Golf is a tremendous and unique sport in that you can pick it up at any age or ability, and on top of that, it’s a sport you can enjoy playing for most all of your life! However, learning the game for a beginner can be intimidating, frustrating and discouraging.

The Peninsula on the Indian River Bay wants players of all abilities to enjoy the award-winning golf course designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus, so here are 10 helpful tips for golf beginners!

Equipment Essentials

  1. Try Before You Buy

Purchasing golf clubs can be a steep investment up front. However, choosing the correct set from the start will save you money and headache in the long run. Choose wisely, and this could be the only set you ever use.

Stick to a set of clubs with cavity backs instead of traditional bladed clubs. These club heads are weighted and more forgiving, with a larger sweet spot for better odds at an accurate shot. You’ll want that margin of error. Other things to consider are shaft stiffness, club length and comfortability with the grips. A knowledgeable golf shop pro should be able to match you to the correct set and allow you to try before you buy!

  1. Opt For More Loft

Developing the mechanics of your swing will take time and repetition. Lots of repetition. Getting the ball airborn is a common struggle for beginners, so let the club do most of the work by opting for more lofted clubs than the alternative. Extra loft generally results in reduced sidespin, and consequently, straighter shots. Hitting straight is your best friend.

  1. Pick the Right Ball

These days, there are so many choices when selecting a golf ball. Every company that makes balls has different types and levels. Generally, as a beginner it doesn’t matter significantly which ball technology you pick as your game isn’t advanced enough to seize full advantage of the ball’s design. More importantly, the price should be the No. 1 factor.

You’re going to lose plenty of balls throughout your golfing career, especially as a beginner when your shots are less consistent and prone to finding water, trees and any other number of potential hazards. So stick with a ball built for straight flight and buy ones with a cost point around $20 for a dozen.

Learn and Practice

  1. Take Lessons

Frankly, golf is never more frustrating than at the very beginning. While it may look easy, there are endless variables that create a poor swing and results. Best to develop correct habits under the sound guidance of an expert, who knows exactly what they’re looking at and is qualified to give constructive criticism and advice.

It’s important to remember that as a new golfer you are building the foundation for your game years beyond now. Not only will lessons make that base firm to build on top of, you’ll save yourself the headache of correcting poor habits in the future.

  1. Build A Range Routine

The practice range really boils down to two types of golfers: Those who are just hacking at balls for something to do and a player trying to improve elements of their game which can translate to the course. You want to be in the latter category. Tempting as it is to go to the range and find out just how far you can hammer the ball, you must resist the urge.

Take time to stretch before addressing the ball and always begin with your shorter clubs (wedges) and work your way up to the driver. Shorter clubs are easier to hit and control, plus they will help settle your tempo and mechanics for the longer clubs later on, which are much harder to strike consistently. Your focus should be consistent ball striking, hitting each club the distance appropriate for you and a straight ball flight.

  1. Don’t Forget the Chipping/Putting Green

At least half your strokes every round come within 50 yards of the green and on the putting surface. Don’t expect to excel around the greens without practice. Make good use of the practice greens so learn how to read lines on putts and routinely using the same pace to control the speed of your stroke with the putter.

Starting on the practice greens is a great idea to slowly break in your body to the golf motions. Learn to hit the chip shots you’ll need on the course from all lies, not just perfect ones. The last thing you want is to end up in the sand during your round and have no clue how to get out. That can double your strokes for the hole quickly.

  1. If Nothing Else, Stick to the Basics

As much as all golfers would love to make steady improvement every single time out on the range or from round to round, golf simply doesn’t work that way. There will be good days and there will be bad days, certainly at the beginning. But don’t get discouraged.

When all else fails, stick to your basics and keep reinforcing them. Your grip, proper setup and posture. Eventually, your body will learn the movements and you’ll have to think less. If the driver just isn’t working out one day, stick with your irons and wedges until they gain consistency, which in turn will get your mind into a positive place when you pluck the driver from the bag next time.

Hit the Course

  1. Start Small

Remaining honest with yourself and your ability can never hurt you. There is very little to be gained by playing rounds before you’re truly ready. There’s no shame in sticking to the range until your consistency increases. Then start on par 3 (often called “executive”) courses, which have only short holes. Stick with 9-hole rounds and learn how to play the shots required of an actual round.

Keeping the game within your level — while gradually pushing yourself into more challenging objectives — will keep the game fun and with a sense of accomplishment. The first time you can par a hole out on the course is a moment you’ll never forget and is just another step closer to birdie and beyond.

  1. Keep It Short

Every golf course is designed to be played by different ages, styles and ability. Length is the best defense a course has against elite players, but that doesn’t mean beginners should afford the golf course the same courtesy.

Play from the tee box that allows for you to be challenged and grow, but that isn’t beyond your skill set. Most course have uniform colors to designate ability/gender. Red tees are meant for women, golf for older golfers, then white for amateurs, blue for more advanced amateurs and finally black tees for elite and professional players.

  1. Stay at Your Pace

One of the great aspects to the game of golf is the social element. You’ll rarely, if ever, play by yourself. Whether you play with friends or complete strangers, it’s easy to fall into the trap of rushing yourself to play at your group’s pace or ability.

Rushing yourself will only end with poor results, so stay within yourself and take the reasonable time you need to hit every shot. With that said, golf etiquette should be followed at all times, so don’t go so slow as to affect the pace of play for the groups behind yours.

Play at The Peninsula on the Indian River Bay Today!

The Peninsula on the Indian River Bay is an award-winning and nationally recognized golf course. While certainly challenging for beginners, this course is also an exceptionally beautiful place to fall in love with the game and constantly improve! Come play the 72-par Jack Nicklaus designed course or purchase a home and play the exceptional course every day if you choose. Either way, contact Insight Homes today!