learner golfer

Golf tips for beginners – Where to start?

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The GolferIf you are fairly new to golf and are just starting to get to grips with the game then you maybe feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of technical golf instruction out there on the web. For some of us we are not yet ready to consume this level of instruction and actually may find it detrimental to our game. In this article we want to give you our golf fundamentals of where to start to instantly start improving your game and hopefully your enjoyment out on the course.

Let’s start at the beginning. Can you teach yourself golf? Well yes of course you can and you may achieve a reasonable level of success. Many golfers never have any lessons at all and can get their handicap down to single figures. For the rest of us however there is a potential to build in some fundamental errors into our golf swing that may give us some kind of immediate success but also may leave us regretting not getting the basics right in the first place. So our advice to any new golfer is to seek out your local golf professional and book a set of lessons. This will give you a good start to the game and avoid any swing flaws that could creep into your game. You will notice that we said seek out your local professional. Your friends or relatives may be good natured and offer to give you lessons. Be careful that they are not teaching you their own swing flaws and doing more harm than good.

During your lessons you will be taught how to hold the club, the correct setup, the basic turn and co-ordination of movement and good tempo. Our second piece of advice is to dedicate time on the practise tee honing your swing and practising these movements. Little and often is what we would like to see. Hitting balls aimlessly on the range is not a productive way to learn how to play golf. In previous articles we have discussed deliberate practice which is a worthwhile read and should help you.

Many of us feel we need to rush out to the golf course to play eighteen holes and we are enthusiastic as to what score you can achieve. We seem to get obsessed by breaking one hundred or even ninety. For us playing the course and hitting good shots is more important than keeping a score. So our third piece of advice is to leave the scorecard behind and concentrate on good ball striking and mastering the fundamentals of the golf swing.

One part of golf that is not often discussed (except on Golf Talk) is the amount of concentration needed out on the course to play well. This is a learned behaviour so playing nine holes two or three times a week maybe more beneficial to learning concentration then trying to do this over eighteen holes. Why not give this advice a try for a few weeks and see what difference it makes to your game. You can then step this up to a full eighteen hole game.

Finally for the new golfer have a realistic target of where you want to be by the end of the season and accept where you are now. You are then in a strong position, along with your golf professional to put a plan together of how you are going to improve your game. This will consist of lessons, practise and of course competitive play.

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The Golf Talk team

 

I want to start playing golf, what equipment do I need?

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As we approach spring many people want to start playing golf but don’t know where to start. A common question we are asked at Golf Talk is I want to start playing golf, what equipment do I need?Worried female golfer looking for golf ball

In this post we will give you our recommendations of what equipment you need and why.

Let us start with the obvious. You will need a set of clubs. This will usually comprise of a set of irons, three iron to nine iron with a pitching wedge and a sand wedge, a putter, and a set of woods. Driver, three wood and five wood. However if you are just starting out you will probably use only half of these clubs in a round of golf so do not race to get a full set immediately.

Many golf club retailers will sell you a half set of clubs. A three wood, five, seven and nine irons, sand wedge and a putter. This would be a good starter set for the very beginner keeping the cost of taking up the game low and not getting to technical with what each club can do. In fact many new golfers cannot see a vast difference in distances between many of their irons anyway. We recommend using a branded set of clubs and trialling a few different manufacturers clubs on the range before you commit to a purchase. One of the benefits of buying clubs from your local golf professional is that they will usually fit the clubs for you. Which means they can alter the lie and loft of the club to fit your swing. Also if you have purchased a branded set of clubs when you grow out of them, which you will soon enough. They will have some residual value for a trade in or a private sale.

You will also need a golf bag. We recommend a carry bag to start with to keep the cost down. If you have opted for a half set of clubs then they should not be to heavy for you to carry around the course. The TaylorMade Supreme Lite golf bag is an excellent choice we have used here at Golf Talk.

Many golfers play with a golf glove on their left hand. This is to help grip the club with a light grip and helps the club not to slip in your hands. We would suggest you try playing with and then without a glove and see what works best for you. Personally I play with a glove on my left hand for the driver only. I prefer to play without a glove for all other shots.

Some other accessories you will also need is a bag of tees. We recommend wooden tees with depth markers on them to help you consistently tee the ball at the same height. Also wooden tees will not damage your clubface if you miss hit the shot. You will also need a pitch-mark repairer and flat ball marker to repair any pitch-marks on the green. The flat ball marker is to mark your ball when on the green so you can clean your ball and line up your putt. For advice on how to repair a pitch mark on the green please look in the back catalogue for the post  – (keeping the green in good shape how to repair a pitch-mark and more).

There is a wide selection of golf balls to choose from with a wide range of prices. Our advice is to play with as many types of balls as you can at the beginning of your golfing journey. You will soon find a golf ball that feels right for you and is at the right price point. Golf ball selection is a balance between the harder distance balls and the softer, better feel balls. We use Titleist NXT Tour  and cannot recommend them highly enough. A scorecard and a pencil and you are now good to go …

There are of course many other golf gadgets that you may want to invest in like a GPS watch or a golf trolly, swing trainers and much much more. Our advice is to start with the minimum and build up your kit slowly to avoid any wasted purchases.

Just a final point, golf attire is very important. Many golf course will not let you play without the correct clothing. This differs from course to course but usually the club do not allow jeans, and golf shoes need to be worn. Our advice is to check with the course beforehand as ask what their local rules are. You do not want to arrive at the course all ready to go to be told that you either need to buy some golf trousers or you will not be allowed on the course.

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The Golf Talk team