Perform a cursory search on the internet for advice on how to get started with golf, and you’ll find enough videos and tips to make your head spin.
Beyond causing information overload, the mountains of information can make an already intimidating game seem even more complex and inaccessible.
Yes, thanks to the internet there are more resources than ever available to help guide golf newbies, but where do you turn to find trusted advice?
To solve that challenge we asked some of the top LPGA Teaching Professionals, along with a handful of LPGA Tour pros, to share their very best advice for new golfers for getting started on the right foot.
Here’s what they had to say:
"We all go through slumps. That is part of the 'fun'. However, when I get in those situations I go back to basics and then I make up some new games in practice to keep my spirit up and competition up. After working on my game, it seems to make my on-course score improve as well.”
“Brand-new movements for a brand-new sport require a brand new warm-up. Make sure to give yourself a minimum of five minutes to get swinging!”
“Make your practice fun and focus on accomplishing little goals. They’ll add up to big improvements over time.”
“Commit to a series of lessons at the start and you’ll get to that comfortable novice level much faster! Everyone wants to give new golfers advice, a good teaching pro will help you cut through that clutter of information and keep things simple.”
“Find a teacher/group/environment that will facilitate your learning and enjoyment, and take you out on the golf course to experience the game. Learn how to grip the golf club, start with putting and wedge shots, accelerate the driver, and start playing from 150 yards out. Then get fitted for equipment.”
“Your husband might be right about a lot of things, but keeping your head down is not one of them.”
“Build your game from putting, to chipping, to full swing through tempo. Positive thoughts help early on. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth!”
“A new golfer with a teaching professional is like a ball of clay in the hands of an artist. Get yourself signed up for some lessons with your local LPGA Teaching Professional. It will pay off to have solid fundamentals from the start.”
“Focus on good grip and posture (every shot), learn how the ball gets in the air, pick a favorite club (you don’t need to hit all the clubs in your bag) and have a pro take you on the course so you can put what you are learning into context and squash any intimidation.”
“Golf can’t be enjoyed if the happiness is based on results. Golf is a way of life and only after you accept who you are can you be a better player.”
“I get women saying that they are not athletic. I say nonsense! You have been athletic from the days of a toddler learning how to walk…All those movements are motor skills developed over time residing in your subconscious. [Your golf] lessons begin with basic motions and build over time.”
“Keep the ball on a tee until you’ve learned good balance and feel confident in your swing. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it. Then progress to putting it in front of a divot and then to a good lie. Play a scramble with those that have experience, so they can help you with rules and etiquette, where to stand, and how to play fast. Keep it fun and don’t stress.”
“Golf is as hard as you make it. Try not to ever think or say, ‘It is hard’. Children never see or say those words, just adults. Search for ways to make it simple and fun. Makes games of learning and practicing with your friends and family.”
“Let go of your fear of embarrassment. Everyone is still working on their game even at the professional level because golf is not a game of perfection, it’s a game of growth.”
“Go down to the first tee on Saturday morning and watch a few groups of men tee off. After watching those tee shots sail into the trees, you will realize most golfers are far from expert. Golfers are so caught up in straightening out their own swing, that they don’t have the time or inclination to judge the newbie on the other end of the range.”
“Get a group of friends together to play every week. Go play 9 (or 18) after work one night a week. Grab a cooler and enjoy time together on the course. You’ll get better the more you play, and you’ll be having fun with the girls!”
“Welcome to the great game of golf, we are so glad you have decided to join in the fun! Now first Identify ‘why’ you want to learn to play. Share this with your golf instructor and build a plan with checkpoints for success. If the instructor does not want to do that, thank them for their time and move to another instructor who will. Your Golf Journey must be student-centered and that starts from day #1.”
“Be careful with taking too much advice from too many sources. Create a trusted inner circle of coaches or professionals, friends, etc. and come up with a power statement that can be used when someone approaches and offers unsolicited advice such as ‘thanks for the good intention however I’m currently working with a professional and want to remain focusing on this item.’ Newer golfers have a tendency to be a sponge and soak up every bit of advice offered and it makes the game confusing and frustrating.”
“Enjoy the social aspect of [the game]. It is a great way to form new friendships that you wouldn’t outside of golf.”
“For the range – take the last stall in the line on the range so no one is hitting behind you, this way you will have less of a chance of someone coming up to you and offering their advice on how to swing. If that doesn’t work you could always wear a shirt that says – Sshh – I know what I’m doing wrong! LOL or I’m working with a coach. Some of my students were joking about making up shirts to wear because every time they were on the range guys came over to help them! I gave them this tip and they had fewer people walking up to them.”
“Find the right voice and listen to that. Block all the rest. The Committee of ‘They’ can confuse you. Clarity and Confidence delivers Consistency.”
“Stick with it…change doesn’t happen overnight. Find a good teacher and stick to the process.”
“Enjoy the process, have an open mind, create realistic expectations with your LPGA instructor’s help, and have fun! Find a friend that you can practice and giggle with. Wine doesn’t hurt! Lol.”
“Keep experimenting. Golf is about having fun along the way and not the end result.”
“If you’re ready to learn something new, make yourself and the experience of learning golf a priority… your lessons and practice should be appointments, just like going to the doctors or getting your nails and hair done. We do so many things for others… take this time to do something for yourself.”
“Think of the group behind you on the course as if you are driving on the 405 freeway in bumper to bumper traffic, you can only go as fast as the car in front of you. You would never feel sorry for the car behind you. So stop worrying about them, your job is to stay on the group in front. If you need to pick up your ball or skip a hole to do that it’s fine. Tee times go out every 7-8 minutes and courses here in SoCal are often times booked solid with a group on the tee – fairway – and green on every hole.”
“This a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the journey as you work from learning to performance in this wonderful game we all love!”