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How To Play Golf? A Beginner’s Guide

 How To Play Golf? A Beginner’s Guide

How Do You Play Golf?

Golf is played by going to a course and trying to get the ball into 18 holes that you play consecutively. You want the ball to be sunk in the designated par, which is the maximum number of shots you should take.

This is a basic overview of how a typical golf hole will look:

image goes here...

The first step is setting up the tee in the designated area known as the tee box and taking a swing. Next, you’ll hit the ball from the rough, fairway, or bunkers. Hitting the ball into the water or out-of-bounds may result in a penalty. Keep using different clubs until the ball goes into the green and eventually into the hole. You’re permitted to go over the par, but it will affect your final score.

Here are a few other things to know about the sport:

You can play solo or with a group.

You can play solo or with a group.

The time may vary, but it typically takes 2 to 5 hours to play a round of golf.

The time may vary, but it typically takes 2 to 5 hours to play a round of golf.

Not all courses are 18 holes. Some are smaller, while others are larger.

Not all courses are 18 holes. Some are smaller, while others are larger.

Golf courses can be really strict with their dress code. Check ahead of time.

Golf courses can be really strict with their dress code. Check ahead of time.

Don’t participate in competitive games if you’re a newbie.

Don’t participate in competitive games if you’re a newbie.

A game of golf is fairly straightforward, but bring along an expert if you’re unsure where to start. You’ll want someone seasoned to show you the ropes if you’re giving the sport a shot for the first time.

Where to play & practice golf

There are three main places you can learn to play golf:

  1. Driving ranges
  2. 9-hole pitch and putt courses
  3. 18-hole courses

Best way to learn golf

The best places to learn the game are the top two.

Driving ranges often allow you to hire out equipment, meaning you can turn up, grab 50 or 100 balls and just have a go at hitting the ball. I would certainly recommend having a few attempts on a golf range before heading out to the golf course – it helps if you can consistently make contact with the ball!

Here is a quick guide to help you master your time at the golf range if you want to learn more.

Once you’ve hit the range, try out a local 9-hole short course, or pitch and putt course. These provide a great next step for learning how to play golf, the shorter holes take the pressure off being able to whack the ball 300-yards and allowing you to learn the basics of chipping and putting.

Once you’ve mastered the two steps above, consider heading to a full 18-hole course. However, don’t feel you need to mark a full scorecard, the best approach is to treat your first few rounds on 18-hole courses as learning experiences – have a hit, find your golf ball, do it again, then pick up and move onto the next hole when you’ve had enough.

This approach takes the pressure off having to hit great golf shots and can keep you and your friends playing at a decent pace. On that note – don’t worry if golfers are behind you, just ask if they want to play through on this hole or the next – this means you can relax and enjoy your time on the course.

Learn the basics of the swing

golf swing basics, top of swing and downswing of golfer

Golf swing mechanics can seem very complicated when you dive into the theory, but the game doesn’t need to be this complex. Your aim is to:

  1. Get the ball up in the air.
  2. Get the ball traveling in the right direction.
  3. Control how far it goes.

Golf lessons for beginners

If you want to improve your golf game, find a local pro that makes learning the game fun.

There is some great information online but having in-person coaching allows a pro to see exactly what you are doing and will speed up your progress. Group beginner lessons are a great way to meet fellow beginner golfers and find some new golfing buddies.

Below we’ll go through a few basics of the golf swing to get you up and running. If you want a more detailed guide on how to swing a golf club.

Golf swing basics

The golf swing is a sequence of events, how you set up to hit a golf ball is one of the most important aspects of the game, and where 90% of beginners go wrong. If you can get your setup correct hitting a golf ball becomes a lot easier.

There are three simple steps to master that can be remembered as G-A-P

  • Grip
  • Aim
  • Posture

If you get these three golf swing basics correct, you’ll be on a very good path to hit some great golf shots.

Golf grip

Your golf grip is the only thing that connects you to the golf club, so it is pretty important! For a full, in-depth article on the proper golf grip check out this link. Or for a quick guide follow the pictures below.

First, place your left hand on the club as shown below.

learning how to grip a golf club, showing the left hand golf grip

Next, wrap your fingers around the grip and place your right hand on below. Your hands should end up wrapped over one another, with the golf grip feeling as if it is mainly in your fingers. This will feel strange but allows you to properly hinge your wrists during your golf swing.

showing a sequence of the golf grip, and important golf swing basics

The biggest mistake I see when coaching beginner players is a weak golf grip, which results in golf shots slicing/fading and a loss of power.


The aim is the point beginner golfers worry about most, but are actually very good at. We’re naturally pretty good at aiming at targets and golf is no exception.

A nice visual guide is to imagine you are standing on a train track. Your golf ball and clubhead are on the righthand track and should point along the track towards your target. Your feet and shoulders are on the lefthand track and point parallel to your target line.

golf swing basics alignment picture

Why did your golf shot go 40 yards right / left even though you were aiming straight? Either:

  1. You did hit the center of the clubface – if you hit the edge of the golf club, where your aim will matter very little.
  2. Your clubface was pointing in that direction at impact. Where your clubface points at impact dictate 80% of the direction of your golf shot (if you satisfy point 1 above).

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