Free Golf Lessons For Seniors - Everything you need to know about golf from the editors of Golf Digest We get it. Golf can seem very complicated to the uninitiated. So many rules, so many different types of clubs. And then there's the language: birdies, flushes, hit-and-runs. At Golf Digest, it may be the language we speak every day, but we also know it's language that can put off prospective golfers before they even pick up a club. That's where this online guide for beginners comes in. For those who know nothing about golf, our goal is to guide you through this uncertainty. What kind of clubs do you need? how do you exercise When do you know you're ready for the golf course? The way we see it, the only stupid questions about getting started in golf are the ones you're afraid to ask, or worse, the ones you can't find the answer to. The whole point of this guide is to make sure that last part is no longer a problem.
If you're looking for more beginner learning, check out our video lesson series: The Will Robins Plan: Beginner Basics.
Free Golf Lessons For Seniors
Of course, the right gear always helps, but it's not like you have to empty your savings account to get started. Instead, focus on finding the type of equipment that will allow you to develop your imperfect skills at minimal cost. There will be plenty of time to go after the latest hot products on the market (and when you do, be sure to start your search with one of our top 100 golfers, but initially learn -- but don't buy -- your priorities.
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1. You only need a few clubs: You can carry up to 14 clubs in your bag, but you won't need nearly that many when you're first learning. Instead, start with a driver, putter, sand wedge (that's the club with the "S" on the bottom or loft 54 to 56 degrees) and add to them with a 6 iron, 8 iron, a. pitching wedge, and fairway wood or hybrid with 18-21 degree loft. These are the most forgiving and easiest to hit clubs. You can find used and new titanium drivers for as low as $75 and putters for much less online, but most larger golf and general sporting goods stores also carry discount clubs and/or used ones.
2. Don't guess - try before you buy: If you're a complete beginner looking for clubs, go to a larger golf shop or driving range and ask to try a 6-iron with a standard flex and stiff shaft. (Generally, the faster and more aggressive the swing, the more you'll prefer a shaft marked "S" for hard.) One of the two should feel easier to control. It's the shaft bend you should start with for all your clubs. When you're serious about your game and can make consistent contact, club gear will allow you to get the most out of your gear.
3. The more air, the better: As long as you are a strong and coordinated athlete with experience in stick and ball sports (baseball, softball, hockey, tennis, for example), choose a wood that has more air. Why? The extra air generally means that it will be easier to get the ball in the air and you can also reduce the side spin so that the shots fly straight. So go for drivers with at least 10 degrees of loft and fairway woods that start at 17 degrees, not 15 degrees.
4. Take advantage of clubs made for beginners: Some types of clubs are easier to hit than others. For one thing, you're better off with hybrids instead of 3-, 4-, and 5-irons. And an iron with a wider sole (the lower part of the iron) will reduce the club's tendency to stick in the ground when you hit too far behind the ball. Additionally, with more weight concentrated in the sole, the iron's center of gravity will be lower and this will help launch shots at a higher trajectory. Generally, a more forgiving iron will have a sole that measures about the width of two fingers (from the front edge to the back). If the sole of the iron measures less than one finger wide, you should only play it if you get paid for it. To find the right iron for you, check out the Super Game Enhancement Path on our Hot List.
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Buy balls on a sliding scale based on how many you lose in a round. If you've never played before or lost two or more ring sleeves, buy balls that cost around $20 a dozen (if you can't decide between brands over another, try putting a few to see how they feel coming off the putter face). When you reduce the number of lost balls back to maybe three to five round balls, you're buying balls that cost less than $30 a dozen. Only if you're losing less than a round sleeve should you consider $40 a dozen balls. For a more detailed description of golf balls, see the list of hot balls. ⇒ Part 2: Learning to Play
The hardest part of golf can be getting started. Ask yourself some questions. First, why do you want to play? Is it for work or social reasons? Maybe you just need some basic lessons and a patient friend. Maybe you're looking to jump head first in hopes of a quick recovery. If so, there are plenty of top-notch tutorials out there. Next, how much are you willing to deposit? This applies to time and money. The thing is, there's a big difference between wanting to ride and have a few laughs and being a serious player. Do some soul searching and start developing your plan.
1. Take lessons right away: The bad news when you're just starting out is that you don't know much about golf. The good news? You don't know much about golf. You probably haven't started many bad habits and you have a lot of questions about what to do. Nothing beats starting with some positive direction. And don't just look for tutoring when you're struggling. It is just as important to know what you are doing right as what you are doing wrong. Your fellow golfers can sometimes have good advice for you, but it's best to seek out a PGA pro as they are trained to teach the game to someone like you. To find a great instructor near you, check out Golf Digest's Top Instructors in Your State. As May is Free Lesson Month at the PGA, check here to see where you can get a free 10-minute lesson.
2. Have a range routine: Everyone wants to see how hard they can hit a golf ball, but when you hit the driving range, resist the temptation to immediately start ripping drivers. Yes, you can connect a pair, but swinging to maximum distance will throw you out of sync - and quickly. Start by hitting one of your short fairway wedges or irons, warming up your golf muscles with half swings. Then increase the length and speed of your swing and move into your mid swing. Work your way up to the driver and after hitting a few balls with it, go back to a short iron or wedge. This will help you keep your rhythm and stress levels under control. Read David Leadbetter's advice on warming up before playing.
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3. Learn the short shots: About half of your shots are less than 50 yards from the green. This means you should probably spend half your practice time with wedges and putters. This may sound boring, but the good news is that you can practice your short game in your backyard—even in your TV room. Place several buckets out in your yard at various distances and try to get the balls into them. Give yourself good lies and bad lies when you enter the course. As for putting, your carpet may not play as fast as the green, but you can still practice aiming and rolling balls through doorways and into furniture legs. Here are more great exercise ideas.
4. When in doubt, go back to basics: Golf can really make you overthink. There is a lot of information out there and perhaps the most interesting is the tutorial. When you're a new golfer, you can't help but read it and watch it, but too much can be, well, too much. When you find yourself burning out from too much swing thinking, go back to the basics. Try to get in good shape -- check your ball position and posture -- then take a relaxed swing all the way through. Overthinking creates tension, so be aware of your stress level: Fly the club slightly at address and try to move the ball smoothly. Nothing ruins your chances faster than getting the club back. Check this out
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