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Being a beginner at anything is tough—especially the game of golf. This game is a life-long passion for so many people, yet it takes a solid few months or even years to get good enough to really enjoy it.
Here are my best tips for starting.
If you don't want to hear this, you're going to have to find another golf blog, because I'll keep saying it until it is cemented into the back of your brain and you start dreaming about your short game.
What does this consist of? Well, it's pretty simple. Anything less than 100 yards is what I consider the short game. That means putting, chipping, pitching, and even some longer wedge shots.
Not everyone will agree with this categorization, but I can guarantee you that any accomplished golfer will agree that practicing shots less than 100 yards is critical to your success on the golf course. I've never talked to Jason Day or Jordan Spieth personally, but if I asked them whether 100 yards and in is important in golf, I'm 100% positive that the answer would be a resounding YES.
When you can barely get off the tee, can't make a 3-foot putt, and feel intense anxiety every time you have to hit a chip shot off a tight lie, keeping track of your golf statistics does not seem like a good use of your time.
But there are a couple of reasons why I think you should be tracking your statistics anyway. And when I say "statistics", I am talking about fairway percentage, greens in regulation (GIR), putts per round, scrambling percentage, and sand save percentage.
To name a few, tracking stats will help you:
- Know what to practice
- Know that you are actually improving (sometimes it doesn't feel like it even if you are!)
See my post, what statistics you should track for more.
This one might not be obvious if you're just starting, but you'll thank me later. I often see beginners picking up grips like these:
These grips feel awesome when you get them in your hands, but they wear down so quickly that you'll be buying new ones in 6 months (if you play a lot).
A lot of beginners also purchase these grips:
These feel very "tacky" and nice in the golf store, but the second you get some rain or sweat on them, your driver will be flying out of your slick hands into the pond in front of the tee box.
The grips that I recommend as "all weather" grips are any grips that have "cord" in their names. Here are probably the most popular "cord" grips on the market:
There are other choices such as the ZGrip (which I personally use), but I can tell you with the utmost confidence that if you purchase Golf Pride Multicompound golf grips, they will last a long time, play well in rain and sweaty weather, and feel great in your hands. They are expensive, but given they will last at least 5 years, I'd say it's worth the investment.
Don't be that guy who shows up with his driver in the lower portion of his golf bag. It's a rookie mistake.
While it won't drop your strokes, your more experienced playing partners will at least give you kudos for your bag organization.
Hate me for it or not, there is a "pro" way to organize a golf bag, and it looks like this.
Oh, and get rid of your iron headcovers. That is a telltale sign of a beginner.
If you stick around long enough here, you'll hear me say this a hundred times. I say it a lot because it is SOOO important. What you feel during your golf swing is RARELY what is actually happening.
That is why video analysis is so important. I've talked previously on this blog about the correct way to make a swing change and how you should get your swing on video multiple times during your practice session to make sure that your body is actually executing the swing changes that you want. Even when you're not making a swing change, it is a good idea to get your swing on video every couple practice sessions to maintain your golf swing via "maintenance practice".