I’ve handed out my share of golf tips for beginners during my 40 years of playing this great game. But when I boil it all down, there are three very basic tips that I consider to be far more important than all the others. If you’ll abide by these tips, you’ll get off to the correct start and have a good chance of quickly becoming a successful player. If you choose not to follow these tips, your chances of success are greatly limited.
Tip #1 – The Clubs you select can really make you a better player right from the start. One size doesn’t fit all. The clubs certainly don’t have to be new, but they have to be the correct length and style, and they need the appropriate type of shaft.
Get the club length as close as possible. Clubs shafts can be extended or cut down to match a player’s height and arm length. Then, determine what type of shaft will work best for you, graphite or steel, and how much shaft flex you need.
Steel is sturdier and cheaper, and works well for the average male golfer. Young players, senior players, and women will benefit most from the lighter graphite shafts that will help them generate more swing speed. Anyone with wrist, elbow, or shoulder pain will benefit from the lower level of vibration with graphite shafts.
Shaft Flex is the amount of bend in the shaft during your swing. Young players, senior players and women will benefit most from graphite shafts that have a regular or softer flex. Stronger players with higher swing speeds will usually have more success with stiff shafts.
Another important aspect of club selection deals with the “style” of the clubhead. In the past few years, golf club manufacturers have made a great effort to design clubs specifically for beginning golfers. These types of clubs are referred to as “game improvement clubs”. They offer you the best chance of hitting good shots even when your swing is just starting to develop.
You should choose irons that are “cavity-backed and perimeter-weighted.” These irons are designed to be very forgiving so that you aren’t severely punished when the ball isn’t struck in the absolute middle of the clubface. The 3 and 4 irons are the most difficult to hit. You need to look at “hybrids” to replace the standard 3 and 4 irons.
Go for more loft when choosing a driver. A driver with 12 degrees of loft will make it much easier to get the ball airborne.
Tip #2 – To be a good player, you have to have a good Grip.
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If you watch professional golfers at a tournament or on TV, you’ll notice that all of their grips are pretty much alike. Very few have an unorthodox grip.
The hands must work together on the golf club. To test yourself, take your grip and have someone pull the club gently from your hands. Maintain your grip position and check to see if your palms are absolutely facing each another. To work together, your hands should be palm to palm, not at an angle to one another.
The grip pressure should be light. Golfing great Sam Snead said that you should “hold the club as if it were a baby bird.” This light grip pressure allows the wrists to hinge and turn naturally, which promotes greater clubhead speed with more likelihood of squaring the clubface to the target line.