get Out and Enjoy the Game

Once you have practiced and feel ready to head out to the golf course, make sure that you are prepared to play. A full 18 round of golf could take up to four hours depending on how busy the course is, so make sure that you are prepared with everything that you need including the correct equipment, umbrella, water, snacks and extra balls. Just play your game at your pace. If you are feeling pressured to play quicker by players behind you, let them play through and just take your time. It is important not to judge your play on others around you, this is especially true when you are just starting out. New golfers have so much to learn, but doing so is worthwhile and will lead to a hobby and a sport to play for decades to come.