So you want to start playing golf, and not sure where to start. There are many questions a beginner golfer want to ask. Like “What are the best clubs for a beginner” or “What clubs do I need in my bag”. We’ve put to together frequently asked questions to help you on your way!
Let’s get started….
When choosing your first set of clubs make sure you do plenty of research. There are hundreds of golf clubs available. The average cost of a beginners set would be around $200 to $500.
A good place to start is to look at some of the top brands like Wilson, Callaway, TaylorMade & Ping. They also manufacturer cheaper clubs for the beginner using the same technology as in their professional clubs, just using cheaper materials to reduce cost.
See our reviews of the best golf sets for a beginner >
There a some essentials every beginner golfer should take with them onto the course.
Firstly, a good quality waterproof golf bag with plenty of pockets. An umbrella and waterproof clothing for those rainy days. A small towel to clean your club heads and spare golf balls. A score card, a handful of tees, golf glove, sunglasses and peak cap for those sunny days.
You’re also going to need a bottle of water to keep you hydrated and a few protein bars or bananas to keep up your energy levels.
Only take the clubs you’ll need in your bag, Carrying extra clubs will only weigh you down.
Non essentials but worth considering would be a golf cart. A round of golf can take upwards of 4 hours, and a spare shirt is a good idea if you perspire.
No question, the answer is “YES”. If you’re going to take the sport seriously, having your clubs fitted is going to get you off to the best possible start.
Correctly fitted clubs will help you drive the ball further and straighter. It will help with you find the right grip, and improve your stance.
All professionals will have they’re clubs fitted to get the most out of their game, and it’s no different for the beginner.
Visit the pro shop and talk to the staff there. They will help you find the you the right clubs.
Knowing what the average score for a golf beginner is useful to know. Obviously all courses will play differently, so we can only go on averages. If you’re a complete novice then a score of around 60 would be considered a good score. Between 60 and 70 is still a good score, but it probably means you need a little more practice!
Breaking 60 would be considered a great start, and would be encouraging for the beginner. If you hit 50, then you’re looking good, and you have a good game.
The short answer is YES! golf hybrids are fairly new to the game of golf, they do however benefit the beginner, they can help you hit the ball further down the fairway, and you will have more control over the ball. Of course a good beginner iron is just as useful.
Finding golf lessons near by is quite easy nowadays using google, just search golf lessons near by and your good to go. You can also find the best golf teachers by state here.
Ask family and friends who play the game if they could recommend an instructor. Or just go along to your local club and speak to the golf pro. Check what experience they have and how many years they’ve been teaching. You may be lucky and turn up when they are teaching, and can listen in.
Would you teach yourself to drive, probably not! It’s the same is with golf! You want know the right way to hold a club, the correct stance, or how to swing a club, then it’s best where possible to have at least two or three lessons to get you set up correctly.
Once you have the basics then you can practice by yourself. You can practice at home with a hitting net in the backyard, field, indoors or outdoors. These nets are inexpensive and great for practicing any shot from driving with woods to chip shots with wedges.
Check out golf hitting nets on amazon>
According to National Golf Foundation data, 45% of all golfers average more than 100 strokes per round. With that said, it is believed that a 108 is considered to be a good score for a beginner golfer, which equates to double bogey on each hole of a par 72 course.
The average golf handicap for men and women golfers is around 15. This would mean that this golfer shoots around 90
Golf courses do not require you to have an handicap. The exceptions are mainly championship courses It’s always best to check with the course first.
This all depends on your level and experience. When starting the game of golf there is no need to carry a full set of clubs in your bag.
As a beginner we recommend you start with a 7 & 9 iron, gap wedge, sand wedge and putter. These clubs will get you round your average golf course. You’re not going to hit a low score with this limited range of clubs, but thats not the point, you just need to get some experience.
As you’re game improves you can add more clubs including a driver, woods, and some extra irons. These extra clubs will give you more options for different types of shots.
Golf clubs for beginners guide >
Blade clubs are more difficult to control for a beginner, through the swing and when you make impact. Blade clubs are more for professionals and intermediate golfers. A beginner should start off with cavity backed clubs, these are weighted around the perimeter and offer more control and power.
1. To improve your swing consistency, count to three before your follow through comes to rest, before lifting your head to see where your ball is travelling.
2. To improve you want to hit the ball, choose a target on the course or driving range, and get into your normal stance. Place a golf club touching your toes parallel to your stance. Step away to see if the club is inline with the target.
The putter is the most used in a round of golf. Choosing the right one to add tour your bag will be a case of trialling different ones, and finding the one that feels right for you.
Nowadays putters come in all different styles, with standard (Blade) or larger (Mallet) heads. For a beginner a mallet head is a much better choice. The larger head helps balance the club more, and gives you more control.
Check out this highly rated beginner putter on amazon>
Irons are the most versatile clubs in your bag. They’re going to help you get out of some difficult situations, and also help you reach the putting green.
Choosing the right irons for a beginner is going to be a case of trial and error. You’ll need to find some that you’re comfortable with. You could choose a branded set of the same irons, or a mixture of clubs that individually are the best fit.
My advice when you start would be to choose a set of clubs that are the same brand, as you become a better player, you may find that you want a different 7 iron for example.
Check out this highly rated set of irons on amazon>
The best driver is for many golfers the one that gives them the longest distance. For a beginner you need to find a club that you find comfortable to swing, and that you can find consistency with.
Distance is not the most important factor when you’re a beginner, you need to hit the ball straight too, and it can be more difficult with drivers that for more advanced golfer.
Check out this highly rated beginner driver on amazon>
The average time a round of golf takes is dependant on the number of players, the length of the course, and how busy the course is on a particular day.
For a group of 4 players, it would take around 4 hours to complete a game. If the course is busy 5 hours to complete a game is more likely. A single player would expect to complete a game in around 2 1/2 hours.
Other factors to consider:
Skill level If you or your group have low handicaps, you should be able to complete a game in less time, by taking less shots and moving at a quicker pace.
Golf course difficulty If the golf course is fairly flat with less hazards, wide fairways and easy to play out of rough, this will help reduce the length of your game.
Speed of play: you or members of your group will play and different speeds, some take forever to take their shot, while others can walk up to their ball and take their shot quickly.
Shorter games: There is no requirement for anyone to play the full 18 holes on a golf course. You could lessen the time out on the course by playing just 9 holes. some of the newer courses now have 3 loops of 6 holes allowing the golfer to play just 6 holes.
If 4- 5 hours is longer than you would wish to play, try playing in the quieter times, with less players out on the course. This could be in the early evening or quieter weekdays. Most courses will offer reduced green fees if you decide to play only 9 holes.
Green fees as they are known, are what golf clubs charge to play 18 holes.
In 2019 the average cost of to play 18 holes on a public golf course at the weekend was $36, including a cart. Private courses open to the public cost was on average $40 for a round at the weekend.
At the higher end, for $495 you could play at California’s Pebble Beach Golf Links, home of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and numerous major championships.
At the lower end, you can find courses where you can pay $10-15 per round. Although they tend to be in less attractive urban areas.
Most beginners will play at their local club, and won’t experience other types of golf clubs. As they get more experienced and improve their game, they will want to try and play other courses.
Links courses are built on natural sandy coastlines. The design of the courses are dictated by the landscape. The fairways are wide without trees, and they also lack water hazards. The bunkers are fairly wide and deep.
Considered by most golfers to be the most difficult courses to play, due to the unpredictable weather conditions coming in from the sea, and the undulating ground. the conditions on these courses can change minute to minute. Links courses are mainly found in Scotland regarded as the home golf.
Parkland courses on the other hand, are inland, and play very differently. They’re far greener with more water and hazards. The Augusta National where The Masters is played is a parkland course. These courses are man made and manicured, and a heavily constructed by an architect, and can be designed by famous golfers.
The courses tend to be flatter than links courses, with wide and narrow fairways, and trees. They are considered easier to play, and are ideal for the beginner.
Desert courses as the name suggests are built in the desert with little vegetation. The only grass to be found is on the tee, putting green and fairways. Built on the sand and surrounded by rock, these courses are very sparse, and are more likely to be found the the American Southwest and the Middle East.
Typically most golf courses will have three sets of tees from which you take your first shot. Each tee has a different yardage, and for a beginner you would normally start on the forward tee.
1. Back Tees – also known as championship tees are for low-handicap men.
2. Middle Tees – middle and high handicap men, low handicap, long-hitting women, low-handicap or longer hitting senior men will use the middle tee.
3. Forward Tees – are setup for high and middle handicap woman or seniors, and beginners.
Golf probably has more rules than any other sport. However, don’t expect to know every rule as a beginner. Below we’ve listed some of the most important rules of etiquette in golf..
Always play safe and be aware of those around you. When swinging your club always be sure to keep a safe distance between other players, and keep your distance when others are playing their shot.
> Be patient and wait till the group in front are out of range before hitting the ball.
> If you hit the ball into a danger area where other golfers or spectators are standing, always shout out “Fore!” this is the widely recognised signal that a ball is heading in their direction.
> Also be polite when playing a round. Rudeness and foul language is not acceptable, and never throw a club in anger.
Always be still and quiet during another player’s swing.
Don’t shout out after your’s or another players shot. It may not bother your playing partners, but there are other player’s on the course who could be in earshot.
Keep a good pace when walking the course. Standing around chatting is going to annoy the groups behind you, and will cause delay’s to other groups tee times.
While waiting for your partner to take their next shot. Be ready to take your shot as soon as it’s your turn.
Always walk to your own ball, and don’t follow each other, this will slow down play.
If you are slower than the group behind or you are held up looking for a lost ball, always let the group behind you play through. You’re allotted 5 minutes to look for a lost ball.
Keep the green clear once you’ve finished the hole, this helps speed up play for those coming down the fairway.
In casual play, if agreed beforehand you can “play ready.” Which means you can hit the ball when the player is ready, rather than in tournament play where you have to wait your turn.
Most beginners will choose the cheapest balls available, or a handful of used balls. This is a mistake! you should choose a ball your happy with and stick with that one during practice and in games.
The reason is that not all golf balls are alike and you will not get a feel for how different golf balls react during play, if you use different balls. 11 Best Beginner Golf Balls Reviewed (2021)