11 fantastic golf tips all beginning players need to know

father gives son a lesson

These tips are perfect for golfers just picking up the game.

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Golf is never easy — especially as a beginner — but we’re here to help. We’ve gathered some of the best Top 100 Teachers, Tour players and social media instruction stars to help you get the most out of your game as a newcomer to golf.

Here are 11 fantastic tips for every beginning player.

1. Swing with an anti-slice grip

If you slice, it’s probably because you’re not closing the clubface fast enough through the hitting zone. To improve your ability to deliver a square clubface (relative to your path), make practice swings with your hands split apart on the grip.

Hold the club in its normal position with your gloved hand, then slide your lower hand down to where the grip meets the shaft (photo, left). Separating your hands like this makes it easier to square the face through impact and keep the handle pointing at your belly button as the clubhead slings out toward the ball. Make sure to brush the grass aggressively. If you can recreate the feels in the drill on real swings, you’re money. —Krista Dunton

2. 3 steps to perfect posture

How you set up over the ball greatly influences how well you’re able to hit it. To correctly prep your posture for action, stand with a club pressed against your thighs. Then bend forward from your hips while slightly flexing your knees. If you do this without hunching your back, your arms will hang straight down. Perfect. Now grip the handle with your glove hand and check that it’s at roughly a 45-degree angle to your forearm. Once you’ve taken hold with your gloved hand, add the other. Congrats! You’re in perfect setup posture. —Sean Hogan

3. Get square at the start

Often, shots go wayward because of a misaligned clubface at address. Place an alignment stick just outside the golf ball, so it creates a 90-degree angle with the target line (photo, above). As you set up, align the leading edge of the club with the stick, then pull it back to its regular position. It’s a simple way to ensure that the face is square every time. —Mark Durland

4. Insta tip: Check your putter path


Line up your putter just inside a baseboard. Make your stroke. If you hit the board, there’s something wrong with your path. The goal: Miss the board by using a straight or arcing stroke. @michaelhuntgolf

5. Get wide early for speed where it counts

Speed starts at the beginning of your swing. Whether you can whip it 80 miles per hour or 120-plus like me, the key to generating ball speed is creating width in your takeaway. I see a ton of recreational golfers who struggle to create a full turn or rotation. That problem starts during the takeaway. Many golfers just pick up their driver and turn their shoulders. In order to create maximum speed, you have to create maximum width. This is something I work on a lot.

Try taking the club back almost as far out as you can, creating that width. Naturally, your body will want to turn with you. This will create more speed when you come down from the top. —Cam Champ

6. One drill for better driving

Distance is king, but distance and accuracy is the ultimate goal. To master both, you need to extend your arms fully through impact. Try this: Tee up a ball and place another tee six inches outside the first on a 45-degree angle. Your goal is to strike the ball on the first tee and swing the clubhead over the second. Do this and you’ll automatically hit all the right power positions.

7. Whip up more speed

Imagine there’s a whip connected at the clubhead. To get the whip to crack at the bottom of your swing, you must “snap” your wrists and hands through the strike without overswinging your shoulders. Here, I’ve attached a piece of ribbon to the shaft . (It’s a lot safer than an actual whip.) The trick is to consciously get the end of the ribbon to “crack ” right at the bottom of your swing arc. This drill is a great way to take your mind off hitting balls, and instead hone in on increasing your clubhead speed. —Cheryl Anderson

8. Stop chips on a dime

The best training aid to help you generate more spin on your chip shots? It’s your golf bag. Lay it on the ground two feet in front of the ball and across your target line. Hit chips over the bag using your sand wedge. The bag’s proximity to the ball will force you to hit down on the ball sharply and with lots of acceleration — two keys for creating max short-game spin.

9. Square up your stance from the bunker

Tour pros make it look so easy. But the way they play their sand shots, with the ball far forward and the clubface wide open, requires more clubhead speed than most amateurs can muster. Make it easier on yourself by setting up with your shoulders and clubface square, and the ball slightly forward of center. From here, you’ll need to dig the blade into the sand to gouge the ball out, as if you’re playing from a buried lie. You’ll be less likely to blade it or catch it heavy, and — most important — you’ll be on the green. —Kevin Sprecher

10. Insta tip: Keep a steady head


Place a ruler on top of a mantel or dresser, one that’s just taller than your head and another that’s about chin height. Make mock swings without disrupting the ruler. Now you’re steady — and solid. #moggacademy

11. The right way to take a speed grip

The more the grip rests in your palm, the harder it is to hinge and create power. The opposite is true when the handle is in your fingers. Set the grip diagonally across your digits as shown in the illustration above right, and then wrap your thumb pad over the top of the handle. Get ready to pour on the speed.

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Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.