As a beginner in golf, you often search tips what would be good to do and what not. Because of there is so much information available, I decided to summarize the best practices. So, please check out these best 25 golf tips for beginners.
Tip #1 Keep your head down during the golf swing
“You lifted your head,” even though you are a beginner you have already heard this one. What does this mean? You start to follow the ball too quickly after your shot, and due to this head turn, your shoulder plane will dip or get higher. Change in shoulder plane will impact directly to swing plane height and causes thin and fat shots.
Keeping your head down is not that simple what is sound. If you force your head stay still even after the impact moment, it will become tough to control the shot because in this case, hands do all the work. A golfer should focus more on keeping good posture, swing tempo, and rhythm. By doing all of these correctly, your head turn will not be anymore the problem.
Tip #2 Quiet your legs during the golf swing
There is no need to dance in golf. Sliding your lower body will cause inconsistent shots because your swing plane’s lowest point will change. The change in the swing plane generates fat and thin shots. Golf swing should be more rotating your body not lateral movement. Of course, there is a certain level lateral movement involved, but you get the point.
Focus keeping your lower body stable. When you start the backswing, start with your hands, next rotate the upper body and last the lower body. It would be good to check as well the back and forward movement of your lower body if you have lateral movement in your swing. You can do this just taking a video of your swing.
Tip #3 Focus aiming your golf shots
You should have certain level consistency in the golf swing to aim it well. Many beginners have a fade curvature in their shot, so they should aim left from the target to hit the target. You need to trust your golf swing when you are making the alignment. Miracle will not happen, just trust your swing.
When you are preparing hit the shot, ask yourself, what is my typical golf trajectory. Take a look at behind the ball and pick a tree from the horizon or some leaf which is lying on the ground. Remember, the pick should represent your regular golf shot. Then align yourself and hit it.
The key to land the ball to the green every time is correct alignment and consistency in your swing. So, start to build consistency to your swing.
Tip #4 Making your golf swing transition too fast
Golf transition is the phase of your golf swing when your backswing ends, and you start the downswing. If you make this too quickly, your club will end up on the wrong path. Most of the time the path is out to in, and this generates fades, slices, or if you happen to have squared club face, the ball will go straight to left (RH players).
Take a video of your golf swing and study do you have single or two plane swing. You need to know this because this will determine what is the correct movement when you start the downswing. If you have one plane swing, your downswing begins with body rotation and arms dropping at the same time, and if you have two plane swing, you need to drop your arms to correct plane before rotating your body.
Please check more drills for your transition and downswing here: Golf Downswing Drills
Tip #5 Hitting the ball too hard
The most common mistake beginners do, is trying hit the ball too hard. Mashing the ball hard causes golfer to lose his/her rhythm, and rhythm lose causes the ball go to bushes and not nearly as far it would carry with a smooth swing. It also common, that when hitting hard, beginners tend to grip to club way too sturdy and this increases the tension in your body and generates swing speed losses.
So, how to hit longer is not about trying to hit the ball hard. You need to build smooth and effortless golf swing, and this generates the desired result, which is, in this case, more swing speed. A smooth golf swing is a combination of good rhythm and right tempo in your golf swing.
Tip #6 Using a golf grip pressure which is too strong
Gripping too tight the club causes swing speed losses. As a beginner, you might think the club will fly out from your hands if you don’t hold it firm enough. You need to hold the club just firm enough to maximize your swing speed and clubface control.
Your grip pressure should be on scale 1-10 around 4, but this is more like a feel. You can practice grip pressure on the range. Do some practice swings and see how your grip pressure will impact to swing speed and how the clubface is behaving. One thing gripping too tight might be that you don’t trust your golf glove. I always use Cabretta leather golf gloves, like this one from Srixon (link to Amazon) By using a good enough glove, I know I can trust my golf club will stay in my hands.
Tip #7 Not hitting down on the ball
If you aren’t hitting down on the golf ball with your irons, in most cases your clubfaces leading edge will be the first part touching the ball, and you will miss your club sweet spot. The reason why the leading edge hits the ball first is that your clubface passes your hands. When the impact to the ball happens only with the bottom of your golf club, you will lose distance and control of ball flight. The key is to compress the golf ball with your iron shots and remember, you need to hit differently with the driver.
What is the cause of not hitting down on the ball? A golfer who is hitting thin shots, typical scoop / flip their wrist too early and this flipping motion generate wrong club face angle. Focus during the set-up that your clubface is perpendicular to the ground. To get face perpendicular, you need lean your golf club towards the target and during the downswing bring back the club to the same position. This thinking encourages you to keep your hands front of the clubface.
Tip #8 As a beginner in golf, use the first tee
Golf is a hard game for the beginners. When you are starting the game, it might take ten shots to get the ball in the hole. You might feel frustrated after a hole like this but don’t give up.
So, don’t make the game too hard for you. Play from the first tee box and slowly but surely build a consistent swing for yourself. When you get better, move to another tee box and make the game harder for you.
Tip #9 Losing the golf swing during the round
You played an excellent first nine holes, but for next few holes, you start to hit horrible shots. You get a feeling that your swing is all over the place and you begin to panic. But what causes feels like this? Most of the time it has been few bad shots, or you start to think how good you have played the first nine holes, and hopefully I don’t screw this up.
Fear of losing your round but a tension to your body and you start to lose your golf swing rhythm. You need to evaluate your lousy shot, what went wrong, what can I learn from this, how can I improve it, make actions and lastly, get over it quickly because you need to do this thinking work between your shots.
All I can say, be prepared to a feeling like this if you haven’t already felt it because it will come
Tip #10 Establishing a golf practice routine
You need to understand you can improve your game to a certain level only by playing golf. Yes playing is fun and who wants to spend their time on practice areas but you need to start to practice if you wish to improve your golf swing to the next level.
The golden rule what comes to practice is, you should spend 50% of your time in practice areas and 50% of your time playing golf. You should focus on right practice methods, and you need to practice a lot to build a perfect golf swing to the muscle memory. As a beginner, prepare to spend a lot of time in practice areas, and not only on the driving range but as well in the short game practice areas.
Tip #11 Adding your golf swing to muscle memory
“Harder you work, luckier you get” – Gary Player
Some say to get the golf swing to muscle memory takes around 10,000 hours of practice, but I think it may vary due to players background. Some learn the game a little bit faster than others, but there is always a lot of practice involved.
Why adding golf swing to muscle memory is a good thing? You build a consistent golf swing to which you rely on course. When you start to practice a lot, you need to make sure that the golf swing basics you practice are done correctly, so would not implement bad habits into your swing. As a beginner in golf, use a lot video and help from others.
Tip #12 Focus on your golf swing setup and posture
A good start for the perfect golf swing is a great swing setup and posture. By doing these correctly you have enough room to swing freely, and you can build tension free and an effortless swing which carries long and is accurate.
The golf posture should be tension free and comfortable. There should not be any rounding on your back, and when you have done your posture, your arms should hang freely in front you and you should have enough space to make the backswing. When you have done setup correctly, you should be able to lift a heavy load from the ground with the same posture without hurting your back.
Tip #13 How to find golf lessons for beginners
Nowadays the internet is full of different instructional sites and finding excellent sites which are cheap becomes harder to find. As a beginner in golf, you might burn a lot of money to unnecessary things, and expensive lessons are one thing.
Don’t get me wrong, the lessons are valuable, and you should go to golf lessons when you are starting to play golf. In early phase as possible, you should build solid background to your golf swing and then you need to maintain and develop your golf swing by yourself. If you find out something does not work, take a video of your swing and evaluate it. While assessing your swing, you will learn a lot more about golf swing basics, like this hand needs to be here to deliver clubface squared to the ball, etc.
If you are not able to do this by yourself, you can always use a pro to check it with you.
Tip #14 Importance of short game
Driving long is fun, but does it matter if you always end up having bogies or worst? By having a great short game, you can save a lot of par’s and get better with your game. As a novice in golf, you will have around 60% golf shots which are so-called short game shots. It would make a significant impact to your game if you could decrease one shot per hole.
As you go to practices area, you should spend at least same amount of time in developing your short game skills than you long game skills. The short game is a feel thing, and you only get better in it by practicing a lot.
Tip #15 Learn the golf putting basics
Putting is underrated even though it is a huge part of golf. If you play by the book, 50% of your shots should be putts. So in total, putting is as big as part of your game than all the other golf shots (driving & iron play) combined. If you don’t make three puts, you are way ahead of all the other beginners.
You don’t need to watch where the putt is going, just focus hearing the sound when the ball goes to the hole. Also, keep the tempo in your putting stroke always same and don’t break the club even with short putts. The goal is to put the ball around 3 feet (or 90cm) pass, and this gives the ball change go to the hole.
Tip #16 How to choose the golf clubs
Don’t blame the clubs because most of the time the reason behind a bad shot is the player, not the clubs. You will hear many times how somebody fellow golfer bought new clubs, and now those are working like a charm. But after few rounds, he/she starts to have new challenges, mainly because of new clubs were a temporary fix to the problem.
As a beginner, you should buy a good enough clubs, like these TaylorMade clubs (link to Amazon) which are easy to hit and affordable. Don’t buy fake clubs from China or the most expensive clubs from Titleist. When you start to have consistency in your golf swing, then you can begin to think should I go and fit my golf clubs.
Tip #17 Use Second-hand golf balls
When you are starting the golf, you will lose golf balls. And if you are playing as I did, you will lose a lot of those. You will hit balls to water, forest and places you can even yet imagine. So, it will make sense to use second-hand golf balls.
You can find almost every brand at the lake golf ball sites. Just pick one which is closest to your heart and buy A-grade balls. When you can play the whole round with one ball, then you can start to buy new golf balls. Try different golf ball brands and see what suits you. For the first new ball, I would use affordable balls like Srixon AD333 (link to Amazon). Don’t go directly to PRO V1 balls or any other tour balls, but try these and see are those worth of money.
Tip #18 Understanding basic rules of golf
If you don’t know the rules of the game, play with a friend who knows those. It doesn’t matter are you spectator in a golf competition or are you playing yourself if you know the rules, you will enjoy the game a lot more.
I have played several times in competition with somebody who hits out of bounds and continues from the where the ball crossed the out of bounds line. One typical mistake is walking on your putting lines on the green. Don’t be afraid of asking if you aren’t sure is something according to the golf rules.
Tip #19 Learn to play from different slopes and surfaces
You don’t hit the fairways or greens all the time, and you will end up playing the ball from different lies and surfaces. If the ball is on uphill, downhill, the ball is below or above you need to play the shot differently.
As a beginner, you need to learn how the ball behaves when you play it from different lies. For example, if the ball lies in below your feet, you need to expect that the ball will have a fade and you need to aim left from your target (RH players). Learn how the slope impacts to your club selection and you will save a lot of shots during your round.
Tip #20 Golf weather is not always sunny
If you don’t live in heaven, prepare yourself to play in different weather’s because it might sometimes be rainy or windy day. The wind plays a significant role in your club selection, and you need to train yourself read the wind and make a correct club selection based on your observations. It takes a while to understand and learn how huge impact the wind does to your ball carry distance and how much it will make the ball go to the left or right.
For rainy days, always keep an umbrella in your golf bag and extra golf gloves. You don’t to keep the new gloves in the bag, just old ones which are worn and you don’t use those anymore. Even though those are old and not probably as good as the newest you are wearing, those old gloves come to help you when the best glove is wet due to rain.
Tip #21 Have a golf course strategy
Not every hole is a hole for the driver. Unfortunately, the golf course designer puts obstacles to certain distances and this forces the player to select will he/she go for it or not. If your selection needs that magical shot you have hit once, don’t rely on this and take the shorter club.
To have a good strategy, you need to know how long you will hit with every club on average. You can practice this in driving range or during the winter in golf simulators.
Tip #22 Playing from different surfaces
Sometimes you will end up to rough or in the fairway bunker. First of all, you need to know how to hit from different surfaces and how it will impact to your golf shot carry. For example, if you have to play from heavy rough, you might need to pick two or even three club more than you would need in a fairway to have the same carry.
Practise these shots while you are in practice area. Most of the time, there is this kind of possibility in driving range, and it should locate either side of the driving range.
Tip #23 Invest in golf shoes
You need to invest in good shoes. When playing a full round of golf, you will keep your shoes on at least 5hrs. On top of this, if you don’t use a golf cart, you will walk at least 5 miles (or 8 km). Proper golf shoes are as well waterproof and breathable.
One big thing about the golf shoes is that you trust those. You can rely on that your golf shoes will not slip during the swing even though wet surfaces or odd lies. There is no particular golf shoe model which will suit all like there is not in regular shoes. You need to know what is the shape of your feet. But if you use puma shoes, the shape of Puma golf shoes (link to Amazon) is same.
Tip #24 Master the golf etiquette
You need to know the basics of golf etiquette. What you can do in and what not. The most important ones are:
- Turn off the cell phone; If you are expecting an urgent call, please inform your fellow golfers, otherwise put in mute-mode.
- On the tee box; Understand who will go first and where stand during the shot.
- The pace of play; Don’t be the slowest player. Focus on your shot, but don’t take too much time.
- On the green; Know when you can move and can be behind someone who is making the putt.
- Clothing; Clothing etiquette might vary between the club, but in general, wear a shirt with collars.
Golf etiquette is not only these five rules, but there is also a lot more. But if you understand these five rules it is a good start. You will learn the rest by playing golf.
Tip #25 Have a rhythm and consistent tempo
Consistency is a key to golf success.
Even some pro players might prefer fade shots because it is natural for them. Don’t worry if your golf shot is not a perfect draw; the key is that is consistent. Learn the golf swing basics well, practice a lot and you are on your way to small round numbers.