How to Begin Playing Golf?

Learning to Play golf Simplified

How to get started with Golf

How to begin playing golf? This is brief overview  that will aim to answer that question fully. Giving you the theory before actualy hitting the range. As you know, playing golf has many advantages; it is a sport that cultivates body and mind in a relaxed way. It is a low-impact sport, ideal for all ages and has the added bonus of being a very social activity.

If you are one of those who are thinking of including golf as part of your exercise routine or simply want to get the golfer out of your system, I will tell you how to do it in a few simple steps. I get asked alot on how to begin playing golf, I always respond with this answer… Time. The more time you can dedicate to the game, the better you will get at it. Then you will stop asking yourself how to begin playing golf. You will then ask how to get better at certain aspects of your game. You will get there with time. 

Step 1 | Get in your head in the Golf Zone

get in the mood to learn

The first thing is, of course, to feel like you want to learn how to begin playing golf. That is the first and foremost thing you will need to begin this journey. It is not necessary to buy a complete set of equipment beforehand, just wearing a special golf glove is enough, as it will help you to hold the club better and avoid blisters on your hand. Also, a hunger to want to learn the game will get you started quick and help you maintain your focus.

Step 2 | Sign up for a Golf Beginners' Course

In most of the golf courses you can find professionals who teach these types of courses. It is important to choose a professional who will teach you the “swing” well and we say “teach” because the best player is not necessarily the best teacher. Your observation skills can also help. Watching other more experienced golfers play will also help you learn, and if you have a friend who has more boards than you do, you can ask him or her to teach you a couple of tricks.

During the course you will not be able to play off the driving range, that is, you will not be able to play on the golf course, as you will be practicing your swing and putt until your instructor decides that you can take the handicap test.

Step 3 | Your Handicap

golf handicap

Once you’re ready, it’s time to find out what your handicap is. The handicap is a game system that indicates the number of over strokes (over par on the course) a player makes on a course. In other words, it is the number of strokes a player has over another on the course. For example, a player with a 28 handicap is one who makes a par 72 course in 100 strokes (72+28).

In this way, players of different levels can play and measure their results more equally.

Step 4 | The Test

Your instructor or professional will take you to the golf course to play a couple of holes where you will demonstrate your skills with the club and your knowledge of the rules of the game, especially those of courtesy on the course (giving way to those who are going faster than you, fixing the damage you do to the grass when you hit the ball, etc…). Begining to learn how to play golf can be difficult to begin with. Stick with you instructor and follow everything they suggest. 

image of golf instructor

Step 5 | Become a Federated Player

immage of excited golfer jumping

When you have passed the exam that your professional has set out for you. You will receive a card from the Federation that will identify you as a federate, allowing you to play on different golf courses, as well as the one you trained on. When you become a member you have to pay an annual fee which includes insurance in case you damage something or someone when you play. 

Step 6 | Practice and Improve your Handicap

Now it’s time to buy your practice clubs and practice for your handicap. Now the journey of how to begin playing golf starts to feel  more real. Although you have the option of renting the equipment on the golf course, it is always better to have your own clubs to get by with. Focus on sharpening up your short game. If you fail to do this while improving your handicap. You are allowing the other players or competitors extra strokes. You don’t want to do this. As if you didn’t know, but let’s not forget you have to hit the driving range. You won’t improve your handicap if all you are doing is waiting for game day. Attend your local driving range and practice. There are plenty more things to do to improve your handicap. We wont focus on all of them in this article, more of that in another aticle. 

image of golf player on driving range practicing

Step 7 | Competitions and Championships

image showing a golf tournament taking place

If you think you’re ready, you can enter competitions and championships. There are many competitions throughout the year to go to.  To get more in depth information about the United States Amateur Championship check out the oracle that is Wiki. If you participate in any of them, the federation will assign you another handicap depending on how you perform. Don’t worry if you don’t do very well as you can always try again in a short time. Anyway, the maximum handicap you can get, no matter how bad you do in the championships, is 36.4.

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Now then, today I want to propose a routine of exercises that will help you prepare body and mind before starting your golf game. A simple series of tasks that will allow you to perform a proper warm-up in just 15 minutes.

Five Exercises to Warm Up

Distance Control Exercise

IMAGE OF PLAYER JUDGING DISTANCE

This is a good exercise to warm up. The first thing to do is to start with short strokes to prepare the body for the longer swings. We can start by choosing the loftiest wedge and hitting some shots with a full swing and others with a half swing.

This exercise will help us see the difference in distance the ball travels in the two types of movement with the same wedge. We can do this same exercise with the short sticks to identify the distance ranges of each. In this way, we will know which club and swing we need for the ball at flag height from a short distance. The guys at Stack have came up with great swing excersizes to help you control your distance and accuaracy. 

Practice the Precision Chip

imageof golfer chipping his golf ball

The Chip is the short approach shot, designed to bring the ball as close to the hole as possible and requires greater precision than the approach shots. To practice the touch we can perform what is known as the frog jump game (Leap Frog).

It consists of two exercises; first we will place ourselves outside the green, but not too far away and we will make a chip trying to make it bite by passing the collar and with enough force so that the ball reaches the hole. Then we will perform another shot, but this time trying to place the ball close to the hole but a little further away. By practicing this exercise we will know if we need to vary the trajectory and length of the swing to continue with the game. Changing clubs also helps.

Driver Consistency

image of golf ball on tee

This exercise consists of placing the ball on a tee and putting an alignment rod on the ground in front of it and over the target line.

If the typical ball flight turns to the left, then we must place a second rod at an angle of about 20º to the right of the target.

If the ball curves to the right, then we must place the second rod at an angle of about 20º to the left

We can also create U-shaped posts with two other rods. We can try to stick drives that curve towards the target between the posts without crossing the target line.

Controlling the Club Face; Orienting the Ball

image of golf iron about to hit ball

This activity is very practical for finding the “sweet spot” in the irons. We should not overlook that an important element for ball impact is the ability to hit the ball consistently in the center of the face, regardless of its seat.

To prepare the game with the irons we can perform the following exercise: we will place the ball on a low tee and push several more tees around the back half of the ball position (right). We must try to make contact in the center of the face from each position.

This activity will be very useful to improve our awareness of the position of the club face in the downswing and will make it easier for us to make better contact with the ball regardless of its position.

Avoiding the 3 Putts

To practice the shots we will put some balls at distances of one and a half meters, two and a half meters and 10 meters from a hole. The aim is to hit the balls with a maximum of 5 strokes. With this exercise, we will learn to concentrate on hitting putts instead of playing touches without control.  American Golf wrote a short article about this in particuar. Its worth a read here. As you know with most things practice makes perfect and will for sure help you on your “hot to begin playing” journey. You could also implement the strategy the gentleman is talking about in the video. Both will work for you. 

Conclusion

I hope you have found this overview on how to get begin playing folf useful. I could have gone way more in depth but that would have made it a mega article.  Each area I discussed could have its own article in truth. This is article is a pre cursor to my how to play golf article. If you enjoyed reading this article feel free to share it to whoever might find it useful. 

Thanks

 

Warren Belmore

Warren Belmore

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