The best advice for beginners, according to 5 low-handicap golfers

February 12, 2020

Falling in love with golf as a beginner isn’t always easy, but we were all there once. Enter GOLF’s resident low-handicaps, who are here to offer some helpful advice, golfer-to-golfer.

1. Learn To Love Chipping

Dylan Dethier (+3.3 handicap): Chip. Chip, chip, chip. Keep chipping! If you can hit little wedge shots around a green, you’ll teach yourself important lessons about proper contact and about how to score. Plus, short game stuff is less monotonous (and less frustrating) than heading straight to blindly banging balls on the driving range. Work your way up, in time. But chipping is the best foundation for any beginner.

2. Hold Your Finish, Stay Balanced

Luke Kerr-Dineen (2.2 handicap): It’s so strange that we chose to play a game that we have to be terrible at for a pretty substantial period of time before we get decent, but here we are. When it comes to newbies, my advice is simple: Get your setup relatively conventional, and from there, as you make your swing, all you should focus on is maintaining your balance. The golf swing is a strange motion. It takes time to get used to it. Don’t swing for the fences right away. Your goal is to make a swing without falling all over the place. Hold your finish, stay balanced. Focus on that simple goal, and you’ll be giving yourself a platform that you can build on for years.

How to get a balanced, centered setup position to start your golf swing

3. Play Fast

Josh Sens (2.5 handicap): Remember that no one cares how good or bad you are so long as you keep moving. In the beginning, learning how to move around a golf course can be every bit as important as learning how to hit a ball.

4. Stay Positive

Ashley Mayo (3.1 handicap): Breathe! And stay patient. Learning how to play golf is the ultimate challenge, and this is something skilled golfers are well aware of. If you’re patient with yourself and stay relaxed during your quest to become a golfer, the pieces will gradually fall into place. There are three things to keep in mind when you tee it up with golfers who might be better than you are:

First, nobody cares—we’re all a little narcissistic, and your playing partners will care a lot more about their own score than yours, I promise.

Second, keep it moving—be mindful of pace of play and make sure you’re not the reason your group is falling behind. If that means picking up your ball and moving on, please do so;

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And finally, have fun! Your playing partners will remember your attitude and what it was like to be around you FAR more than they will remember what you carded on that long par 4.

5. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Joe Summa (4.9 handicap): Being able to introduce someone to golf is a special opportunity, but it should be done respectfully. Showing them the joy and fun of the game, while pointing out the natural beauty of the architecture and landscape design can create a lasting memory for both parties. Luckily not everyone plays golf for a living, or to feed their family – so don’t act like it! Enjoy your surroundings, don’t keep score until you feel more confident, and try to golf with a more experienced golfer to gain knowledge on the game. Golf can be intimidating for someone who has never held a club, but with a relaxed mindset you can understand why millions of people spend their lives traveling the world to golf.

Have you heard our new “Subpar” series? Check out the first installment featuring John Rahm below!


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