Beginners need to master these 4 clubs to get better, says top teacher

a golfer swings

What's the fastest way to get better as a beginner? Here's what GOLF Top 100 Teacher Allen Terrell says you need to do.

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Getting into golf as a beginner isn’t always easy, but there are lots of little rewards along the way: new milestones reached, new friends made, a game to play forever.

But the biggest wins are when you start to shoot lower scores, which of course seems obvious but it’s true. Breaking 100, breaking 90 and even 80, if you eventually get there, is a big deal.

So what’s the fastest way to get better as a beginner or junior? Especially if you are, say, a 100s shooter and want to finally get into double-digits? GOLF Top 100 Teacher Allen Terrell, who is Dustin Johnson’s coach and runs his golf academy, says he’ll tell students “we got to be great with four clubs: two wedges, our putter and our driver.”

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The logic here makes sense. You need to get off the tee and put yourself in a good position to approach the green, and the tee box is where most of your trouble (i.e. penalty strokes) comes into play. And of course, the putter is important. Draining putts is an easy way to compensate for a bad ball-striking round and, more importantly, learning how to become a great lag putter is the best way to avoid three-putts and see those scores go down in a hurry.

But why does Terrell say to master two wedges? One around the greens to fine-tune your short game, and one for more full swings.

“I prefer a golfer to be really solid around the green with one wedge when they are young so they generate creativity and not be so robotic or confused if they should use a 60, 56, 52 degree,” he said. “Just understand how to hit all the shots with one at first. But in regards to the four clubs, it’s more the finesse wedges, when you are able to have a lot of shots from 100 yards in and not just around the green.”

Terrell also suggests his juniors or beginners don’t use more than a 56-degree wedge around the greens when they are starting out.

“I’d rather them understand the creativity they can generate with a 56 for the higher shots and the lower shots,” he said.

So there you have it, your four clubs to master: driver, putter, full-swing wedge and short-game wedge. Godspeed.

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