Beginner's Golf Education
It's easy to get overwhelmed when attempting to select golf equipment for the first time. There is no shortage of options out there, with most gear designed for experienced golfers who know which specific features and benefits will most help there game. Thankfully, there are many equipment options designed for new golfers, clubs and gear with simple, straight-forward design and features that will help you learn and grow with the game as your skills evolve. Below, you'll be able to learn about a sampling of options that will help you get out on the course and enjoy yourself, let's start with a few tips before we get into the gear.
- Master a few clubs: While you are allowed to carry up to 14 clubs on the course, start out with a few clubs and master those before tackling other, more challenging clubs. Even if you have a complete set, try using just the 7-wood, 6-iron, 8-iron, pitching wedge and putter before moving on to clubs with lower lofts.
- Loft is good: Higher-lofted clubs are easier to hit: Putters, any pitching or sand wedge and 6-, 7- or 8-irons. Lower lofts, including drivers, woods and low irons in the 3-5 range are more difficult to hit and will only add unnecessary frustration for you as a beginner.
- Learn from the best: When you’re new to golf and haven’t developed any bad habits (yet), it’s a good time to seek out lessons from a golf pro or experienced golfer.
- Keep it simple: If you find yourself mishitting consecutive shots, re-focus on the basics and focus on contact and disregard distance. Remember not to get frustrated, and enjoy yourself. Golf is an extremely challenging sport, and baffles even the most skilled out there. The only way to get better is to stay patient, practice, and have fun!
- Take it slow: There’s no need to spend the money and time on a full, 18-hole course at the very beginning. A par-3 course is perfect for practicing your short game on holes that range from 100-200 yards and developing confidence in your swing. The only clubs you will need for a par-3 round are high irons, wedges and a putter, which provides great practice using clubs that you will eventually hit the majority of the time on full-sized holes at a regular course.
Most beginning golfers struggle with getting the ball up off the ground, and also with mishitting the ball. With this in mind, golf clubs for beginners are designed to provide high launch, and forgiveness. A ball in the air is going to go farther than a ball being slowed down by grass and turn, and shots that curve sideways take away distance as well. Beginner golf clubs will feature larger club heads, giving new golfers a lot of area to work with, and also providing a confidence inspiring look at address. Drivers and woods will have higher than normal lofts, and irons will have thicker soles and larger cavities. Putters are usually up to the individual taste of the golfer, but larger mallets are undeniably more forgiving than thinner blade model putters. Beginner golf clubs range in price by manufacturer and number of clubs per set. Many beginners benefit from less than a full arsenal of clubs, as this eliminates a lot of frustrating decision making, and also because most beginners don't begin to show appreciable distance gaps until they start to make most consistent contact that flies straighter. For dedicated beginners, it makes sense to spend a little more on clubs you know you'll be eager to practice and learn with, while less enthusiastic starters may be better served with less expensive value sets, something that won't break the bank and still allow you to try the game out with low stress.
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Complete sets are another great option for beginners, as they offer a one-stop purchase that will get you out on the course quickly and without a lot of need to worry about set composition. Complete sets also come with a bag, which is another expense that is nice to avoid when you're first starting. Complete sets will transition well between club, and look and perform similarly, all benefits to a new golfer looking for consistency and a clear head on the course. Our favorite recommendation to a new golfer is to start with a complete set. If you don't fall in love with the game, or only plan on playing every once and a while, a complete set will satisfy your needs for many years into the future. For golfers who like to practice a lot and start to see their skill improve, a complete set will also allow you to make equipment upgrades over stages, and help you avoid a large awkward transition between massive clubs changes. If you begin to see improvement with your driver and feel you'd benefit from an upgrade, you can swap in a new driver without losing confidence in your hybrids, irons, or putter. If you start to feel like it's time for a new set of irons, you can replace your original clubs and still retain the familiarity of others. Over time, these individual upgrades will eventually turn into a full set make-over, and you'll no longer be a beginning golfer, but a regular with a complete set of new clubs that fit your improving skill and experience.
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As a true beginner, the type of ball you use will initially have little, noticeable impact on accuracy and distance. It’s best to start with cheaper, entry-level balls since you’ll be losing a few of them during your rounds. Once you progress, however, you may want to find a specific type of ball to suit your playing style, correct slices/hooks or to compensate for other undesirable swing characteristics.
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Two-layer balls are the best choice for a beginner because they limit the spin, which makes it easier to hit the ball straight on any mishit shot. When the ball isn’t hit squarely on the club face it will either hook or slice, but will do so less if the ball is designed to limit spinning. Two-layer balls typically have a more durable cover than 3-, 4- and 5-layer balls