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Golf: A Guide for Beginners

September 22nd, 2009

golf-beginner-guide.jpgThe thrill of watching your golf ball soar into the backdrop of a clear blue sky and landing softly on the green may seem implausible when you find yourself slashing away with a golf club for the first time. Learning to play golf can be a very frustrating experience if you approach it the wrong way as many accomplished golfers will testify. Trial and error is a necessary part of learning the game but with the proper mindset, the errors will be reduced. The last thing you want to do as a novice golfer is to wander out on a golf course before you have spent time on a practice range. Why is this important?

If there is one sure way to discourage a beginner learning the game of golf, it is to take them out on a golf course before they have been shown how to grip the club properly or given some direction on stance and posture. The golf course is not the place to learn how to play this unpredictable sport. Unless you have a natural talent to hit the ball well as an absolute beginner, the likelihood is that you will spend your day hacking around the course to your own discomfort and to the annoyance of those attempting to play behind you. The top tip for any beginner is to learn to play the game at a practice range, not on the golf course!

Some who take up the sport are self-taught and will happily spend time on the range hitting golf balls until they feel competent enough to face the golf course. Others will seek instruction from someone who is skilled, possibly a golf professional who can teach them to master the basics of the swing. Whatever route you choose, the key is to use those practice sessions to learn something about your game. Practice may not make perfect, but it will help you to gauge how well you can play. Making corrections in your grip, stance, posture, or alignment will give you valuable feedback you can carry over into the real game.

Before setting out to beat balls on the range, take time to read some words of instruction in magazines, books, or online. Focus especially on things like the proper grip, grip pressure, stance, posture, and alignment. These are the fundamentals that even professional golfers still work on in their practice sessions. Simply whacking balls on a driving range will not necessarily improve your golf game. You may well be grooving a bad swing with flaws that will stay with you. So practice with a purpose. It will yield good results and inspire the confidence you need when on the course.

Learning to play golf can be a bittersweet experience, with highs that will leave you feeling exhilarated and lows that make you want to throw your golf clubs in the lake. To ensure that your learning experience is more sweet than bitter, spend time on the practice range before you ever think of venturing out on a golf course. Hone your game in practice and the game of golf is one that will bring pleasure for the rest of your life.


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