or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Practice Range › Instruction and Playing Tips › Beginner - Needs advice
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Beginner - Needs advice

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hey all,


Total golf beginner here so go easy on me!. Have started playing in the last 5 weeks and will be playing every week of a saturday morning. Havent played golf before this.

I purchased a set of New Callaway Strata clubs of ebay. Driver, 3wood, 4 & 5 hybrids, 6-pw irons. Looked like a good beginner set. About $200 delivered


I have been playing a local course – http://www.iseekgolf.com/courses/1664-east-framlingham-golf-club
Its a par 70. And i’ve been getting mid 60’s for nine holes.


Im wondering where i start in the way of getting some decent training. My swing is all over the place. No one has really shown me how to swing properly. I can hit a perfect straight drive, then the next shot slice it into a tree. I have no consistency in my swinging and i dont feel very fluid and relaxed in my swing.


I would say some swing and grip help would be of huge benefit to get my started.


Also curious about my clubs. I’ve done a bit of reading and read about the different ratings of clubs, SGI, GI etc. Wondering if my clubs are fine for my level or if im better getting a more forgiving set. Im open to advice.


The problem i have around this area is there is no actual golf shops. No driving range. Not sure where I go to get some training/lessons.

Closest major golf shop is probably 2-3 hours drive.


Any advice would be great. Looking forward to getting some practice in and really improving as I’m having a ball even with my terrible score.


Thanks in advance

post #2 of 19

Well i started playing golf with only irons, maybe you should try that also.

I was hdc 14 when my first woods came in the bag.

If you lets say tee off with 5 iron and play off fairway with 7,8,9,pw

Your bad shots are a lot better that slicing a driver deep in the woods.

Because when your just starting you don't have to be on the green in 2.


For other tips: hard to type it all out here, i suggest you log on to youtube 

plenty off tips and drills there. 

post #3 of 19

the one mistake most beginners make is swinging way too hard.    I suggest you totally focus on taking a slow tempo easy swing & hit the ball solidly (you'll be surprised how far it will go when you hit the sweet spot).     Only when you can hit it solidly EVERY time, should you ramp up your swing speed & really try to hit it far.     I've got over 200 rounds under my belt in my 2 years of playing & still nothing good ever happens when I try to hit it hard ... I focus on a smooth easy tempo swing & hit just as far as any of the guys I play with, but make more fairways & the game is more fun playing from the fairways...


A couple things that helped me in the beginning:

1. Keep your head centered during the swing & shift your weight forward on the downswing (read up & watch the  youtube video's on the Stack & Tilt swing).    Leaning back on the downswing is natural but creates the dreaded slice.

2. Keep that left elbow straight, which will limit your backswing (this is ok, don't need to bring it back as far as the pro's do).

post #4 of 19

When I need some quick advice or "reminders", I watch Mark Crossfield's videos on YouTube. Search for "4golfonline" and you will find a vast array of his review and "tutorial" videos. He's very descriptive and easy to follow. He has a really wide array of training drills, swing thoughts and demonstrates the technique in question really well. One great example is his "proper grip" for irons and drivers video.

Definitely contact 'iacas' on here as well (Erik) for advice and he can also point you in the right direction. I have learned equally as much from reading Erik's posts and his ball flight explanations alone have helped me lower my handicap from 14.4 to slightly under 10 at one point last year - no exaggeration.

post #5 of 19

It really helps if you can film your swing too.  What you feel you are doing and what you actually do can be quite different.  If you like to read, there are a few good books that can help with everything from the full swing to the short game (putting and pitching, chipping, sand etc.).


The "Swing Thoughts" Forum section is also a good source of information.  I recommend the 5 Simple Keys DVD, if you can get it and Evolvr for on-line lessons if you can afford it.


It takes a while to learn, but you can make steady progress.  Don't worry about your clubs at the moment.

post #6 of 19

Congratulations on acquiring a non-fatal addiction.  You have an obsession for a lifetime.  


I qualify as a geezer these days, I'm in my 60's.  I bought my first set of Northwestern blade irons at a garage sale for $13 and tried to teach myself.  Had a great time.  I finally achieved a single digit handicap about 3 years ago and consistently shot low 80's to high 70's.  However, my swing came from what I saw on TV and the success was short lived.  I have trouble breaking 90 now.

I understand the swing and what I have to do to be successful but, my body can't do it anymore.  I had tried the swing promoted by Don Trahan and used by Jack Nicklaus in the later stage of his career a while ago but didn't get it.  I took another look at it this week and made it to the range and hit a 2 buckets.  No pain, solid hits, no loss of distance, good control of my shots.  I play 1992 Hogan Apex Red Line blades.  If I had this swing 40 years ago I would have played much better than I did.  Take a look at it.  It works.  I predict a single digit handicap, or, close to it, again.


Here's a couple of videos that show the swings of Don Trahan and Jack.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVMeoRR4T2A     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ics5aZ8wqo4 

I have no trouble recommending a swing played by the best golfer in modern golf history.


What ever you do have fun.

post #7 of 19
Originally Posted by tomvk77 View Post

Well i started playing golf with only irons, maybe you should try that also.

I was hdc 14 when my first woods came in the bag.

If you lets say tee off with 5 iron and play off fairway with 7,8,9,pw

Your bad shots are a lot better that slicing a driver deep in the woods.

Because when your just starting you don't have to be on the green in 2.


For other tips: hard to type it all out here, i suggest you log on to youtube 

plenty off tips and drills there. 


I agree with everything about playing irons first, that's a great starting idea. 


But I would completely avoid youtube except when someone on here recommends someone (like 4golfonline). youtube has more bad golf advice than it does good advice. I would crawl this site for threads on certain topics, because videos linked here are certainly reliable. 

post #8 of 19

Congrats and welcome.  This is a great site and many people have great advice to give.  I hit my first golf balls on June 2, 2012 and have been hooked since.  It's overwhelming when you start and you are trying to figure things out.  I know.  Coming to a site like this is great because you can learn a lot. 


My advice to you is simple, just hit balls.  Then hit more balls.  Then more.  Play as much as you can.  Read books and threads on swings.  You will read things that make sense and other things that make no sense.  At times you will think that you have found "your" swing only to find out in a few days that it was not the breakthrough you thought.  Just play as much as you can and hit as many balls as you can.  Try to implement little things here and there.  Trying to implement too much at one time will leave you frustrated and likely not hitting the ball that well.  Over time as you continue to learn and hit balls you will improve and more and more advice will make sense.


There is no substitute to hitting balls though.  It's important to have good mechanics to a point but stay with what is comfortable to you and STAY WITH WHAT YOU CAN CONSISTENTLY REPEAT.  That is the most important thing.  If you can consistently swing the club the same way (even if it's not traditional) then you can make consistent contact with the ball and once you have that, you will improve quickly.

post #9 of 19

I agree.... Just hit balls all that you can.  Even if all you can do is hit into a net in the back yard.  Dont try to hit the 300yd drive, just do whatever it takes to get the ball in the fairway as much as possible. 200yds in fairway is better than 280yds in, or behind junk.  Most importantly I suggest working on the short game.  I can't tell you how many of my beginner friends dont chip, pitch, and putt; and ive seen many of them get within 10 yds of green and add 4 or more strokes to their score. 


The game is an addiction and depending on the time you put in, will greatly affect your results. 

post #10 of 19
Ive been playing for about 2.5 years......knowing what i know now......i would have taken way more classes early on......i wasted alot of time trying to learn on my own.... improvement can come faster by taking classes...

Good luck....
post #11 of 19

Echoing what aimgator says, IMVHO as a 19 'capper I would say that simply hitting as many balls as you can without sufficient understanding of swing mechanics could easily lead you into a golf career lacking in any long-term consistency, or at least will possibly limit the standard of play that you can reach. At worst you could get so frustrated that you quit, which would be a real shame.


I personally believe that gaining that understanding is very important. I'd venture to say it's crucial, in fact. 


How you best gain that knowledge is personal, but again IMHO a pro is the best way, although may take a few tries to find someone that suits you. Books, videos, forums etc. are all potentially great resources, but without a basic understanding of the mechanics you won't know which to use or how to apply those that are relevant.


But I would very much agree that once you have knowledge of the fundamentals, practice and play as much as you possibly can ! 



post #12 of 19

Be very careful when you select an instructor, if you do in fact take that avenue (which I recommend). I went through 3 or 4 "professionals" before I finally found someone that was able to not only verbally instruct, but visually demonstrate both the undesired and desired mechanics.


The first instructor that I found was a PGA Certified instructor who was the resident professional at a golf course in my area (Rustic Hills in Medina, OH). I will not name drop, but the lessons were right around $50 per 30 minutes, or $135 for 3 lessons / 30 minutes each. The instructor first started off by showing me what he was looking for by proceeding to pick up my driver and hit a medium sized range bucket. He then handed me the club and like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory asking Penny to sing "Soft Kitty", walked right past me nonchalantly and said "Now you".

Needless to say, that was my first and last lesson with that instructor and I had 2 or 3 more bad experiences which followed. 

At the end of the day, it's your money and only you know your learning curve. If you're not grasping what the instructor is saying, do not feel obligated to continue with them.

post #13 of 19

I would recommend that you don't try to hit the ball any further than you can reasonably expect to hit the fairway. Keep it in the short grass and the game will be more fun.

post #14 of 19

Your clubs are fine, no technology can help you hit the ball better if you don't have a swing. And trust me, you don't have a swing, yet.


I started to play this stupid game almost 4 months ago, have taken lessons from a local instructor which his swings doesn't suit me, he's a hitter and being a flexible and lean guy, I can't hit the 5 iron past 150 yards, and that is when I wasn't slicing it to the next 3 fairways. I don't mean to blame him or something but his way of teaching didn't help as all, I was a customer to him and I think he needed to say "Well done", "Good job", "Don't worry it will get better"... blah blah blah...


Then I pay $20 for a month of membership of Rotary Swing after reading some of the reviews, get in the member section and download ALL their videos.


I spent 2 weeks watching the videos, standing in front of the mirror practicing setup, takeaway, weight transfer... all in small bits, without club, slooooooooowly... They have plenty of drills you can do at home, at work, everywhere (I even do the drill when I'm alone in the lift)


At first, every moves seem stupidly ackward, "How the fvck can I turn my shoulder without turning my hips" I asked myself once, but it can be done with pratice and it feel natural now, I don't even realize that I'm turning my shoulder while my hips and head seem perfectly still, but the video I took myself swinging told me that.


I went to the practice range after I think I can do a good backswing, I started to hit balls, BAD IDEA. After three sessions at the range I pretty much ruined my ungrooved backswing.


I stay at home for 2 more weeks, doing drills, weight transfer, merry go round drill, 9-3 drill.... tons of them in tons of reps.


The next month after that I went to the range to hit real balls, and spent almost that whole month trying to ruin the mats by hitting 80-90% super fat shots. Then I met a guy, he corrected my setup, corrected my downswing a bit... and it got better since. And that was 2 weeks ago.


I'm still working on keeping my eyes focus on the back of the ball and not rushing my transition, lot of work left to do but my swing is begin to form and I feel good swinging everytime, knowing that the ball will end up (generally) where I aim, no more slice (but I started to hook it occationally, damn), no more bad mishits that I don't know why it happen.


Am I turning pro anytime soon? No way, I'm happy if I can break 100 for the first time, I think I can do it in a month or two, but I now know what a proper swing produce, straight shots, soft clicking feel at the clubhead, effortless swing, and 20-30 yards added to all of my clubs.


Off to practicing in my bedroom now. Have fun playing this stupid game.

post #15 of 19

Luckily for you,,the internet can teach you just about everything..I'm 43 and started golfing when I was around 13 or 14..Totally self taught with a set of old Spaulding Sam Sneads..The old forged irons had a sweet spot the size of a peanut and the persimmons (real wood) woods were challenging to say the least...No internet, I would read my dads golf magazines for tips..I spent years just chipping plastic balls around my back yard..We wrapped them in electric tape to weigh them down a little and I had three old tires I used as holes..No putting had to chip it in...


Get some plastic practice balls and play in your back yard,local park,etc...The most important lesson I was ever taught..I play my irons off my back foot and try to pinch them into the ground every time..My swing changes for chipping and I kind of sweep through the ball and chock up on my PW depending on distance..Over the years I've seen so my styles of play and differant swings..I used to take "everyone" advice and try to apply it to my game..Some helped and some,,not so much...



post #16 of 19

Before you start developping bad swing habits, take some lessons with your local PGA professional.  He can help you learn the rules of the game and give you some valuable assistance.  You might just need one or two little things to get your swing pretty like a picture :)


Golf is one of the most difficult games on the planet to play. Welcome to the brotherhood.

I wanna share a story with you and I hope it gives you some help.


I have been playing golf for 4 years  and have seen my handicap drop from 32 to 18 in this time.For the last two years,I have only played once a month and still manage to play bogey golf. I struggled for three years until one day I met an old man at my local municipal course. I was practicing one day when he came up and said, let's go play a round of 18. (My practicng used to consist of getting a driver and hitting balls until I had sore hands and arms and then repeat.)


Off the tee, I was blasting past this man by at least 40 yards. I can hit 240 all day long. He could hit only 190  a2_wink.gif. I was confident I could take him. He made a small bet. I talked some c1_cursing.gif trash. And he took all of my money with his short and ugly golf shotsd2_doh.gif After receiving my butt whipping he gave me a few  pieces of advice that  I used to change my golf game forever.


1). Your drıver is not your best friend, your putter is.

Everybody likes to hit the driver. It looks sexy. The word driver even sounds sexy.  At the end of the day, a stroke on the score card is a stroke. Eliminating strokes on the green can quickly lower your handicap. An out of control driver is like a bad girlfriend. She may be pretty but after a while all of the screaming and yelling will make you hate her.  So if  accuracy is  what you need, throttle back and use the three wood or a hybrid. off the tee.

I am gonna say this only once....The Putter is the most important club in the bag. Love it. Sleep with it if you have to. But learn to respect the putter and how to use it and your game will improve overnight.

 The old man told me that you can eliminate a bunch of  strokes by  just learning to putt. Three putts are terrible, two putts are acceptable, and one putts are gifts from god.


2) Learn to pitch and chip.

  Short game is king. İf you can pitch and chip you can get yourself outta so much truouble. When your long game is suffering, your short game saves you. Having the touch around the green will also lower those scores because it  wıll get you closer to the hole and give you a chance to score low.


3) Work on your  game from 150 yards in.

 That old man told me if you hit a ball 150 yards straight, you can defeat almost any course in America. Most courses have Par 5 s that at most are 580-600 yards in length. In theory,  if you hit 150 yards straight  then you can get on the green in 4 and at two putt for bogey (worse case scenario).

Par fours are even easier because they usually top out at around 400 yards. That means two 150 yard shots and a short iron or wedge onto the green.

(side note...make sure you know how far you hit each club)


4) A final note

Swing using your tempo. If you walk and talk fast and are hyper.....your swing will probably be fast.

However, if you are a laid back type of person and you are slower than molases rolling down a cold hill in January...you are more than likely gonna have a slow swing. Always swing at 70 -75 percent on your swings and learn to control your game and not let it control you.


I started using this advive and working on my course strategy. I bagan to break down par 4s and 5s into smaller  chunks and learn to position shots and now I play very well for the amount of time İ actually spend playing.


Good Luck

Greens and Fairways!

post #17 of 19

Hey MR, just watched the video links you posted and all I have to say is "Thank You So Much!"  At 43, and after a 5 year hiatus I started chasing the ball again last year.  After 30 rounds I just could not figure why my low 90's game had fallen off to a "please let me break 100!" game.  Then yesterday I shot an 88 on the second round of the day (with no Mulligans and no foot wedges).  Though I was happy (finally broke bogey golf), I was a little confused as to why I shot well, as I was tired, my back was sore, and if it was not for my golf buddy chiding me into it I would not have replayed. 

Well those videos you posted showed me why!  I was purposely using a 3/4 swing with a slower tempo because I was tired!

Thanks for the post and as for the gentleman you responded too, I agree with MR-have a great time spending the rest of you're life chasing the little white ball!

Hit em' straight,


post #18 of 19

Get help from a pro and practice short game. I have been playing for 6 months and stuck in the low 100's. Practiced putting for a week and went 47/43 last week on my local 18.

Putting shaved  a minimum 12 shots off my game. A month ago, I shot a 48 on the back 9 and 3 putted every single hole. Still havent figured that one out. These seem like good numbers for a guy who has only been playing for 6 months and has had no instruction, however I live on a par 5 hole. I practiced every day for 4 months on irons and slowly worked on driver. I am down to 4 days a week practice. And yes I almost quit one time. This is a very difficult game where a mm can be the difference between success and failure. Unless you live on a coarse, get a pro ! I probably should as well but I am hard headed.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Instruction and Playing Tips
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Practice Range › Instruction and Playing Tips › Beginner - Needs advice