Mark Twain once described Golf as ‘a good walk spoiled’, however we believe that golf is a great way to get outdoors and stay active. There is the cliché that at a certain age, men suddenly get into golf, but really it is a fun game for anyone, regardless of gender or age. Golf can also be a good way to socialise, you can play a game with friends, have some light exercise and then there’s usually a pub at the clubhouse for when you’re done. If you want to get into golf, we have 10 handy tips for you – 5 things you can do when you’re starting out and 5 essentials that every new golfer should get their hands on.
Things you should do
1. Find your local golf course
There are thousands of golf courses in the UK, so regardless of where you live you will probably be within driving distance of at least one. If you need help finding your nearest golf course the AA has a very good golf course finder which will show you your nearest courses based on your Postcode. Many will offer discounted rates and membership for people new to the course or the sport.
2. Look into lessons
Many people underestimate just how hard golf is and how likely it is that, by not using the right technique, you can hurt yourself. Many golf courses will offer beginners lessons, either individually, or as part of a group. Joining a group can be a great way to socialise and make sure you have someone to play with once you have learnt how to.
3. Get to a driving range
It is important that you keep practicing once you’ve mastered the basic technique so going to a driving range is often encouraged for beginners as opposed to playing a full round of golf. This can give you lots of time to practice your swing and regular visits will give you results you can really see. Often these ranges have a very friendly atmosphere and it would not be unusual to have someone coming over and giving you advice if they see you are a beginner and think you could use a few pointers.
4. Practice your grip
Getting the correct grip on your club is one of the essential lessons a new golfer must learn. In order to train your hands to the gesture, practice at home and at the driving range, the more you do it the more familiar it will feel and this will be of great help to your progress. Use this handy diagram to help you know where to place your hands:
Despite common perceptions, golf is a lot easier if you are relatively fit. If you are relatively active and healthy then golfers digest has a simple circuit which can help target key areas you will need when playing golf. If big exercises are too much then you should definitely take the time to ensure your back is flexible by doing some stretches. These can both help you play and also greatly reduce the chance of injuring yourself.
Things to buy
1. Beginners set of Clubs
These are generally from £150+ so you probably want to be sure you are committed to playing golf before buying a set. A bag, covers, a driver, putter, a wood and a selection of irons should be included. These are designed to provide enough equipment for the beginner golfer and often work out as being pretty good value for money.
2. A Glove
While not essential, these are highly recommended when playing the sport. Worn on the hand you position at the top of the club, which gives most of the power and is gripped hardest by golfers, a glove will ensure you don’t lose grip from sweaty palms and can also be good for preventing blisters.
3. Golf Shoes
Another useful item, a beginner’s pair of these will start at around £40, for the best deals, wait until end of season discounts to get yourself a decent pair at a lower cost. Spiked shoes will ensure perfect traction and hold you firmly while you take your swing regardless of the weather. Avoid any with metal spikes however as, due to the damage they do to the course, most golf clubs will not allow them.
4. Golf Balls
Essential for all golfers, they are particularly necessary for beginners. Buy more than you expect yourself to need as you are guaranteed to lose plenty!
5. Warm Clothing
When you play a round of golf you will be outdoors for a number of hours at a time. While this is a good way to get fresh air, unfortunately living in Britain means you have to bear the weather in mind. In order to stay warm and dry a good set of outdoor clothing is very important. Check out our golf clothing range for a range of waterproof and warm layers. It’s also important to bear in mind that most golf clubs have a dress code, so look on the club’s website to make sure your clothing is suitable.
Golf can be a lot of fun and hopefully this guide will give you some information on what is required to get into the sport!