Golf - Getting Started
Enjoy as You Learn - Part II

For the novice golfer, there's a large amount of knowledge to absorb and physical movement to practice. But don't forget that the primary purpose of golf, or any other game, is to have fun!

If you are looking for the information on the following:

A single game of golf can cost anywhere from $5 to $100 dollars, but, even so, sooner or later you're going to get the urge to do more than whack a ball around a hundred times. You're eventually going to want to go out and spend some real money!

Before you rush out and spend hundreds on your own golf clubs, take some of that money and invest $50 or so on a lesson or two. That investment, if made with the right instructor, will get you started on the correct grip, stance, posture (hey - the essentials!), swing mechanics and exercises, as well as proper equipment selection. Start with putting practice, and a few weekends on the driving range. Move up to nine holes, then onto 18 after a few weeks. During the week, do some of the basic golf exercises, while you learn the rules and etiquette of the game.

So what are some of these basics I'm talking about?


There are three basic categories of golf clubs: irons, woods, and putters.

Woods are used to hit the ball the farthest, irons intermediate distances, and putters for up close.

The lower the number club you are using, the farther (or so the deluded followers of the game are led to believe) the ball travels. On average, a 1 wood, if used correctly, knocks a golf ball about 170 yards or more, a 5 iron about 100 yards, a 9 iron about 60. Putters are used to push the ball a few feet, or on a bad day, yards, across a much smoother grass area called the putting green, or simply, 'the green'. Pitching wedges and sand wedges are special, sharply angled clubs for chipping up steep hills or out of sand traps. Get clubs with grips that are neither so small the club twists in your hands on impact, nor so large you can't wrap your fingers easily around it.


One of the more obvious starting steps, a good golf grip is vital.

There are a dozen different kinds of golf grips, about as many as there are golfers, but the most common is the one in which the index finger of the left hand hooks the pinky of the right. (For right handed individuals, of course.) Then for proper alignment, "check the V's": The V's are the angle between your thumb and forefinger on each hand. These should point between your chin and back shoulder. Make sure that when looking down, you can see the first two knuckles of your left hand and a "V" formed between the thumb and forefinger pointing toward your right shoulder. With the right hand, have the "V" pointing toward your chin or slightly to the right shoulder.


Start to address the ball with a Nine iron. ("Address" is just a term for standing near, and ready to hit, the ball. Who the heck knows where these words come from!)

Anyway, with your heels about shoulder width apart, take a few practice swings. You want to hit the ball squarely in the middle of the club left to right, but slightly up from the bottom. Take a firm grip and balance stance, but don't crush the club nor dance on your toes. Try to keep the swing in one plane. (A plane is a flat surface; think of swinging alongside the top of a round table tilted on end. Curve with the table edge.) Follow through after making contact with the ball. Keep the ball in the center of your field of vision.



As with all the other sports, except Australian rules football (what rules?), of course, the official rules of golf are many and, often quite complex. For the rule-imparired, however, the simple version is this: Tee up, hit the ball toward the flag. Try to get the ball in the hole the flag is in. (When you get close and ready to putt, don't forget to take the flag out of the hole!) The fewest strokes over the course of all holes wins. Hit your own ball and count every stroke...yes, EVERY stroke.


Don't endanger another player by standing too close them when you or (s)he swings. Be courteous and don't make excessive noise when someone else is addressing, or hitting, the ball. Avoid holding up the other players behind or with you in your group. If you lose your ball, let them "play through". Replace all "divots" (These are the chunks of earth and grass you dug up by using the golf club - accidentally - as a shovel.) Fix other any other damage you made. In short, be courteous to those around you. Golf is one of the few games where civilized behavior is actually enforced!


For the novice, the game of golf can be enjoyed from the start. For those interested and motivated, there's an inexhaustible supply of information about the physics and physiology of swing mechanics, grip, stance, and other arcane lore. You never stop learning.  Even Tiger Woods, who is one of the best and who has been practicing and playing from a young age, still takes lessons. For the beginner, there's a large amount of knowledge to absorb and physical movement to practice right at the outset. But don't get so overwhelmed that you forget that the primary purpose:of golf, or any other game, is to have fun!

Golf - Getting Started: Part I

Golf Websites
Golf Clubs and Accessories

You will find what you are looking for about learning to play golf here

Outdoor Sports and Games

Golf - Getting Started - Part II: Copyright 2016 by Donovan Baldwin
Page Updated 5;54 PM Monday 10/3/2016