how to play golf

How to Play Golf – Basics for Beginners

Looking for an interesting, fun, relaxing, yet challenging outdoor game? Why don’t you play golf, then? And, if you are wondering about how to play golf, then don’t worry. We have covered the basics about it, making this post a beginner-friendly guide.

Golf is a huge sport and a cool game to play. And its craze is not stopping at all. However, there are so many rules in golf that make it complicated for beginners. Still, it is an enjoyable and classy game, making it one of the greatest games of all time. 

Furthermore, you need patience and techniques to play golf, so it is also called the game of patience. So, let’s get started with the basics of golf now.

How to play golf – Beginner’s Guide

Golf is a beautiful game in which you have to hit the ball into the hole. You should do it in as few shots as possible to be the winner. And to get a good strike and points, you need the right equipment. 

What do you need to play golf?

The golf equipment is expensive. So, if you can afford them, you can buy new ones. Otherwise, for a beginner, we recommend you go for the used ones. To play golf, you need:

Clubs

You need clubs to strike the golf ball. Each club comes in different shapes and sizes depending upon the situation while playing golf. And you can only bring 14 clubs to the golf course. Most importantly, consider weight, height, and grips when purchasing golf clubs. Pick the best set that feels good in your hands.

Golf ball

The next is a golf ball that is available in the market with varieties of options to choose from. For a beginner, you can bring any just to practice. Once you get the knack of it, you can go for another. However, bring a couple of balls or a full box with you, in case you lose some of it.

Tees

Tees are generally made from plastic or wood that is stuck in the ground vertically to elevate the golf ball. You use it to make the first strike in golf. 

Ball markers

After every shot, you need to put a small object in place of the ball known as ball markers. To avoid confusion, each player uses such labels to recognize the ball’s position and continue their shot when their turn arrives.

Gloves

You need gloves for the perfect grip when swinging the clubs.

Golf bag

You need a golf bag to put golf clubs, balls, and tees.

Shoes

You need a pair of shoes with spikes for better balance and control when swinging.

Other essentials that you need to consider is appropriate attire when playing golf. 

Basic rules

You need to follow some rules strictly if you don’t want to get kicked out of the golf course.  There are many rules, but here are some basic rules that make it easier for a beginner to understand and follow.

Golf Course

  • A regular golf course consists of 18 holes with different layouts and sizes. Still, there are golf courses with nine holes as well.
  • The holes can be anywhere around the golf course.
  • The golf course has different terrains like slope surface, flat surface, ponds, etc.
  •  Dress code is essential when you are on a golf course. So dress appropriately.

Game rules

  • You can either play in a group or solo.
  • Each player gets their turn to strike the golf ball.
  • You cannot interfere when another player is taking the swing. 
  • Each player must strike the golf ball to each hole. A red flag marks the final hole.
  • Once every player strikes the ball and reaches the green, the player farthest from the hole goes first for the next hit. This continues until everyone is ready to putt.
  • You cannot move the ball however you like. You need to use the ball markers when you move the ball.
  • The play is continued from the place where the ball falls after each stroke. However, you can hit the ball from the original spot where it bounced before it gets into the water or bushes. But, you get a one-stroke penalty.
  • If the wind knocks your ball off from the tee, you can put the ball back onto the tee. Otherwise, you need to hit the ball where it falls.
  • The player who strikes the ball into the final hole with fewer shots than their opponents is the winner. 
  • You can carry only 14 clubs. More than that results in a penalty.
  • If your match gets tied, then one hole is extended as a part of a sudden death match to know the winner of the game.

Penalty

  • If your ball gets into the water or out of play, you get one stroke penalty. It means one stroke is added to your score even when you don’t swing. For example, if you take 15 total strokes during the game, then the one-stroke penalty makes it 16.  
  • Golf is a gentleman’s game. So, if you interfere with another player’s play, then you get a two-stroke penalty.
  • You are disqualified if you cheat during the game.

Besides these, there are many other rules. But, for a beginner, these rules are enough. 

Grips

There are different types of grips in golf. But, it depends on players to get the best grips. 

Generally, there are three types of grips: Ten fingers, interlocking, and  overlapping.

Ten finger Grip

Often recommended for beginners, a ten-finger grip is simple to use and master. It is the same as holding a baseball bat or cricket bat or iron sticks where all your fingers are touching the bat. In a ten-finger grip, you need to keep your hands side by side next to each other. Also, there shouldn’t be any gap between them while holding the golf club. 

Interlocking grip

Most of the professionals in golf use interlocking grip. Just like a ten-finger grip, first, you hold the golf club with all your fingers. Once you do that, you need to interlock your right hand’s pinky finger with the left hand’s index finger. If you are a left-handed player, reverse the hand position and interlock pinky and index finger.

Overlapping grip

In overlapping grip, you hold a golf club with all your fingers just like a ten-finger grip. It’s just that you need to put your right hand’s pinky finger between the middle and index finger of your left hand. For left-handed players, reverse the hand position only and do the same as above. 

Experiment and select the grip that suits you best. 

Golf Swing

Once you get your best grip, now it’s time to know about the golf swing. To make your swing effortless, there are different techniques that you need to know about. So, let’s get started.

Stance and position

First, you need to get into the position. Get both your feet behind the hitting line. Your legs should face towards the tee. And you should distribute your body weight evenly on both your legs. Now, bend your upper body slightly forward. Your head, shoulders, body, and the golf club should align straight to the tee.

Keep your eyes always on the ball.

Backswing

Now, it’s time to backswing the golf club. Keep your arm close to each other and slowly bring your golf club backward to generate power to strike the golf ball. Don’t rush while making a backswing, which is the biggest mistake many beginners make. So, take your time, aim, and hit the golf ball.

Downswing

Once you are in a perfect position, now swing your golf club as hard as possible to get closer to the hole. Let your arms fall naturally, and keep your eyes on the ball all the time. Maintain your stance and keep your body straight after you strike the ball. 

Follow through

Never stop your body after hitting. Complete your swing and let your body go with the flow until the golf club completely comes behind you. You should transfer all your body weight to your left foot, and the right foot should be on your toes in this process. 

Scoring

Now, let’s see how to calculate your score.

In golf, everything is about par. Par indicates how much stroke is needed to complete the whole game. And for each hole, a number of par is fixed. Generally, the golf game has a total of 72 strokes. At the end of the game, your strokes during each hole are calculated and then added. Once your total stroke is determined, it is then subtracted from 72. And that will be your final score.

For example, if you take 80 strokes during the game, then your final score will be eight. It is known as eight over par. If your entire stroke is below 72, then it will be under par. If your total stroke is 72, then it is known as even par.

And don’t forget about the penalties you get. You need to adjust them in your final score.

The player with the lowest final score is the winner in golf. 

In Conclusion

Playing golf is a little bit challenging. However, you can overcome it once you start practicing. Practice every day and master the game. These are the basics of the game. Until and unless you apply your knowledge on the golf course, you won’t see any results. So, go to a golf field and enjoy the game.

Image Credits: tyler hendy from Pexels

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