Beginners Golf Guide
Starting golf and buying your first set of golf clubs can seem extremely confusing with the vast amount of information available on what type of clubs, balls, bag, shoes, gloves and accessories you should choose.
We’ve made this guide a simple reference for you to make sense of the jargon and picked out the key information and advice that you will need, all broken down into handy sections.
When choosing your first golf ball it is important to choose a model that has been designed for greater distance and less spin, this will make for a more forgiving shot shape and ball flight. A softer cover will increase feel when chipping and putting on the green. Once you have selected a golf ball that you are happy with we recommend trying to use the same ball each time you play to keep a level of consistency with each shot you play.
When your first start out golf we recommend using an all weather glove rather than a leather glove as they generally last longer and will cope with all conditions. To get the best fit ensure your fingers can bend comfortably and the gloves fits like a ‘second skin’. The gloves should worn on the left hand if you are right handed and on the right hand if you are left handed.
Most beginner golfers choose a stand bag that is carried with a dual strap on both shoulders which can be put down and rested on the bags stand. Alternatively a cart bag can be used if you are looking to use a trolley on the golf course. Choose a bag with the appropriate pockets for your requirements, as standard all you will need is about 5 or 6 pockets for your sweater, ball pocket, valuables pocket and a pocket for your water bottle.
As will all shoes the primary thing to consider is if they are comfortable and will still be comfortable after walking in them for 3-5 hours. Generally we’d recommend buying a leather upper waterproof golf shoe which will be able to come with all weather conditions and be breathable when your foot sweats. You can also choose from traditional spikes that are replaceable or a grips that are moulded into the sole of the shoe. As a rule you will get more grip from softspikes, particularly in wet weather.
When buying your first set of irons be sure to make sure you buy stainless steel heads with a cavity back and a wider sole, this will increase forgiveness on off centre strikes and enable you to hit the ball in the air and increase distance. Ideally being custom fitted for your first set will greatly improve your game, however when first starting out unless you are exceptionally tall or short you can be sure a standard set will be fine for you to use whilst learning and improving.
Wood or now-a-days ‘metals’ are used predominately off the tee for your 1st shot using driver or off the fairway on your 2nd and 3rd shots using a fairway. There’s also many different shafts, head types and lofts available. Most starter sets come with a higher lofted driver of about 10.5 – 12 degrees of loft and a 3 and (or) 5 fairway wood, these will be perfect for you to use whilst learning and improving your game.
You will need a Sand Wedge and a Pitching Wedge in your first set of irons, these usually come included with a starter package set and are used for shots out of the sand bunkers and from around the green. Specialist wedges are also available in many different lofts and grinds for different swing types and course conditions.
There’s many different types of putter available to choose from and all of our package sets included a putter than will be perfect to use whilst you are getting used to how the ball rolls on the green and how the ball feels on impact. At a later date and when you have a consistent putting stroke you can try different models with a selection of head shapes, weights and faces. which will compliment your putting stroke.
The best and most cost effective way of buying your first set of golf clubs is to buy a Beginners Golf Starter Set which often includes; irons, woods, hybrid, putter & bag.
When choosing a package set it is important to make sure the iron heads are made from stainless steel (not cheaply made alloy as these will more than likely snap and won’t deliver any consistency) and have cavity backs which will increase the size of sweet-spot on the face and minimise miss-hits and give you extra confidence over the ball.
You can view our recommended starter packs here in our Beginners Golf Equipment Section where you can also choose any extras such as golf balls, trolley, gloves and tees you may need when first starting out. (We’ve picked out the top products that we recommend for beginners.)
Do I need steel or graphite shafts?
One of the most commonly asked questions when choosing the first set is shaft material type. The usual rule for irons is seniors, juniors and ladies will use graphite and almost everyone one else will use steel but naturally there are exceptions. Almost all driver, fairway and hybrid shafts will be made from graphite regardless of age, gender or skill level.
What shaft & flex do I need?
Generally most beginners will benefit most from a standard regular steel shaft in their irons and a standard graphite regular shaft in their woods. Exceptions to this may if the player is a junior, lady or senior and may require a lighter flex or graphite in their irons. These golf clubs can be called hybrids, utilities or rescues but all represent a type of golf clubs that is designed to replace your long irons (3,4,5 irons, perfect for beginners as they are traditionally the harder irons to use).
You can have anything from 1 to 4 hybrids in your bag depending on what distances you hit your other clubs and if you have a particular distance gap between clubs. Most beginner golfers will have either 1 or 2. Made to be used like an iron they have longer shafts, more weight in the sole and a bigger sweet-spot on the face. This means you will swing the club faster, hit the ball higher in the air and add extra yards and consistency to your shots. You can view our recommended starter packs here in our Beginners Golf Equipment Section