Perhaps you aren’t sure where to start, or the idea of going straight onto the course seems a little daunting. Golf has a multitude of terms, rules and shots to learn, not to mention there is literally a bag full of different clubs to figure out. Hopefully with the information here, you’ll be one step closer to owning your own set of clubs, fully covered with a golf insurance policy from Insurancefair, and thrashing your friends on the course!
Golf is a fantastic sport to play ; it is sociable, can be accessed by all ages and a variety of fitness levels and regularly provides you with a fantastic view. There is a catch however, golf is a notoriously difficult sport to play. Fortunately, this seems to be a universal feature that everyone experiences, even the pros!
Golf can be a tough nut to crack and it isn’t for everyone. We would strongly advise against getting ahead of yourself and buying a set of clubs straight away. You certainly won’t need a whole set just yet, so why not go along with a friend that plays and borrow some of their clubs. Some driving ranges also have a supply of free to use or rent clubs that you can use on the range. This is far more cost-effective way to introduce yourself to the sport if you did decide it not your cup of ‘tee.’
You can find out some further details and links about the basic club types and swings to practice. If you go to the driving range a few times and think this might be the sport for you, it’s time to think about a set of clubs all your own.
Buying your first clubs
You can find numerous ads on Facebook, eBay and others for second hand sets of golf clubs . In our experience, it’s better to get a second-hand set of higher-quality clubs than to buy a cheaper set brand new. We’d even recommend steering clear of new expensive sets from the off, as the clubs you learn with see a lot more wear and tear while you’re still deciding whether the sport is worth your time and money! Plus, you can often find a decent second-hand set for the price you’d otherwise pay for new budget clubs. You are also best avoiding ‘beginner’s clubs’ because as you start to improve these will no longer be necessary and you will be back in the market for a new set again.
You can buy different clubs piecemeal, an iron here, then maybe a putter, driver and some additional irons or for a reasonable price you can buy a set of irons. The majority of your game will be played with irons as only longer holes require drivers and you may prefer the newer hybrid in this instance (more on that later). It is also worth purchasing a putter early on so you can practice your short game.
The swing basics
There are several great online resources to give you reasonable grounding on your swing. Whether you need advice on your grip, setup, swing or putting. Youtube can be a valuable resource as you can see how everything comes together in one fluid motion. There are also many golf sites that have their own advice including tips and tricks.
To make things simple here is a quick summary of some of the types of swing you will need to practice.
Swing – Used for most of your longer shots, including drivers, hybrids and your irons from 1 to 6.
Putt – Likely to see the most use ; you use the putter to negotiate the ball around the green toward the hole.
Chip – a pitching wedge helps to get you out of long grass and can assist with getting a reasonable distance on the ball that stops quicker once it has landed.
Playing out of a bunk – here you will be using a sand wedge to get a lot of air on the ball and remove yourself from the hazard.
Kit (for the Course)
Clubs – Woods (Drivers), Irons (1-9, the number refers to the angle of the club), Wedges, Putters.
Golf balls – To begin with use whatever is cheapest, you are likely to lose a lot of balls.
Tees – Cheap as chips buy a big bag and it will last you forever.
Divot Tool – Every once in a while, you will need to repair greens where your ball lands, if you’re going with a friend they are likely to have one but as you go more regularly it’s a worthwhile investment.
Ball marker – It just need to be small and flat, nothing fancy.
Golf Shoes – May be necessary on the course, certainly no shoes with metal spikes.
Other optional pieces include towels (one for you and one for your clubs), a golf glove if you prefer to use one. Your local club may have additional requirements on attire and the leniency here varies so it is always better to check ahead of time.
Getting Better / Golf Lessons
Now this is one you can choose to do at any point. Many golfers who have been playing for years can take their game to the next level after a few lessons. There are always ways to improve with golf and some time with a PGA professional can have a dramatic effect on your game at any stage.
Golf lessons can be expensive, usually costing £30+ for anything from upward of 30 minutes. However, if you followed our advice and bought some cheaper second-hand clubs you can put the money that you saved into time at the driving range and a lesson or two. The benefit to having a lesson before going out on the course and investing too much time learning the sport is that you won’t have formed too many bad habits that need to be broken. Many clubs offer one or two lessons and then a reduced price when purchasing several. Our advice? Have a couple of lessons to see if you get along with the instructor and their advice and then invest in a package deal of 5 or 6.
Rules and Terminology
The R&A website has an in-depth database of golf rules and they also have an app available so you can have it with you on the course. No one expects you to understand everything to begin with but it’s good to have foundation of knowledge when on the course.
Many website, golfonline.co.uk, golftoday.co.uk, and PGA to name but a few have A-Z listings of all the jargon and phrases that you will hear thrown around the course and its worth reading up on these if you plan on going out.
A round of golf can be expensive although some clubs offer special group deals often with a meal or other extra. As you begin to take things more seriously, it may become more cost effective to have a membership with your local club. We would certainly advise a couple of lessons before paying for a round, else you may be disheartened if your play isn’t as strong as others. What is most important is to relax and enjoy the challenge that golf offers.
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