Like many other sports, golf can look simple when you see other people playing it, but turn out to be full of unforeseen perils and obstacles when you try it for yourself. For this reason, you need to practise it beforehand in a safe, low-pressure environment, like a driving range.
The other golfers you meet there could give you a few pointers, too. Those people could become lifelong friends as you soak up their advice. On the other hand, it might be best to avoid your other half being your main teacher – mixing romance and teaching can easily end in disaster.
Golf for beginners is largely about learning who they should listen to, and who they shouldn't. However, this process can feel fraught with trial and error. Fortunately, you can cut out much of the inconvenience and struggle if you turn to the following people first.
Teachers and Coaches
To a teacher, a complete novice is a clean slate; if you know little about golf, you probably haven’t picked up many bad habits you need to undo. However, knowing the right techniques is just as important as knowing the bad ones – another good reason for you to seek a teacher’s wisdom.
Not the advice of just any teacher, though. Look for a professional instructor certified with the PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association). They have been trained in teaching golf to novices like you, and are easy to Google too. Just search for ‘PGA instructors near me’ and see what comes up.
Still, of those PGA-qualified instructors near you, it’s important to pick one with the right personality and teaching style for you. If you’re laid-back and spontaneous, for example, you probably wouldn't thrive under an overly technical teacher who bombards you with jargon and statistics.
It can be awkward if you turn down a friend’s invitation to join them on the golf course, or your boss suggests an after-work get-together there when you know you’d be at a loss there. This is precisely why you may be easily drawn towards taking up golf for casual social or work purposes.
There’s nothing wrong with that – and you might find that, with some basic instruction from patient friends, you’re soon on your way. Another plus point of golfing with friends is that it won’t be quite so embarrassing if you accidentally violate some of the unspoken rules of golfing etiquette.
Those rules include waiting your turn to hit the ball, yelling “fore!” when a shot you’ve just struck looks like it could hit someone else, and taking appropriate care of the golf course. If you blunder with any of these, your friends will hopefully be able to set you right while laughing about “what you’re like”.
It’s easy to see why online tuition is such a key element of golf for beginners. Whereas face-to-face instruction can be expensive, the Internet is home to a treasure trove of golf-related lessons, tutorials and other resources – many of which are relatively cheap or even free.
This huge choice can make it easier for you to compare and contrast a wide range of golfing methods. If your schedule is especially packed, you might also appreciate not needing to spend time travelling to a local golf course that may not even be particularly geared towards your skill level.
Nonetheless, such online resources are probably most useful if you are fairly new to the game. The online stuff can still get you off to a cost-effective head-start; however, at some point, live golf lessons might be your only option if you want to progress beyond golf for beginners.
Your social media habit could come in surprisingly useful for your golfing one. Sites like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook are strewn with influencers happy to impart pearls of their golfing wisdom.
For instructional content, for example, we would especially recommend Me And My Golf and Mark Crossfield. If, meanwhile, you’re on the lookout for product reviews and good general content, it’s well worth checking out James Robinson’s YouTube channel. We already enjoy a good relationship with him, and indeed, he’s reviewed a few of our own products.
As you’ve probably gathered, following influencers can be a fun way of adding to your golfing knowledge. Some leading influencers even directly answer questions about golf for beginners following them.
If you want to be the best, you’ve got to learn from the best. That’s why, sometimes, there’s no substitute for attending events where you can see golfing pros in action.
One day, there might be a virtual-reality game that lets you meet up with Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy on a golf course and enjoy a soft drink with them in the clubhouse after the game. Until then, though, seeing their real, non-digitised selves from a distance will probably suffice.
As your golfing takes you from home to the driving range and through to golf clubs welcoming new members, you could meet more and more people willing to teach you a thing or two about the sport. It’s all part of the journey of learning golf for beginners, intermediates and experts alike.