Golf Basics Every Beginners Must Know
Beginners are often caught off guard by golf’s difficulty. Without knowing the basic fundamentals of golf one may be easily discouraged. Every aspiring golfer must learn the proper attire to wear on the golf course, the essential tools to be used and techniques to start playing. Here are the golf basics every beginners must know:
Before being thrown out from the golf course here are the list of do’s and don’ts in the dress code you have to abide:
- Men’s shirts must have a collar and sleeves, turtleneck or rollneck is acceptable.
- Shirts should be tucked inside the trousers.
- Wear knee-length tailored shorts or long trousers.
- Long or short socks may be worn with shorts.
- Use soft spikes golf shoes.
- Golfing headwear such as cap or visor should be worn correctly.
- Display your bag tag at all times.
- Bring proper golf bag with at least five clubs
- Girls can wear skirts.
- Collared shirts for girls is okay.
- Do not wear football shirts or tracksuits.
- Never let your shirts pulled outside of trousers.
- Sports shorts, beach shorts, blue denim trousers, torn / unwashed denim or cargo shorts is not allowed.
- Trousers tucked into socks or shorts with long socks rolled down.
- Training shoes are not acceptable.
- Cropped tops, tank tops, low cut shirts for girls are not allowed.
- High heels, Sandals and slippers are not allowed.
- Girls wearing jogging shorts, skirts or tights are not allowed.
- Shirts with numbers, ads or excessive logos are prohibited.
- Do not use of mobile phones except when there is an emergency.
- Do not wear colored socks.
- No one is allowed to be barefooted.
- Hooded garments is not permitted.
Before beginning the game, getting the right equipment to use is helpful for a lasting career play.
A golf bag is where you place all your golf clubs and the following essentials : at least six balls, a few wooden tees, a couple of gloves, a rain suit, a pitch mark repair tool, a few small coins to mark your ball on the green, two or three pencils, sunscreen, a small pouch for your wallet money clip, loose change, car keys, rings and cellphones and a spare towel. Since it is heavy and the course is huge to just walk it all throughout between shots players ride a golf cart, a small motorized vehicle for golfers and their equipment.
Gloves are worn on the non-dominant hand for a sound grip. They create more friction and add a little tackiness to the grip. Properly fitted gloves are designed to protect the golfer’s hand from blisters after repeatedly swinging the golf club.
A tee is a short peg used to support a stationary ball off the ground.
Golf balls are white dented spherical object with tough cover and a resilient core of rubber. Under the rules of golf, a golf ball has a mass no more than 45. 9 grams and a diameter not less than 42.7 grams and performs within specified velocity, distance, and symmetry limits. The numbers in the golf balls may label for identification or compression rating, or how many dimples are on the ball.
- Golf Club
Golf clubs are used to hit the balls. It has three parts – grip, shaft and the head. See the photo below. It is designed for specific types of shots but some have multiple uses. Maximum of 14 clubs are allowed to carry in the golf bag. Most golfers have their minimum arsenal a set of irons, one or two hybrids, multiple wedges, several drivers and a variety of putters. Loft is the angle of the club face that controls trajectory and affects distance.
Also called as 1-wood, drivers are the longest type of club. They are exclusively use for tee shots because of their maximum height and distance production with minimum side spin for straighter shots. Drivers has a loft between 7 to 12 degrees. Their oversize head is now made of lightweight titanium or carbon fiber to maximize the size without being too heavy unlike before when they were made up of hardwood and steel.
These are use when you are 175 yards of more away from the green or for fairway shots that are beyond the range of the irons or on tee shots when you need more control of the ball. They are also known as fairway woods or fairway metals since they are now made of stainless steel. Their lofts are 12 to 20 degrees which let them produce higher, softer shots than the driver. Woods are numbered depending on their loft and shaft. The higher the golf club number, the higher the loft while the higher the golf club number also means the shorter the shaft. A 3 wood has a loft between 15 to 18 degrees. A 5 wood has a loft between 20 to 22 degrees. The two moods mentioned are usually what golfers use and are commonly called as fairway woods because they are most often used during the second shot of play (when you are playing in the fairway). Utility woods are higher lofted woods.
Irons are numbered from 1 to 9. They have higher degree of loft then woods. 1-, 2-, and 3- irons are called long irons with little loft that sends the ball the farthest. Middle irons (4-, 5-, and 6- irons) are used when the ball is about 150 to 170 yards from the hole. Short irons (7-, 8-, and 9- irons) fly higher in the air but for a short distance and stop more quickly, used for chipping.
The recently added type of golf club are a combination of a fairway wood’s rounded head design and an iron’s shaft length and club face. Hybrids are built with a center of gravity that is further back and lower than in an iron which make them more forgiving. They are one of the most versatile clubs with lofts between 16 to 26 degrees. The lowest number provide up to 10 to 15 yards shorter that the highest numbered fairway wood.
Wedges are clubs that have a greater (more than 50 degrees) loft than short irons. They are designed as “blade clubs” because you are close enough to the green to improve shot control, shot shaping and right amount of bounce. Golfers often carry different types of wedges for various distances and lie conditions. They are basically specialty irons that comes in four types. Pitching wedge has a loft of 44 to 40 degrees and fly high into the sky and travel up to 110 to 140 yards. Gap wedge has 51 to 53 degrees loft angle with distance of 90 to 220 yards. Sand wedge are used to hit the ball out of the sand bunkers or rough with 54 to 58 degrees loft and travels 80 to 110 yards. Lastly, the lob wedge that has a loft of 58 to 60 degrees with a distance of 80 years and below.
Putters are used to hit ground balls on the green. They have lesser loft angle (about 4 degrees), shorter shaft (33 to 35 inches) and a line along the top of the blade to help line up the shot. They have flat faces to keep the ball from bouncing up when striking. Many of them have plastic or soft metal face inserts to give them better feel and for rolling the ball smoothly.
As the American golfer, Ben Hogan once said, “Golf begins with a good grip.” Even a good swing depends on the grip. We don’t want our club flying out of our hands, right? Always make sure to relax your arms and hang them naturally by your sides. These step-by-step instruction is for people whose lead hand is their right. Just reverse the hand position if you are left-handed.
- Place the club in the fingers of the lead hand. The grip of the club should run from the middle of the index finger to the base of the little finger.
- Grip the club half an inch from the end. Compared to gripping it right at the end, this will improve your control of the club and ball striking ability, without any loss of power.
- As you look down at your left hand, there should be 2½ knuckles visible. This is classed as neutral position. The ‘V’ made by your left thumb and forefinger should point to your right shoulder. If you can see more than 2½ knuckles, your left hand is said to be in too strong a position. If you can see less than 2½ knuckles, your left hand is in too weak position.
- Now, the right hand. Place the fleshy pad of your right thumb directly on top of your left thumb. The ‘V’ made between your right thumb and forefinger should point to your chin. If the ‘V’ points over your right shoulder, your right hand is in too strong a position. If the ‘V’ points over your left shoulder, your right hand is in too weak position.
There are different styles of grip:
- Baseball or 10-finger grip – extended thumb of the left hand down the club between the palm and fingers of the right hand to provide stability. Wrap the left thumb around the handle just like holding the baseball bat.
- Interlocking grip – the pinky of the right hand is locked between the index and middle finger of the left hand
- Vardon or overlapping grip – instead of linking the fingers together, keep the left index and middle fingers together and place the right pinky finger on the top of the gap between them
A new golfer should use alignment aids, such as a club on the ground or other tools that an instructor can provide to get the feet, knees, hips and shoulders parallel to the target line. Two clubs on the ground parallel to each other, one at the feet and another on the other side of the ball forming a channel can help a golfer see what the square is. For putting and chipping, these two clubs can be closer together to make the parallel or square path more obvious and for a full swing they should be a safe 4 to 5 feet apart.
Next, a new player needs to learn what the club face of each club looks like in the square, open or closed position. A pitching wedge looks a lot different from a three wood, but the common denominator is that the bottom edge or leading edge is perpendicular to the target line. Also, the hand on the grip need to be over the ball, verses behind or in front of the ball, which affects the loft of the club. There are times when a player may want to hit a low shot, and in front of the ball, which affects the loft of the club. There are times when a player may want to hit a low shot, and in that case they would want to use a forward press and start with the hands ahead of the ball to decrease the loft of the club face, but for a standard full swing, the hands should be over the ball.
Lastly, for a good balance swing, a player needs to work on a comfortable and athletic posture position. This includes the correct amount of knee flex combined with a straight spine and tilt from hips to shoulders. Looking in a mirror from a down the line as well as a face on angle helps a player examine their body posture and work on a balanced athletic position. The body weight and balance should be evenly distributed from the left to right feet as well as heel to toe, and the chin should be over the hands. Tools such as a balance board, and balance drills help a person work on this position so that a proper golf swing posture can be maintained during and through the swing.
A good swing is a combination of different elements including aiming, proper stance and posture, and good grip. Here are some of the basic pointers you need to remember when swinging:
- Always remember to keep the eyes on the ball.
- Keep fingers relax on its grip pressure to have the feel foe the club head.
- Solid footing in the golf swing will keep you firm on the ground throughout your action.
- Pick smart lines away from hazards to get the ball from point A to point B as quickly as possible.
For more tips on golf swing kindly click the next article.