Beginner’s Guide to Learning Golf
Although Golf can be intimidating for the initiated, once you hit the links a couple of times, you might find yourself among millions of other golf-lovers who can’t get enough of the game. The sport requires skill, precision, and even a bit of luck – but given adequate practice, basic proficiency is within reach for most. While expert-level skills are developed steadily over time, there are some things you can do to make your first time much more enjoyable. By learning some basic vocabulary and rules of play, along with a few tips about etiquette and technique, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable stepping out on the green for the first time.
Basic Information for First-Timers
Chances are, if you just head out to the golf course with some borrowed clubs and hope for the best you’ll probably be disappointed. A game like golf is so much more enjoyable if you spend just a bit of time preparing yourself through research and practice. Nobody expects you to be great on your first few times playing, but knowing some basics will help to put you more at ease – which means you’ll have a lot more fun and probably get invited back to golf again!
The Golf Virgin – This site is all about the beginner. Its creator seeks to demystify golf a bit and give you a crash course in golf etiquette, technique, and whatever else you should know before you head out on the green for the first time.
IGF Golf History – If you want to know a little background about the game of golf, look at this timeline of significant historical events in the evolution of golf.
Rules of Golf – The U.S. Golf Association is responsible for writing and explaining golf’s rules. On their site, you can read through official rules or watch an informative video to help you understand the rules of golf.
Meet the Golf Course – This About.com article takes you through the basic elements of a golf course, along with a rundown of what different events on the course mean.
Terms, Technique, and Etiquette
Knowing some of the terminology used on the golf course will enhance your enjoyment of the game immensely. You’ll be lost if you don’t know what anyone’s talking about. It’s also a good idea to go armed with etiquette dos and don’ts. These resources are simple, easy to read, and will help make your game go a lot more smoothly.
Golf Glossary and Terms – This page, from the official Professional Golf Association (PGA) website, gives an alphabetical listing of some golf vocabulary that you’ll probably want to review before heading out for your first round.
Golf Rules and Etiquette Cheat Sheet – This article is part of the “For Dummies” series and is a must-read for the new golfer. Consult this condensed version of golf’s rules and course etiquette prior to tee time to avoid common mistakes and embarrassing gaffes.
How to Drive a Golf Ball – If you’re looking for something more basic, try this Wiki-How article. It’s a quick, no-frills instructional guide to get you going.
Golf Tips for Beginners – To get the lowdown on proper technique in layman’s terms, read through this helpful guide. Avoid common body placement, grip, and swing mistakes by following its advice.
Golfer Forums and Communities
Some of the best golfing resources come straight from fellow golfers. Because of the Internet, you can pick the brains of skilled golfers from all over the world as if you were standing around the water cooler together. The collection of forums and communities below is comprised only of friendly and well-populated conglomerations of golfers, golf teachers, beginning golfers, wannabe golfers, and anyone else who wants to talk golf.
The Sand Trap Forums – These bustling forums are full of golfers from the newest beginner to the most veteran experts – and everyone in between. You can log in and post questions or you can join one of the many ongoing discussion topics.
Golf Forum – This forum is another great place to go if you want to connect with other golfers. The community is very welcoming, and no question is too simple or too complex.
Shot Talk – This site will keep you updated with all the latest advancements in golf tech, as well as all the most recent professional golf news. The forums are a great place to go chat with other golfers, and the members are always willing to help out a newbie.
The Social Golfer – The Social Golfer is the social media site that’s all about golfing. You can sign up (for free) to connect with other golfers through the always-active forums where you’ll find honest equipment reviews, tales from the links, and lots of real-life help for beginners.
Golf Course Directories
Heading away from home? Don’t forget to pack your clubs (or make arrangements to rent some when you get there), because you don’t need to leave golfing behind. Once you start golfing, you might find it a highlight of any trip to check out the local courses. Use the great directories listed here to help you find golf courses and tee-times for any course in any place.
USA Golf Courses – This directory will help you find a course to play on, no matter where you are or where you plan to travel. Just click on the state to find greens near you!
Golf Map – Use the interactive U.S. map on this page to stake out golf courses throughout the nation.
World Golf Directory – Here you’ll find listings for golf courses and golf related businesses all around the world. You can browse by location, or enter specific search terms to narrow your results.
Golf Now Course Directory – Click around the map to find a directory of local golf courses in the United States and Ireland. Each listing comes complete with a course overview, user reviews and tips, tee times, and plenty of other relevant information.
More Great Pages and Sites for Beginner Golfers
There’s a lot to cover when it comes to golf. It’s a relatively simple sport, but at the same time there are a lot of intricacies that you’ll come to understand as you go. The sites and articles in this section are all gleaned from only reputable and accurate resources to give you the best and most current information possible. Read through to find an excellent all-around golf site, safety rules, technique tutorials, and more.
US Golf Association – This site is a go-to place for just about anything to do with golfing, and there are plenty of resources for the beginner golfer and even for kids. Get all the latest information about etiquette, rules, and even keep up with professional golf.
Safety on the Golf Course – There are safety concerns and subsequent rules to be followed on the golf course. Don’t inadvertently jeopardize someone’s health or safety by not being aware of them.
Golf Equipment Articles – This link will take you to About.com’s collection of articles about golf equipment. Learn all about different types of clubs, along with everything else golfers use.
Golf.com – Golf.com is one of the top sites for learning about the game and keeping up with golf news. Explore the instructional section for video tutorials and tips from the pros. The site has plenty of good stuff for more experienced golfers, too.