No Not Yet!
Advice For The Beginning Golfer
Does this sound familiar to you? I really enjoy playing golf, but my scores just aren't what I would like. My buddies are handing me my head and I would love to get even. You are a beginning golfer.
Are you ready to spend hundreds on that new driver you saw in the shop? That wild-looking shaft would really impress your friends if it were sticking out of your bag. Maybe you should buy those new cavity back irons that you saw in the magazine. They would add yards to every shot. A new belly putter would surprise them and maybe even help you make a putt someday.
No, it isn't time to wipe out the checking account. Buying new equipment will help an accomplished golfer play better. You are a golf beginner, you just aren't that good yet.
Heaven only knows where the next ball you hit is going. What makes you believe your clubs are the problem? You need to develop a repeatable and reliable swing before you spend lots of money. Expensive brand name equipment will perform very well when used by an advanced player.
Expensive equipment should be adjusted to work with your body and swing. This fitting process allows advanced players to enjoy exceptional performance from their new equipment. You don't want to match equipment to that horrible shot you just hit on the third hole do you? Let's not talk about your short game either.
Please buy three things: a training video or book, a real training aid, and a used set of clubs. These items will help you learn how to play golf before you decide to spend lots of money. You can hit your famous shank with a used club just as well as with a brand new one.
Golfers have egos. They like to have shiny new toys every couple of years. Their used equipment is exchanged for this season's newest fashion. The used equipment will serve you for years and won't break your budget. It is worth your time to add gap and sand wedges since they are normally sold separately. Wedges and hybrid irons may be purchased at discount golf shops at reasonable cost.
Look for standard length clubs. Only very short or very tall players would need any adjustment at this time. Use clubs with standard lie angles. You swing is still changing, there is no way to predict a better angle for you right now.
Study your training video or book frequently. Follow it faithfully. You may pick any source you like as long as it teaches an established method. Stick with just the one training source. Listening to or reading multiple sources will only confuse you. You will make better progress by keeping things simple.
Now buy just one swing training aide and practice with it frequently. There are many proven aides. Working with more than one at once is just like having more than one coach. You will end up with more confusion than progress. You may add one putting aide if you like. The same rules apply to the putting aide.
This is the best time to cancel all your golf magazine subscriptions and to turn off all golf broadcasts. Advanced golfers can read those articles and pick out just the hints they desire. You don't know how to filter out information like that yet. These sources will just add more confusion.
You will begin to develop a real golf swing as you repeatedly practice with the swing aide. On the course you will hit more acceptable shots and far fewer disturbing ones. Even though you won't always hit your targets, your mistakes will be closer than ever before.
Pay attention to how far each club carries, especially on par three greens. Since you can tee up the ball, you will have an almost perfect set up each time and the distance is well-marked. Don't try this on a driving range. Range balls have been worn down thru frequent use and normally don't have as much compression. You will underestimate your carry distance based on range balls.
Over time you should see your carry distance increase for every club. Consistent swing mechanics and clean contact will produce added distance. You should be using one or even two less club lengths to reach your favorite par threes.
You never master golf but you do learn to control yourself. You are ready for a custom fit set of clubs. Your swing is mechanically sound and repeatable. You should enjoy the feel and performance of those new cavity back clubs you are dreaming about.