Golf for beginners

How can I teach myself to play golf

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learn to play golfFor a whole lot of reasons How can I teach myself to play golf is a good question to ask and be the way forward to learn this great game. One thing I for sure, if you are just starting out in the sport it can be quiet expensive. Once you have bought your clubs, clothes, shoes and a glove, it can be a step too far to get a professional to teach you. If you have the desire to learn and show the ability to play the game and some knowledge about the rules and the etiquette and perhaps most importantly your time. I believe it is possible to get to a limited standard of a club golfer.

What is needed to start golfing?

There are a few things you need to do to start to play the game of golf. I think the very first is to know why you even want to play the game. Are you intending to play for pleasure, for work, for exercise? What is your fitness levels like? Have you been playing other sports and looking for something else? Have you been watching too much golf and to exercise.

The golf game has significant costs, especially if you don’t know if it’s for you. Here I intend to give you an indicative idea of costs you will incur so that you can decide if its for you. There is some basic equipment you will need to buy. the very minimum would be golf clubs and golf shoes and golf balls. You will need to go to both a driving range and golf course. Once you get out on a golf course you will also need waterproofs …. The English weather can be harsh when you’re in the middle of nowhere!

The next thing you need is time and patience. If your ambition in this venture is to get to be a good club golfer then you need to give the period when you start to teach yourself lots of time and lots of patience. By that I mean 4 to 5 hours a few times a week. Remember the more time you give the quicker you learn.

Can you teach yourself to play golf?

To teach yourself to play golf I am assuming that you have the equipment, time and commitment. You may have taken to viewing a number of golf videos or Youtube channels. To get started I would suggest you find your nearest golf range, where you can hit 100 golf balls at a time. This is not an exercise in hitting them as quickly or as hard as possible. It’s about taking your time. Understanding that the purpose is to get the golf balls to do what you are expecting them to do. Think what you are intending, whether you have a driver or a pitching wedge in your hand its to fulfil your expectation of the club’s ability to deliver the shot you are intending to take.

In the very beginning, the main issues are around stance, timing, it’s not about muscle and swinging the club as hard as you can and expecting it to do what you want. It’s about knowing what clubs are in your bag and understanding what they do for you. What sort of shot you should use each club.

First things first

You need to assess your health and your core strength to actually play the game. Whilst right now you might think its an easy game to pick up your strength and vitality must be good to give you that ability to walk and play 18 holes of golf and enjoy it. Obviously, If you are transitioning from another sport then it’s an easy decision but if you’ve been sitting on the settee for the last 10 years, older age or you have a disability then you should consider these things carefully. That’s not to say its not for you, but it is saying think carefully.

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Exercise for golf

You will need to exercise your core, your arms and legs to ensure you get the very best experience from golf, lets be honest, its no good huffing and puffing around the golf course, or over the last few holes when you really need to concentrate to get your best score. Some of the best examples, if you are teaching yourself, is on you tube. you can get the right ideas for your body.

A Practice Session

At the beginning of every sport you need to practice and golf is no different, its how much, in term of time, and the quality of the practice thats the important thing.

A Driving Range

This is your time to learn, so take your time. The best place to start this is at a golf range, where you can get 100 ball bucket and think about what you are doing.

Ensure you take all your clubs with you and wear your golf shoes on the range. Make sure you have all things you need in your bag,

Don’t forget to warm-up – If you’re going to hit that many balls, your muscles need to be warmed up to start with. This will undoubtedly add to your enjoyment pleasure at the session ahead.

You need to think about swinging all the clubs that you have in your session. So If you’ve bought the minimum number of clubs I suggested above, this would be 6 clubs, excluding the putter of course! I would be looking to hit 10/15 balls with every club in your bag. This would leave a few balls at the end to use your favourite club to hit the last few shots with, to end up on a high!

The session is all about ensuring you understand what the golf club is designed to do and for you to have the skill to hit the ball with that intention. It’s no good using a driver on the green for instance!

When you address the ball your stance has got to be perfect for that club, in the terrain you find the ball in on the golf course, so think about that every time you hit one of your 100 balls.

When you hit the ball with whatever club you use it’s not about hitting it with all your might, it’s about the swing. when you hit that ball with the correct swing you will know it. Equally, I have to say that when you hit a bad ball you will know it long before you look at the flight of the ball!

Whilst you are there think about every shot.

Finally, you will need to warm down after your session. Just a 5 minute warm down should be enough for most in this position.

There are a few pointers along the way,

If your body is telling you to stop, then stop the session!

If you feel you want to do more, but cannot commit to a driving range, perhaps, you should consider a golf hitting net.

How can I teach myself to play golfHow can I teach myself to play golf

If you are not doing something right and you are not getting the right result for the golf shot you are attempting and as a result you are getting frustrated, move on to something else.

Finally! This teach yourself will only get you so far along the road you are travelling. You are very likely to need a professional at some point along your road to playing golf.

Practice your short game

You need to find somewhere to practice your short game. This is the finer points of the approach to the green, may include bunker practice. You might like to give yourself a routine in your back garden. that’s if you have one and its big enough, to just knock a ball 10 yards, have an objective like a bucket perhaps or over something or even round something. Its about delicate shots.

Practice putting

You need to practice your putting after all its no good getting to the green in three, four or five then taking eight more to put the ball into the hole. The ability to read a green is nothing short of an art.

There is some that you can get better putting practice at home, and I have some degree of sympathy with that. There are practising and setting goals you can do on a carpet in the house that gives you some guidance, training. But what you really need is a training putting surface that you can actually follow the contours and get to know your putter in a way you can only dream about at home. There is nothing like sinking that 30 feet put!!

At the end of the day it’s all about hand-eye coordination reading a green and gaining that experience.

The Golf ball

Before you go to any golf course you need to buy golf balls. Let me tell you straight, you are going to lose golf balls, probably more than one each time you play a round of golf, so don’t buy expensive balls to start with. You are going to hit the ball into the rough and can’t find it, you are going to hit the ball out of bounds.

When you start your round make sure you know what ball you are playing with. To hit someone else’s ball is a violation of the rules.


How can I teach myself to play golfHow can I teach myself to play golf

The Glove

Some will tell you that you don’t need a glove, but I do not agree with them. It definitely helps you connect your hand to the golf club. Not only that it protects the grip. You can use it for all shots but I would use it for fast swinging golf shots such as a driver.

How can I teach myself to play golfHow can I teach myself to play golf

Golf Shoes

To play golf you must wear proper golf shoes. More than anything else they keep you steady when playing your shot, which of course may be off-balance, because of the terrain when you hit it. More than anything else you will be wearing them a long time,. A round of golf at the start could last 4 or 5 hours, so they must be comfortable. Finally they are a must for walking on a green.

Shoes can be so particular to individuals Ive left a link below to offer you some examples from Amazon

The golf course

Practice ground

Please do not attempt a round of golf until you have some consistency in hitting the ball in all scenarios. This is not only for you but those playing around you, and behind you.

There are 9 holes and 18 holes golf courses and you might like to find a nine-hole to start with, especially if you have concerns about your health and strength. It will also be a bit easier on your pocket with green fees.

As you probably realise every golf course is different. It’s important you choose carefully the first times you play around to make sure its right for your competency.

When you feel you can hit a ball competently and confidently its time to play a round of golf. A golf course can come in many shapes and sizes from municipal to championships. All cost you money as you have to pay a green fee to play. Some courses can be very long and very challenging. It’s up to you what course you actually play. There might be outside influences like you want to play with a group of friends etc which may your deciding factor.

Whatever makes you decide on that course the most important thing is to enjoy your time there. The second is to put into practice all you learnt on the driving range. Your stance for each shot is vital. However, actually getting that ball from tee to green brings other issues that you need to consider thoughtfully. Every shot needs to be assessed and executed – Obviously, that will not happen every shot, Its going to take some time and lots of practice to get to that point.

There is almost always a social side to a golf course in the clubhouse, or better known as the 19th hole. This, of course, is where you can put the round of golf you have just completed to bed. Whatever that means to you!

Your golf swing is vital

Your golf swings are the most fundamental part of your game You need consistency to achieve a good game. You need to build your muscles to whether the shot is from the tee or a layup to the green its the basic same thing your body does from set up and addressing the ball to completion of the swing. Seeing the ball flight doing exactly what you want is achievable Rome wasn’t built in a day!

This if I am honest is the biggest worry in this whole topic. If you teach yourself golf here it either makes or breaks, if you get something here that bad and you train your muscles to do it regularly, later when you come to realise this and you think about professional help, it will be so much harder to get that swing right. Professional golf lessons are dealt with here.

When you have mastered the 6 or 7 clubs in your bag you will already see the need for the missing clubs are there will be a need to master playing them. It might be time to find a professional at this point.

learning to play golf at 60

Of course, you can, but it depends on your general health of course, consideration to the muscle strength and physical fitness.  A typical golf course is a little over 6,500 yards but just remember and someone new to the game you will walk a lot further than that.  You will have ups and downs to start with, 10+ shots on a par 4 is not unusual.  You need to think about your aspirations for the sport.  It will definitely help your overall health, so its a question of how well do you want to play?  How much time do you really have to practice?  I would suggest that if you are a complete beginner you wouldn’t teach yourself but aim for a professional to teach you.

Fundamentals of the Rules of Golf

You need to understand the basic rules of golf before undertaking a round of golf.


The rules of the game are legislated by the Royal and ancient and have been revised over the years. They all revolve around fairness to all. I am not going to go into the rules to deeply here though I suggest you look through the rules as they are today At the R&A website these are kept up to date.

There are 24 general rules that you must have a knowledge of before undertaking a game of golf on the golf course. These range from the game, the course, the holes, bunkers, just about everything you can think of. If you go to the website above you will see there is a quiz to test your knowledge. The rules extend to those modified to encompass disabilities.

Etiquette of golf

There are rules and there is etiquette, these are my top tips for golf. The first is to be silent when others are playing their shots. Ensure you are correctly dressed for golf, Introduce yourself appropriately, Ensure you are out of their vision when playing their shot. Ensure your golf clubs are out of everyone vision. The farthest from the hole plays first If another looses a ball search for it. If you damage the ground, replace the divot, Dont walk on another putting line, If you win the hole you tee off first on the next hole. If you play out of a bunker you need to clean it up afterwards. Finally Yes it can be so frustrating too, but don’t lose your cool.

It may not be etiquette but its really important that you update your scorecard at the end of every hole, or on the tee of the next.

There are so many more things I could type here but rest assured they are dealt with here.


You are going here a lot of words that you thought you understood the meaning of, but in the game of golf has a whole new meaning. I am going to list below those you are most likely to hear.

Birdie – One under par. So if the hole is a par 4 and you have got the ball from tee to pin in 3 shots that a birdie.

Bogie – One over par. If the hole is a par 4 and you play it in 5 shots then that is a bogie.

Bunker – These are a hazard strategically placed full of sand.

Dormie – When you play match play and the number of holes is equal to the lead.

Eagle – Two under par. If the hole is a par 5 and you play it in 3 shots, this is an eagle.

Fairway – The straight route between tee and green. The grass should be mown short.

Fore –  This is given on a golf course as a warning, usually shouted, as  advice that a ball is moving towards you.

Green – Every hole has a green and its the area where only the putter can be used.

Ground under repair – Should your ball land in an area so designated it can be lifted without penalty.

Par – Is the number of shots required to play the hole. This is normally 3 4 or 5.

Penalty – Extra shots incurred because you have broken a rule(s)

Pin – The flag of the hole.

Play through – When a slow golfer/group allows a faster golfer/group to play the hole thus allowing them to pass.

Rough – The areas on the outside of the fairway. The grass is often uncut here.

Tee – This is the start of every whole, an area where markers are placed for you to place the ball between to start playing the hole.

There are lots more.

How long does it take to become a golfer?

That, of course, is the million-dollar question and is subject to all sorts of things I cant know. What is your aptitude for golf, how fit you are, how supple you are, do you have a head for golf? Answering these questions will give you an idea. If your ambition is to be a good club golfer for some, it might take 24 hours of practice others it might take twice as long, especially if you are teaching yourself. Its a very difficult thing to be precise about. One thing is for sure you will learn forever more whilst you have a club in your hand.

... and finally

Golf is difficult on one or many facets for you. But let me tell you when you achieve that perfect shot, that near-perfect round the inner satisfaction you get is a fantastic feeling and you can have that feeling for many years. Arnold Palmer, who was a great golfer of the 1960/70s era once said these words “Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening—and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.”

I hope you enjoyed this introduction into how can I teach myself to play golf. It doesn’t answer all the questions Im sure you will have after this, but I really hope if you are really thinking of teaching yourself this starts you off in the right direction. I am sure, when you start to get better to further improve your game you will want to find a professional.

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