The goal of the ultimate beginners’ basic golf course is to give you an essential outlay of the game. The popularity of golf has increased tremendously over the past forty-five years, giving us champions like Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, and Tiger Woods.
Why has golf become so popular? It’s the opportunity to be outside, to get a good whole body workout, network with friends or business colleagues at a leisurely pace, and to play a game that you can never perfect.
Your scorecard, over time, shows your improvement, which keeps you playing again and again.
Here is a very basic lesson in golf for the person who has no clue about the game.
Golf is played on an eighteen-hole course; each hole has its “par”, which is the number of tee shots (drives), fairway shots, chips (short hits as you approach the green), and putts.
The par number is based on the length and difficulty of the hole. Pars range from 3 to 6. If you get the ball in the hole in five shots on a par five hole, you
“made par.” If it took you six shots, it’s called a bogie, if you made it in four, it’s a birdie.
There are usually “hazards” of some sort on all the holes. Bodies of water, sand traps, and trees are strategically placed to make the hole more challenging. Beginner golfers should seek to find courses to play that are easier to play, with fewer hazards.
Each player keeps their own score, marking the number of total number of shots for each hole. At the end, each person adds their scores-the lowest number is the winner.
It is important for beginner golfers to not take themselves too seriously. Remember this is the ultimate beginners’ basic golf course, not golf mastery. It takes a long time to get good at this game; even though the professionals make it look so easy.
A quick tip you can gain from the ultimate beginners’ basic golf course: Take a lesson or two at the onset; it will help you develop a proper swing and help you get off to a good start.
Remember that it’s just a game. Have fun and look at the big picture-you’re outside and you’re not at work!
What to keep in your golf bag.
There are many golf bags available, some designed for fashion, some for utility, and some that combine both features. There are big bags, bigger bags, and bags so big that they would keep everything I need for a long weekend vacation in one of the side pockets!
Generally speaking, you need a bag just large enough to hold your clubs, extra balls, your glove, tees, car keys, extra pencils, ball markers, a ball retriever, sunscreen, a windbreaker, and a large umbrella.
It is also a good idea to have a packet of tissues, a band-aid or two, and if you play courses where insects are a problem, a can of bug repellent comes in very handy.
A small pack of baby wipes come in very handy; in your bag, they get warmed by the heat, so when you get sweaty or a sand trap covered you with sand, a nice warm wipe can be very refreshing.
It is also a good idea to keep emergency medical necessities that you may need.
One item that doesn’t need to be in your golf bag is your cell phone. If you must carry it, turn off the ringer as a courtesy to other players.
If you must use it, be aware of others who might be taking a swing or putting their ball. Be considerate!
Having these items in your golf bag should provide everything you will need, even in a minor emergency (like a blister) or a major inconvenience, like a sudden rainstorm. Being prepared makes the game a great deal more fun.
The Long Game
The long game refers to your drives (shots off the tee) and fairway shots; everything short of the shots you make to get onto the green.
Each hole has a different difficulty level, different par, and distinctive hazards, so instructing you to use your Driver on every tee would be blatantly wrong.
This is something you will learn over time as you learn the various shots you make according to the club, the placement of the ball, and your personal swing.
Generally speaking, the lower the club number, the longer and lower your ball will go. A 4-iron shot will travel long and low and will most likely roll, whereas a 9-iron shot will have much more loft and go less distance both in the air and on the ground.
The professionals on television make it look so easy; they consistently hit the ball long and straight and never miss-hit the ball making it dribble ten feet, or completely miss the ball.
Driving is very important to the game, and many hours spent at the driving range will help improve your distance. Experiment with the same club to see what works for you if you move the ball forward or backward in your stance.
Take a lesson, if possible, and learn the proper swing from the beginning.
Mastering the long game helps you get to the green in fewer strokes, keeping your score and frustration level down. Remember that it takes a long time to learn consistency and remember to have fun!
The Short Game
We’ve all seen the long accurate drives of Tiger Woods. The ball flies through the air and lands in the middle of the fairway, 300 yards away.
The green-eyed monster of envy consumes us as we wonder if we could ever hope to drive like that. Fortunately, long drives are not the be-all-end-all game of golf.
Enter the short game. Without good short game skills, all the long drives are for naught.
The short game is those shots that get us onto the green from about one hundred feet out, be it from the fairway, a bunker, the rough, or a drop zone, and includes chips, sand shots, and pitches.
This is where your higher numbered clubs would be used, as well as your pitching iron, sand wedge, or lob wedge.
Most golf courses have practice areas as well as a driving range. Spend some time working on hitting your ball onto the green from different distances. Aim for a ten-foot circle in the center of the green at first.
Experiment using your wedges; what works for someone else, might not work for you and your particular swing.
After you get accustomed to doing this drill consistently, it’s time to spend some time in a sand trap. Knowing how to get the ball out of a trap will cut your score.
Plant your feet firmly into the sand, with your left foot turned toward the hole. Imagine a 4-inch circle around the ball and try to hit the edge of the circle that is away from the ball.
Take lots of sand with your ball and swing completely. Don’t decelerate at all when or after you hit the ball. It should pop up onto the green and stop.
This doesn’t work unless the sand is very soft and powdery. On hard surfaces, you might need to avoid actually hitting the sand.
As in all aspects of the game, only practice will help you to improve.
“Drive for show, putt for dough” is the lesson we’ve all seen and learned from watching professional golfers in every tournament and championship.
The masters of golf can drive a ball from here to eternity, but it all boils down to how many strikes of the ball it takes to put the ball in the hole. The long accurate drives don’t amount to anything if you’re unable to putt accurately.
Choosing a putter is important, but using whatever putter you have consistently is more so. I’ve had the same putter for fifteen years; I know what it feels like in my hand, I know its weight and how that plays into my putts.
Putting takes lots of practice. Typically, we drive the ball eighteen times in a game but putt at least double that number.
Doesn’t it stand that we should practice our putting at least twice as much as driving? If you can’t get to the practice green regularly, practice on your carpet at home.
Keep in mind that no ball can make it into the hole if it doesn’t have enough power behind the ball to get there.
Take the time to get down and look at the path from your ball to the hole; does it slant one way or the other? Is it uphill or downhill?
Stand with your feet spread for balance and line up the putt. Keep your hands, arms, and shoulders completely still; imagine that you are a “bobblehead” but you move from just below your chest. Keep your head directly over the ball.
Pull your club back; keep your hands, wrists, arms, and shoulders steady-the movement comes from your chest. Hit the ball, following it with your club.
Learn from each putt and remember the lesson. Practice, practice, practice!
To sum it all up.
The most important lesson from the ultimate beginners’ basic golf course is to just have fun. The internet is a good source of information on how to play the game. Just remember that in the end, the enjoyment will be well worth it.
Secondly, there are many videos available that can teach you everything from improving your swing to putting. Check out Our Golf Shop for tips on improving your game, and for your golf equipment needs.
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