How To Improve as a beginner golfer
When you first start to play golf it can be frustrating, whether that’s because you’re not able to properly hit the ball, struggle to hit it straight or just arn’t able to keep up with your playing partner.
There are many great ways to improve at golf as a beginner and it doesn’t matter if you’re 16 or 60, small changes in your game can make golf much more enjoyable and help you reduce your scores.
As a PGA Golf Professional we always advise having an introduction to golf lesson.
As a beginner, playing golf can be confusing and frustrating and simple things like grip, ball positioning & club selection can massivly affect your overall performance.
In a lesson, I will show you how address the ball, the correct way to grip the golf club and give you an idea on the importance of choosing the correct golf club.
If you’re holding the golf club incorrectly, this can lead to an open/closed face at impact which will lead to hooks,draws or shanks.
Course management is an important aspect of golf that many begineer golfers don’t consider or use to their advantage.
Simple things such as choosing the correct shot to play & playing percentages will drastically help your game.
As an amature/beginner golfer, choosing the right shot can save you multiple shots a round and typically playing safe is the best option.
Caught in the tree?, the best choice is to play your ball back on to the fairway in the easiest way possible. You may not get closer to the hole but the chances of you hitting it onto the green from 165 yards, through 15 trees are slim-to-none.
25 Yards off the green and need to hit over a bunkerto get to the flag? Yes, you may be able to make it but you will average lower scores by playing the safe shot onto the green, giving yourself a chance to putt.
130 yards out and hitting onto the green? Now, the flag is positioned to the front and the green is guarded by a bunker infront & to the left.
Using course management, choosing a club that allows you to play the ball slightly longer than required would be beneficial as it reduces your changes of landing in the bunker at the front of the green.
Aiming slightly right of the flag will also reduce the risk of landing in the bunker to the left of the green.
Overall, course management focuses on choosing the correct club and helps you focus on the safest shot to play for a beginner golfer.
Benefits of a golf handicap
Golf courses have a “Par” score total to indicate the difficulty of the golf course . As a beginner it’s important to remember that on a par 4 hole, you don’t have to score a 4 to have played the hole well.
The handicap system was created to make golf fair for every golfer, regardless of their ability. The max handicap for a golfer is 54, which means that if you hold a maximum handicap you can shoot 54 over par and finish even par.
If you hold a 36 handicap, it means you can shoot 2+ on each hole and still finish level par at the end of the round.
This is why it’s important to remember your handicap, or your ability when playing a hole, not always worrying about scoring a 3/4 or 5 but focussing on playing to a handicap score.
Now we know everybody is different when it comes down to how much time they have to play or practice golf, you may have recently retired and have a lot of time on your hands or be someone with a family and work commitements.
If you want to improve at golf, practicing the parts of the game you struggle at will be beneficial.
Personally, i believe practicing putting & short game is most beneficial if you want to improve as a beginner golfer.
Putting can make up a huge percentage of your shots over the course of 18 holes, with many begineers making between 40/60 putts per round.
If you’re new to the game, longer putts shouldn’t be about trying to get the ball in the hole, but getting the ball close to the hole. According to data from Tom Fielding Golf a 20 handicap golfer has only a 27% chance of putting first time from 8ft, with first-time putts from 20ft sitting at only 6%.
Focusing on distance control and the ball finishing close to the hole will lead to far fewer “3 putts” and a reduced score overall.