The great Arnold Palmer spoke these words once, “Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.” Anyone who has played a few rounds of this popular sport knows this quote is as accurate as they come. The basics of this game on the green are quickly learned, and a passion for the sport can be formed in only a few holes of play.
However, becoming truly astounding at the game is a much harder card to play. The good news is, it’s not impossible. The following five sets of drills, tips, and information will have you shaving strokes off of your game and improving more quickly than you might have dreamed.
1. You don’t need that many clubs
During competitions, you are allowed to carry as many as 14 golf clubs. But beginners don’t need to bother with this many. In fact, it would be counterproductive.
I know that a lot of golfers are affected by what I call the “shiny object syndrome”. They find out about a new piece of equipment, and they have to buy it to “improve” their golf.
As a beginner, you should be focusing on the 20% that will give you 80% of the results (remember the Pareto principle?). I would recommend you start with the following clubs:
- Sand wedge
These clubs are fairly forgiving so they won’t discourage you as a beginner.
Just don’t buy big golf club sets. They are pretty expensive, and you won’t be able to fully concentrate on the most important clubs.
2. Choose cheap balls
Pro golfers definitely get an edge from choosing the right balls. However, this makes almost no difference for beginners and intermediate players.
As a beginner, you will lose a bunch of balls at every round. Some balls will mysteriously disappear in the woods and some in the water.
I like buying used balls from eBay so I don’t get my heart broken every time I lose a ball. Buying used balls is also better for the environment.
3. Learn how to practice at the range
When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was to go to the range, and see how far I could hit. So I would get my driver and go on and on. A lot of beginners love doing this.
Not only does this throw you out of sync, but it also prevents you from becoming a well rounded player. I would recommend starting out with a wedge, just to warm up your muscles and your brain. Then, progressively get more agressive with irons and move your way up to the driver.
4. Be relaxed during your swing
Beginners think that putting all of your strength in your swing is a good thing. I see even intermediate golfers doing this.
Unfortunately, if your goal is to maximize distance, you should try to relax during your swing and let the momentum do its job. By being more relaxed, you are allowing the head of the club to travel more naturally and gain more momentum. This also allows you to better manage your balance.
Of course, you should still try to let the club gain as much speed as possible. Do not decelerate through the hitting area.