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JaxBomber17

Need some advice on helping a new golfer

9 posts in this topic

One of my best friends is just getting into the game and has asked me to help him out. I took him to Play it Again and we found a used set of Louisville Slugger TPX irons and wedges with a 3 hybrid and a 3 wood, and an older Cleveland driver. He has a great attitude about it and is decently athletic, but of course has struggled out of the gate. Yesterday I just wanted to be sure his grip was right and he was hitting ball-first. I told him that swing mechanics are important, but all he needs to think about is ball-first impact with a square clubface. He seems to be enjoying it a lot more this time around, and even legitimately parred the most difficult par-3 on the course. I gave him a bunch of my old Golf Digests to leaf through for stuff to work on between rounds and we're going to try to play a round at least once a week, with range time at our alma mater's facility in between.

What tips, if any, do you guys have for keeping frustration to a minimum and effectively giving tips during a round? My main concern is that I don't want to overload him with info. I told him I'm just going to try to give him one thing to think about every time we play, but nothing that seriously changes his swing until we're on the range. He tried to pick it up a year ago, but a mutual friend of ours (great guy, but one of those 40-cappers who thinks he's Hank Haney) threw so much info at him before, during, and after every swing that he got frustrated and went back to disc golf.

Also, what's a good way to help him eliminate his slice? It frustrated the hell out of me when I first started, and he has a pretty bad one.

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I'd recommend lessons. If not that, head to the library for some good instructional books (I like Watson's new book along with his video Lessons of a lifetime). I'd recommend video taping his swing and letting him see what his swing looks like.  Leadbetter has several videos on the basics of the swing, too.  A guy named Simon Holmes has two good video instructions that take you from basics. Shawn Humpries "How to Build a Repeating Swing" is also very good.

I've heard that young golfers who become good, start from the putting to short game to full swing.....they practice/learn on and around pitching/chipping before heading out for a full swing.

The last thing you friend needs is to learn via trial and error. I'd recommend a golf week/school or professional lessons so he can start on the right foot.

Making in-round recommendations might be frustrating for both of you and lead to some harsh words both ways......in frustration.

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Alot of time at the range should help out too.

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As somebody who used to have a big slice - I think it comes from fundamental misunderstandings about how the golf swing works. Lessons should be the quickest way out of it.
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Definitely the lessons but if not possible at the moment watch some good videos and a good book, I would second the Watson book. In regards to offering advice, only give one thing at a time for him to work on. It's easy, especially in golf to overwhelm someone with too much advice and it just ends up in frustration. Also, talk English when giving the suggestions meaning don't get overly technical and always relate it back to the body as it's easier to feel the body then the club, especially for a beginner.

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If he really wants to get good I'd say range time, practice all aspects, and play par 3 courses for a while. I understand why new players want to jump right on the course but it won't help you make swing changes or really practice. Lessons would also go a long way to putting him on the right path.

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Best advice I got when I started last year was slowing down my back swing and not trying to kill the ball. I'm sure your friend being a guy will naturally want to try to bit his drive 300 yards..
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As relatively new myself, I have just now become able to hit a straight drive consistently. The only piece of valid information I have to contribute is to slow down his back swing. Better yet take him to the local pro, they usually give price break for a pack of lessons.

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You have to go to the range before the course, if you understand the golf swing, teach him how to swing, if not, get lessons. You can't take someone who doesn't play golf straight to the course. He needs to be able to learn without worrying about it costing him a stroke every time he hits a ball.
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