The Ultimate Beginner's Guide To Golf

David Leadbetter teaching at the Leadbetter Academy at Leeds Golf Centre

Golf is an amazing sport, enjoyed by people of all ages and from all backgrounds. Although getting started in golf can sometimes be a little daunting, there are a few steps to get you on your way quickly and without having to spend a fortune.

Where Should I Go To Play Golf As A Beginner?

Although you may be surrounded by plenty of golf courses, not all of them are suitable for beginners to play and learn. Have a look on the internet and look for golf courses that have golf academies and driving ranges and that are open to the public. We have both of these at Leeds Golf Centre so if you’re a beginner you’re more than welcome to check us out.

What Do I Need To Know?

Once you’ve found a place that looks right for you, give them a quick call, and ask the following questions: – Is there a dress code? Most driving ranges and academies usually have a relaxed dress code, but it is always worth checking. – Do you have clubs to hire or use if you visit the driving range? – Is there anyone there that can advise on suitable equipment a beginner might need? – Does the academy run beginners group classes?

Enrol In Some Group Lessons

Most driving ranges and academies will run beginners sessions which are usually in a group format. You will find that beginner courses are way cheaper than getting one on one tuition. Plus they will cover all of the fundamentals and give you a great foundation for developing both your technique and your understanding of the game. You can also always search for England Golf’s “Get into Golf” campaign – there may be some sessions taking place near you and you can sign up through the website.

Do You Know Anyone That Plays Golf?

If you have a friend or family member that plays, it’s great to go to the driving range with them for a practice. If you’re not having lessons yet, see if they can help you with some of the basics; the grip, stance, posture, what the different clubs are for etc. Golfing with friends can be a great way to socialise too.

Get Some Equipment

We all have different budgets and if you are just dipping your toe into the world of golf then diving in and spending hundreds of pounds on clubs may not be the best way to go. If you’re doing a course, ask your coach what you’d be best getting.

If you’re in a golfing shop, ask if they’ve got any recommendations or any stock in your price range. If the shop doesn’t have the equipment you want in stock then they’ll point you in the right direction. You can pick up some decent second-hand stuff on Gumtree and eBay, but check with your coach that the equipment is right for you.

Play Golf

Unfortunately, golf is a game that you will never perfect. And many beginners leave it far too long to actually get out on the golf course because they want to “perfect” their technique before playing the game. But the best way is to learn on the job. Either search the internet, or take advice on local par 3 course like we have at Leeds Golf Centre. Just to get out there and get playing. By doing this, you will realise what you really need to do to improve your scores. You can then relay this to your coach and focus on those areas.

Short Game

The art of chipping and putting, the two shortest types of shot are arguably the most valuable to improving your game. Hopefully, the golf facility you have chosen, have a putting and chipping green you can use. These areas of the game will be covered in your tuition, so spend plenty of time out there applying your technique and getting better at close range. Don’t get stuck just going on the driving range! It is advised, for every hour you have on the driving range, you should spend at least an hour on your short game.

Watch Some Golf

This serves as a great way to learn the lingo. The scoring in golf is actually a very simple concept – you just need to get the ball around the course in as few shots as possible. But there are some seriously odd phrases and terms to describe your scores! We could take you through it all but we’d be here all day. However here are the basics below!

Clubs: The thing you hit the ball with – it’s not a bat, stick, cue or racquet!

Ball: The thing you hit – this one is obvious but thought best to clarify!

Golf Course: Where you play golf – not a field, pitch or ground.

Hole: A full length golf course is split into 18 “holes”. Each hole has a starting point called the “Tee” and a finish point which is “The green” where you do the putting and where the hole is.

Par: The par of each hole, which is decided on its length and difficulty, is the number of shots an expert or professional golfer would routinely complete the hole in. The par varies between 3, 4 and 5 par. The par of the course is the combination of the par of the individual holes – this is usually around 72.

Handicap: If you were to join a club, you would play 3 rounds to attain a handicap. This is par of the course subtracted from your score at the end of a round. Handicaps are used so that players of all abilities can compete against each other on a level playing field.

Birdie: If you score one shot less than par on a hole eg. You take 3 shots to complete a Par 4 hole.

Bogey: If you score one shot more than par on a hole eg. You take 6 shots to complete a Par 5 hole.

Wherever you decide to go to get into the game of golf, the PGA Professional at the facility will be as passionate as you are about getting you into the game of golf. Just make sure you ask all the questions so you can to make the game work for you.

At The Leadbetter Academy at Leeds Golf Centre, we have been doing our best to make the sport as accessible as possible since our arrival. We are passionate about opening the sport up to everyone, and if you have any questions about doing so, then get in touch!