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LucasBP

Tips on how to get started

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So as I mentioned in my introduction post, I'm newer to the game of golf, and outside of a few trips to the driving range over the past 4 years, I'm very inexperienced on how to start off on the right foot.

I've looked into lessons, but barely. I can only assume this is the best option for me at this point but if anyone else has any other ideas, that would be fantastic.

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If you are really new to golf you may want to get a book to start things off, to learn the terminology, etc., maybe try 'Golf for Dummies'. Then I would take a few lessons, hopefully at a driving range. You want to be able to at least hit the ball before you venture on to a course. A friend of mine started last year and he took lessons, then came with us on the course. He didn't keep score right away, just practiced hitting off grass and trying different clubs (we told him which clubs to use). We went out during the week when the course was pretty empty so we were not holding anyone up, but when he did slow play down he would pick his ball up and drop it by ours. He is much better now so we don't cut him any slack anymore and we make him keep score. So read about the game, take some lessons and find some guys to go play with, you'll find your way.

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In my area, the local golf stores often have free introductory group lessons that teach the basics of grip, stance, & swing.  This is a good start and at little cost.  Books or online videos are also good references for the basics.

Once you have a general idea of what you're doing, though, if you are looking to improve you'd be best suited to have someone knowledgeable give you specific advice about your swing.

Good luck and hope you stick with it!

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I would hit the driving range a few times before the lessons. That way you can have a good idea of what you want to work on the most. It may be everything, or maybe you hit your driver good, but not your irons. Always good to be prepaired.

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Dangerous, but I taught my wife, a total beginner, the basics a few years back.  I took the 'hole-to-tee' approach with her.  Winter was spent in basement watching NBA and college basketball games with a putter, plastic cup and a few golf balls.  Wanted her to get a feel for how hard a golf ball needed to be hit to travel x distance.

When spring broke, we worked at a local facility on a real chipping and putting green.  Worked on a bunch of drills with hands forward, ball back in stance, descending strike makes ball go up and with backspin.  Lots of putting from all distance range.  More chipping from uphill and flat lies.  To this day, she's really good around the greens usually getting up and down in 3.

Next step was 1/2 swings off tee with a 7-iron.  Moved to full swings when she was making regular contact.  As soon as they started flying for her on a somewhat consistent basis, I handed over her new TM 460cc driver.  One crush with the driver (after her 3rd or 4th swing) she was completely hooked on the game.  Five years later, her game consists of driver off the tee, 5 hybrid to wedge range, SW and putter to hole out.  She has broken 100 a few times on regulation courses.

Next steps are for her to begin lessons with a woman pro this season to work on her full swing to make better contact and get more distance from all clubs.

Point is, she understands the basics of the game, but is beyond my ability to help her progress.  Hence, lessons.

dave

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I started playing golf in November of 2011, so I'm relatively new myself.  For what it's worth, here is a general list of tips that worked for me, and some suggestions based on what I would do differently if I was starting out:

- I took one lesson at the beginning, to learn the basic grip, stance, alignment, etc.  Like some have suggested, check out your local driving range for free group lessons.  Well worth it to get the basics down.

- Before I took any private lessons, I went to the range a lot and had already started playing, probably too much.  Although some may disagree here, I think this was beneficial for me in a sense because I was able to get comfortable with the golf club and the feel of it prior to taking lessons.

- Don't wait too long to take lessons.  The longer you wait, the harder it will be to change things.  I waited too long to take private lessons. As soon as you feel comfortable swinging a club, it's time for lessons.  I purchased a set of 6 30 minute lessons and that was the single best thing I did for my golf game.

- Get a book and read about the mechanics of a golf swing.  It's so important to understand clubhead dynamics and how the club travels on an arc.  Lessons will also help here as the pro should be discussing these things with you.  This will go a long way to helping you understand what you are doing wrong based on your ball flight.

- Don't neglect putting and chipping.  In retrospect, my full swing developed much quicker than my short game.  I have no problem getting the ball off the tee and down the fairway, but my short game suffered tremendously.  I was a horrible putter for a long time and my chipping and pitching wasn't much better until I really started working on those aspects of my game.

good luck.

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