Golf Etiquette Tips

Golf Etiquette Tips

There are plenty of rules in golf that players have to heed. Whether they are written rules set forth by the PGA (Professional Golf Association) or the golf course, or rules that are considered golf etiquette, golf rules are set in place to be followed for the safety and enjoyment of all the golfers on the course. Beginning golfers will quickly learn the need for these rules by the situations that arise during play. Golf etiquette answers questions like who hits first, what to do if you can’t find your ball and how to handle faster golfers behind you.

Play Ready Golf

It should take around four hours to finish a round of golf on an 18-hole course. That means that you have between 10 to 15 minutes to play each hole. Remember, if you waste five minutes on every hole, you are adding an hour and a half to your round. To speed up the pace of play, players are advised to play “ready golf.”  You can do this by focusing on your next shot immediately after hitting. Take a good look at where your ball landed and determine where you would like it to go on the next shot. Then pick out the right club before you reach the ball. You can also speed play by parking the golf cart in between both players’ balls, so both players in the cart can walk to their ball simultaneously.

Tee Box Etiquette

Many players begin the shot before they address the ball, as well they should. This is called the “preshot routine,” when a player assesses the shot, determines a target line, checks the grip and otherwise gets mentally prepared to hit the ball. The other players should watch and follow the ball so the person teeing off does not have to lift out of the shot to see where the ball lands. However, the others in the foursome must not be in the hitter’s line of vision, not even in his peripheral vision. They can position themselves 10-15 feet to the left and slightly behind the person teeing off, for a right handed hitter. There should be no chit chat or distractions when someone is hitting. And of course, no cell phones.

Golf Cart Etiquette

When driving a golf cart, safety is of primary concern. Many golf carts have rules posted at the front of the cart such as keeping arms and legs in the cart, waiting until all passengers are seated before moving and limiting the cart use to two passengers. Carts should be kept away from the tee box and about 30 feet away from greens. Look out for signs that say “No carts beyond this point” or arrows pointing in the direction of the cart path. Golf carts should not be driven close to grassy mounds, bunkers or water hazards. Most golf courses do not allow carts on the fairway of a par 3 hole. Just like driving a car, there is no drinking and driving of a golf cart.

Caring for the Golf Course

Sometimes after a heavy rain you will arrive at the golf course for your tee time and see a sign noting “cart path only.” That means that the course is so wet that golf carts may leave an indentation in the fairway, so until the course dries out players are asked to stick to the path and walk to the ball. Often there will be a 90 degree rule. In this case, players are asked to keep to a 90 degree angle when on the course. In other words, after players tee off, they use the cart path to arrive at the ball, and then drive at a right angle to the ball, straight across. They can then drive straight from the ball to the next shot. All turns are at 90 degrees. Players must also keep the cart away from environmentally sensitive areas on the course, repair divots and ball marks on the green, and rake bunkers.

Golf Etiquette around the Green

When you get to the green, you may have one or two clubs with you such as your pitching wedge and sand wedge in addition to your putter. To save time, it is not necessary to return the clubs to the cart at this point. Simply place the clubs at the fringe of the putting green between the hole and the golf cart, away from the high grass of the rough. If you are furthest from the hole, it is your turn to hit. Make sure you do not walk into your golf partner’s line, the imaginary line between the hole and his or her ball. Simply walk around it, and hit. After you putt, check to see if your shadow is across your golf partner’s ball or line, and if it is, move. As with any golf shot, there should be no distractions like talking, moving or making noise while someone is hitting.

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Common Rules You Should Know

Common Rules You Should KnowGolf has a long and venerable history, and a great body of rules has grown up around the game. As a golfer, you can understand why. What do you do when your ball goes in the water, when you hit out of bounds or when you play another player’s ball by mistake? Today there are scores of rules, a set of etiquette regulations and a lengthy discussion of decisions that have been made through the years. Also, each course can set its own rules about such things as the dress code. The United States Golf Association, the USGA, publishes revisions to the official rules of golf regularly. Fortunately, as an amateur player you do not have to memorize these rules. But you do need to be aware of the most common situations, especially if you are playing in a tournament or competing for money.

Take the Right Equipment

A hard and fast rule of golf is the 14 club rule. Players with more than 14 clubs in their bag incur a penalty of 2 strokes for each hole up to 4 strokes. For most golfers, this translates into a driver, a couple of woods, 2 or 3 hybrids, irons and wedges, and a putter. Of course, you need tees, enough balls to last through the round, ball markers and equipment for the weather like an umbrella.

Adhere to the Order of Play

The winner of the previous hole tees off first on the next hole. Tee off in the area within 2 club lengths of the tee markers. As play progresses, the ball farthest from the hole is hit first. Be aware of the position of every ball in your foursome so you do not inadvertently walk or drive in front of a player. Keep up the pace of play. A hole should be played in approximately 12 minutes.

Play It As It Lies

This is a very basic rule of golf. Do not touch the ball unless you are permitted to do so by the rules, and play the course as you find it. That means that you cannot improve your lie by moving the ball or tamping down the ground where you will be hitting. However, you may move a loose impediment like a stone or a leaf that is not fixed or growing. Make sure to hit your ball and not someone else’s, or you will incur a 2 stroke penalty and then you will play the correct ball. Many players put an identifying mark on their balls before play to differentiate them from other balls in the foursome.

Grounding the Ball

If your ball lands in a bunker, or sand trap, do not allow the club to touch the sand before swinging the club. You may use your feet to assess the depth and softness of the sand. The same is true of a water hazard. If you choose to hit out of the water, do not ground your club by touching the water before the downswing.

Hitting Out of Bounds

If your ball goes out of bounds, the area on the perimeter of the course marked by a white line or stake, you take a stroke and distance penalty. That is, for a tee shot, you count the tee shot, add a stroke, and tee off again as your third stroke. If you are not sure if the ball went out of bounds, hit a provisional ball from the tee. However, the entire ball must be beyond the marker for the ball to be considered out of bounds. Balls half in and half out are considered in bounds.

The Unplayable Lie

Sometimes you have the option of moving the ball out of a situation and dropping it elsewhere. If your ball lands in an unplayable lie, where it is impossible to swing the club, you may drop the ball within 2 club lengths of the unplayable lie, no closer to the hole. Or, you can drop the ball as far back from the lie as you wish, as long as the original lie is between you and the hole.

Landing in a Water Hazard

Many holes have a drop area around a water hazard. If not, drop the ball as far back from the water as you wish, keeping the point where the ball entered the water between you and the hole. You incur a 1 stroke penalty. For a lateral water hazard marked by a red stake, drop the ball on the side of the water no closer to the hole, and take a 1 stroke penalty. To drop a ball, mark the spot where it landed, stand up straight, hold the ball at shoulder height and at arm’s length, and drop it straight down.




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Clubs for Beginning Women Golfers

Clubs for Beginning Women GolfersLearning to play golf can be intimidating for anyone, and for women it can be particularly difficult to get up the nerve on that first tee and hit the ball. The best thing to do for women learning the game is to take lessons to learn the basics, practice to instill muscle memory and then get out on the course and play. The time invested in learning the correct swing and practicing can result in years of enjoyment on the golf course. Using the right golf clubs can help the beginning woman golfer achieve accuracy and distance.
Choosing the Right Equipment
Technological advances in women’s golf clubs make the game more fun for women, especially if they are beginners. Women typically are shorter in stature than men, have less upper body strength and have a slower swing speed than men. These factors can affect accuracy and distance. Fortunately, playing with the right clubs for your game can go a long way in accommodating women. To buy the correct clubs for your swing, ask for advice from your teaching pro and get fitted at a good golf store that has experienced, helpful staff members.
The Golf Club Shaft
Women need advice about which golf club shaft and club head suits their swing. A shaft is composed of either graphite or steel, and there are five grades of stiffness. The more flexible the shaft, the easier the club is to hit. Graphite shafts are generally more flexible than steel shafts and are often recommended for women golfers. A flexible shaft is appropriate for a female golfer with a slower swing speed. While most women take the standard club length, very tall or very short golfers may need a longer or shorter club.
The Driver Clubhead
Clubhead size has increased over the years. For beginning women golfers, a larger club head is appropriate. A large clubhead will provide a larger sweet spot which is more forgiving of miss hits typical of a beginner. For beginners who have a problem launching the ball into the air, a driver with a loft of at least 9.5 degrees can remedy this problem. If, after trying out a driver with a 9.5 degree loft you are still having trouble, try going to a higher loft of up to 15 degrees. The driver can be considered a 1-wood, although it is not generally used on the fairway.
Fairway Woods
Fairway woods have deep clubheads made of titanium or steel. They are referred to as woods because years ago clubheads were made of wood. Beginning golfers usually find the driver and the fairway woods the most difficult clubs in the bag to handle because of their long length. Many golfers carry a 3-wood and a 5-wood to use on the fairway. The lower the number, the further the distance you will get using the club. Some beginners find that they hit a better shot off the tee with a 3-wood than a driver. In the fairway, women may find it easier to hit a 7-wood or a 9-wood than a long iron, although hybrids are generally used for that purpose.
The Hybrid
Hybrids, sometimes called utility clubs, have become popular clubs in the golf bag. Women generally find them easier to hit than the long irons they replace, like the 3, 4 and 5-iron. Women golfers with a slower swing speed appreciate hybrid clubs because the placement of the center of gravity allows for greater impact when the ball is hit along with a higher trajectory. The shorter club length enables more control and greater accuracy. Women’s hybrids have higher lofts, lighter and more flexible shafts, larger heads, shorter lengths and thinner grips than men’s hybrids.
Irons and Wedges
In previous years, many golfers carried a set of irons from the long 3-iron to the short 9-iron, along with some wedges. Today, hybrids have replaced the longer irons which are difficult to hit, especially for women beginning golfers. Many women no longer carry the 3, 4, 5 or even 6-iron. So which irons should you carry? Keep in mind that you according to official Professional Golf Association (PGA) rules, you are allowed 14 clubs in your golf bag. If you have a driver, two fairway woods like a 3-wood and a 5-wood, the 4, 5 and 6-hybrid, a pitching wedge, a sand wedge and a putter, you are left with a choice of five additional irons. You may opt to carry the 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9-iron, or, like some players, stick with the 7, 8 and 9-iron which are easier clubs to hit.


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Five Tips to Lower Your Golf Score

Five Tips to Lower Your Golf Score

Golf can be a complicated game, but the good news is that sometimes a small change can make a big difference. Developing a preshot routine before you address the ball can help your consistency, and getting rid of those long irons in favor of a hybrid can increase your distance and accuracy. Practicing with a short iron can help with the tempo and rhythm of your swing. Another easy tip to lower your score is to remember to open up the face of the sand wedge out of a greenside bunker. As you get comfortable with your swing, remember to think a shot ahead and place the ball so you have a clear next shot.

Use a Preshot Routine

Your golf swing begins before you even address the ball. A preshot routine can help you focus on the golf shot and remind you of key elements for a consistent swing. While a preshot routine is very personal and varies from golfer to golfer, there are some essentials that many players find useful. Begin by lining up your shot and establishing a target line. Develop a habit of finding an intermediary target like a leaf or a twig between the ball and the target. Check your grip to make sure the club is lying across your fingers, and not in the palm of your hand. Be sure to use medium pressure. Square the clubface and align your body to the target. Then take your practice swing and hit the ball.

Try a Hybrid

Another way to lower your score is to get rid of that long 3- and 4-iron and put some hybrid clubs in your bag. Hybrids or utility clubs can help you launch the ball into the air and give you more distance and accuracy. Hybrids combine the best features of irons and woods, making them easy to use. The shorter shaft gives you more control, and the lower center of gravity and evenly distributed weight allows you to launch the ball with ease. Hybrids can be used off the tee for a short hole, in the fairway, out of the rough and even out of a sand trap. Some golfers use hybrids for chip shots around the green. When you hit a hybrid, place the ball just left of center and use a wider stance and a sweeping motion as you would for a long iron.

Develop Rhythm and Tempo

Using a sooth rhythm and tempo can help you develop the consistent swing you need to lower your golf score. Tempo is the pace and rhythm involves the flow of the swing as the club and your body work together in a smooth, fluid motion. While a golf professional can hit the ball up to 150 miles per hour, the average golfer will hit the ball 100 miles per hour or less. Golfers with slower swing speeds can purchase clubs designed to provide more distance to accommodate their swing speed. Hitting harder is not the answer to getting more distance, since that can throw off your rhythm and result in throwing your clubhead off at the top of your swing. The key is to maintain control throughout for a smooth takeaway, downswing and follow-through.

Open the Face in a Greenside Bunker

To hit out of a sand trap, use your feet to assess the consistency and depth of the sand. Do not allow your club to touch the sand, unless you do not mind a two stroke penalty. For a greenside bunker with plenty of soft sand, use a sand wedge or a lob wedge and turn the club to the right to open up the face of the club. Dig your feet into the sand, and hit the sand before hitting the ball. For a short shot, hit 3 or 4 inches behind the ball. For a longer shot, hit 1 or 2 inches behind the ball. Keep your knees bent throughout the swing, accelerate through impact and finish the shot. Make sure the face of the club stays open, and splash some sand onto the green.

Think a Shot Ahead

Imagine that you land in the deep rough on the side of the fairway, and notice that a straight shot out will place your ball behind a tree. By thinking a shot ahead, you realize this predicament and solve the problem by hitting onto an area of the fairway that will give you a better lie. Even if you sacrifice some distance, getting into the habit of thinking a shot ahead will shave points off your score in the long run by keeping you out of trouble.

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Golf Articles – The All-Important Takeaway

Golf Articles - The All-Important TakeawayThe takeaway is the first part of the backswing in golf. A good takeaway and backswing will allow you to coil your body so that you can unleash the power you need to achieve the distance you want in your golf shots. The key is to aim for consistency by practicing the backswing sequence and creating muscle memory so that the takeaway becomes second nature. Before you hit the ball, check your grip and verify that you have assumed the correct stance. Confirm that your foot placement and ball position are appropriate for the length of the club, and then go through your preshot routine and practice swing. Then you will be ready to begin your golf swing with a proper takeaway.

Checking your Grip and Stance

For a proper takeaway, make sure your grip, stance, foot placement and ball position are correct. Check your grip and make certain that you have a strong connection with the club, whether you use an overlapping, interlocking or 10-finger grip. Assume a balanced stance by bending slightly at the hips with your arms hanging down in a relaxed position. Your knees will be slightly bent and your butt will poke out a bit. Make sure your body is balanced over the balls of your feet.

Foot Placement and Ball Position

For longer clubs like the driver your feet will be shoulder distance apart, and for shorter clubs they will be a little closer. Position the ball in the middle of your golf stance for short irons like the 9-iron, and line the ball up with the heel of your front foot – that is, the left foot for right-handed players – for the driver. The rule of thumb is that the longer the club, the closer you line up the ball toward the heel of your front foot.

The Preshot Routine

Go through your preshot routine by focusing on the golf shot and mentally ticking off key points, which can include double checking the grip, stance, foot placement and ball position. Line up your shot by standing a few feet behind the ball and look at the target to establish a target line. Make sure your clubface is square to the target and that your body is in alignment with your feet, thighs, hips and shoulders parallel to the target line when you address the ball. Many players will then take a practice swing to loosen up.

Starting the Takeaway

Keep in mind that the takeaway is a sideways move. You will be using a sweeping motion to move the club to the side. The hands remain passive during the takeaway, but although there is no hand action, the hands are “alive” and feel the weight of the clubhead. Try to eliminate all tension in your body and let your arms hang down from your shoulders in a relaxed position. Tensing up can prevent you from taking a full, smooth swing and rob you of distance in your golf shot.

Stay in Synch with the Club

When you begin the takeaway, the club and your body move as one. The object is to groove the proper weight transfer and keep the club on the proper plane. The golf club will stay in synch with your body if you make sure that it stays in line with your sternum as you take the club away. Sometimes this is called keeping the club in front of you. Your arms, hands and the club will move together for a smooth takeaway. Use your upper body to take the club back by completing a shoulder turn with your front shoulder moving under your chin.

Steps for the Takeaway

Sweep the club back by keeping the clubhead low to the ground as if it were a putter. Your weight will shift slowly to the heel of the back foot, and your back leg will remain anchored. Rotate your front shoulder around your spine in order to build up a coil situation and add power to your swing. To achieve a long golf shot, turn your hips only as much as you need to in order to achieve a full shoulder turn. The more you maintain a difference between the shoulder turn and your hip turn, the further your ball will go.

Takeaway Swing Thoughts

When you begin your takeaway, keep some swing thoughts in mind to execute a consistent and powerful swing. Whether you use an early, late or gradual wrist hinge at the top of your backswing, be consistent to insure a proper swing tempo. Your hips will turn as your shoulders turn, but they must not sway during the backswing. Keeping your weight inside the back leg and anchoring the leg will help you maintain your correct posture and body position.

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Perfecting Your Preshot Routine

Golf Articles - Perfecting Your Preshot Routine

Did you know that for many golfers the golf shot begins before they even address the ball? Golfers tackle the mental aspect of the game by using a “preshot routine” for focus, confidence and consistency. Golf professionals often recommend a preshot routine to reduce the effect of distractions on the golf course. While a preshot routine can vary from player to player, once you develop a routine that works for you, stick with it. Get into the habit of using a preshot routine for every shot, from the tee shot to the putt, and you will be well on your way toward developing the consistency and accuracy you need to improve your golf game.

Getting into the “Golf Zone”

When you watch professional golfers, you may notice that when it is their turn to hit the ball they stop their conversation and focus on executing the shot. They may walk around the ball, gaze at the target a number of times, take a practice swing and waggle the club once or twice. Chances are they will repeat this preshot routine motion for motion for the same type of golf shot. Even if you are not a low handicap golfer like the pros, you can use some of their techniques to create a preshot routine of your own and enter the “golf zone” before hitting the ball. Work on developing an effective, systematic sequence of thoughts and movements before hitting the ball, and practice the routine on the driving range and on the putting green.

Developing a Preshot Routine

Some golfers begin their preshot routine the moment they select a club from their bag. For detailed and methodical golfers, the routine may include many elements including a practice swing.  Some golfers prefer to go through fewer checkpoints, or go through several key points very quickly. In both cases, the preshot routine will serve to focus the golfer on the task at hand and prepare him or her for a consistent and targeted golf shot. The point is to feel comfortable with the rhythm of the routine and include details that are important to you. Use the familiar motions and thoughts of the preshot routine to gain control over the shot. As you free yourself from extraneous thoughts and worries, you will improve your focus and confidence and hopefully lower your golf scores.

Line Up the Shot

Begin the preshot routine by standing a few feet behind the ball in order to establish a target line. Look at the target, which may be the flag or some other point on the fairway or green, and then find an intermediate target on the ground. A twig, leaf or discolored blade of grass situated a foot or two between the ball and the actual target can serve as an intermediate target. This intermediary will help you to establish a visual target line between the ball and the target and indicate the intended path your ball will travel.

Check your Grip

You may want to establish your grip on the club while you are still standing a few feet behind the ball. That way, you will not risk losing focus when you are about to take the shot. Make sure you feel comfortable with your club selection, and then use the recommended grip on the club. For the popular Vardon overlap grip, the little finger on the right hand (for right-handed golfers) is placed between the index and middle finger of the left or lead hand. Make sure you are not gripping the club too tightly.

Squaring the Clubface and Aligning your Body

Once you have selected the appropriate club, lined up your shot and checked your grip, walk up to the ball. Check your aim and alignment by making sure the clubface is square to the target on the target line. Your body should be aligned with your feet, thighs, hips and shoulders parallel to the target line as you address the ball. Remember that tension in your body is counterproductive in hitting a long, straight golf shot, so loosen up before you take your practice swing.

Take a Practice Swing

Now that you have developed a feeling for the shot, take a practice swing. To make the practice swing effective, swing as hard on the practice swing as you will on the actual swing. Some beginning golfers hit a decent practice swing and then hit the real shot with a swing that is substantially different from the practice swing. You can solve this problem by making your preshot routine so habitual that you will develop the confidence and focus you need when hitting the ball. When you use a preshot routine, you will be rewarded with consistent golf shots that produce the distance and accuracy you are seeking.

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What’s in the Golf Bag?

What’s in the Golf Bag?

When you go shopping for a golf bag, you will notice that there are many compartments, pockets and add-on opportunities for all kinds of golf paraphernalia. Just look around any golf store and you will get an idea of all the items golfers bring with them out on the course. Some items, like clubs, balls and tees, are necessities, and some items are definitely optional.

Deciding what to bring is an individual decision, but after playing for a while you may decide to place some additional items in your bag to make playing convenient and fun. What you should not bring is an iPod or a cell phone, unless the ringer is turned off and you do not make or accept calls. These types of items are prohibited on many golf courses.

The Bare Necessities

Even If you decide to travel light, you will still need to decide on which clubs to bring. The United States Golf Association or USGA rules that a golfer is allowed 14 golf clubs in his or her bag. For most, that means a driver, a couple of fairway woods like a 3-wood and a 5-wood, some irons, a pitching wedge and a putter. Hybrids have replaced the 3, 4, 5 and 6-iron for many golfers, so you may use a 3 or 4-hybrid, a 5-hybrid and a 6-hybrid in addition to irons like the 7, 8 and 9.

You will also have a pitching wedge and a sand wedge, and of course, a putter. Some players like to carry a specialty club like a lob wedge. Once you decide which clubs to carry, it makes sense to arrange them in a particular order that will make it easy for you to put your hands on the club you need. In addition to golf clubs, you will need golf tees, ball markers and a divot tool to repair marks on the green. Always take along some extra balls, in case you lose them in high grass, water or other hazards.

Preparing for the Weather

A brimmed hat to protect your face from the sun is important when you are playing golf. Remember, a regulation game of golf is played in approximately four hours, and that is a long time to be out in the hot sun. Sunscreen with an appropriate SPF for exposed skin on your face, arms and legs is also necessary. Some golfers find that suntan lotion that is sprayed is best, because lotion tends to make your hands slippery and that makes it harder to grasp the golf club properly. Sunglasses are also a necessity on a sunny day.

It is no fun to be caught out on the course without the proper clothing or equipment if the weather takes a turn for the worse. Areas like Florida can be a paradise for golfers, but rain clouds may roll in at a moment’s notice. Savvy golfers carry a large golf umbrella and raingear like a jacket or a poncho.

Water and Emergency Items

Before you tee off, be sure to take some regular or vitamin water along with you. Some courses offer ice and water at the first tee and around the course, but others expect you to come prepared. In warm weather, a large, insulated cup filled with ice water can make your golfing experience a lot more pleasant. You may also want to throw in an energy bar or two.

Since you will be out on the links for several hours and you may not be close to the pro shop most of the time, you may want to take along some emergency items to cover unforeseen situations. Antihistamine cream and pills can help for the unexpected bug bite, and adhesive bandages or tape can go a long way in preventing a small blister from ruining your game. Injured and older players know that carrying pain medication is also a good idea.


These days, there are scores of items to make your time on the golf course easier. GPS systems, sometimes rented along with a golf cart, tell you the distance to the flag as well as to and over hazards like water and fairway bunkers. A golf ball retriever is good to have if you play in an area with a lot of water, and most players take along a golf towel or two to clean their clubs between shots. Head covers protect expensive golf clubs both on and off the course, and most golf bags come with a zippered covering for all the clubs in the bag. If you are trying to improve your game, you can purchase a video camera that fits on the cart and films your shots for analysis later on when you get home.


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Tips for Getting Started in Golf

Tips for Getting Started in Golf

Learning to play golf can be quite intimidating, but the good news is that with a little time, effort and the proper instruction, you can learn the skills you need that will benefit you now and for years to come. It is a good idea to take lessons right from the start. In many cases, you can just sign up and go. You may not even have to have a set of golf clubs, since many golf instructors supply them for beginners. The important thing is to dress appropriately, learn the basics and then get out on the driving range and practice.

Signing Up for Lessons

A good way to begin golfing is to take a series of group lessons. There are several advantages to taking group lessons rather than private lessons as a beginner. First of all, group lessons are generally less expensive than individual lessons. The key is to find a Professional Golf Association (PGA) teaching pro to instruct you. Once you find the right teacher, you may find it more comfortable and motivating to learn with several others who are on your level. As an added bonus, your fellow students may become your golfing buddies when you are ready to go out on the links. After you learn the basics, individual one-on-one lessons can help you improve your accuracy and distance.

Dressing Appropriately

Be prepared when you show up for your golf lessons. If you do not have golf clothes, wear comfortable shorts and a collared shirt for men, and shorts or a “skort” for women. Sneakers are fine for beginners if you did not buy your golf shoes yet. Remember that you will be outdoors for over an hour, so put on sunscreen and be sure to wear a hat to protect your skin. You may also want to carry a bottle of water with you. Also, bring along a notebook to jot down the main points you learned in the lesson. This is important even if the golf pro supplies you with notes, because you will be putting the key elements of the lesson down on paper in your own words.

Learning the Clubs

Your golf professional will explain the difference between the various clubs and how they are used. If you have ever visited a golf store, you know that there are many options out there. The main thing is to understand the comparison between a driver, hybrids, irons and the putter. Eventually you will need to use a variety of clubs, but for beginning lessons the pro will probably start you out with a lofted iron like a 9-or an 8-iron, which is easier to hit than others clubs. Once you develop a swing, the teaching pro can recommend clubs for you based on your needs.

Playing by the Rules

The official Rules of Golf are published by the United States Golf Association (USGA) on a regular basis to keep up with changes in the rules. Your golf pro may go over some of the basic rules, like who hits first and what to do if your ball flies into a water hazard. Golf etiquette covers such issues as showing consideration for other players, how to behave on the putting green, keeping up with the pace of play and being ready to play when it is your turn. Some of these rules may be unspoken, and others may be covered by the rules of the golf course.

Swinging the Club

Beginning golfers will learn the proper grip, stance and swing to produce an effective golf shot. Keep in mind that a small correction can make a big difference. Your pro will probably tell you to relax when you grip the club and adopt a balanced stance with your weight distributed equally over your right and left leg. Some golfers do the “waggle” by wiggling their rear slightly to get a feel for their stance. You will then start the takeaway by making a shoulder turn to build torque and continue the backswing until the club is at a 90 degree angle to your left arm with your wrists cocked. For the downswing, you will turn your belt buckle toward the target as fast as possible when you get half way through the motion.

Getting Out to Play

After taking lessons, making notes and practicing, the best thing to do is to get out on the course and play. If possible, go out with a more experienced player at first to learn the ropes. To play with a low handicap golfer, try using the “best ball” format so you do not slow the better player down. Simply hit your ball, and then place it next to your partner’s ball and hit the next shot. The only thing left to do is to enjoy the day.


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The Proper Putting Stance

The Proper Putting StanceGet Your Head Over the Ball

If you have been missing a lot of putts lately, odds are you do not have a proper stance when putting. The stance for a normal golf shot and a putt are much different. The grip is still the same, however, with putting you want your body to be much closer to the ball.

When putting, you should line your body much closer to the ball. The club head should be flat on the ground and square towards the marking point. An easy way to tell if you have the proper stance is to line up for a putt and drop a golf ball directly from the spot between your eyes. The ball you drop should land on top of the ball you are going to putt. From this angle you are less likely to make judgment errors. You can see the back of the ball perfectly.

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