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Complete beginner - How to learn

  • 14-07-2020 1:05pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 454 ✭✭ Coybig_


    Hi,

    I never had much interest in golf until a couple of years ago when I started betting on the PGA tour, and now I watch it regularly. Pretty much fell in love with the game, know so much about it, but have never swung a club in my life.

    My question is, how would you go about learning if you were a complete beginner? Should I be purchasing a set of clubs, should I be taking a ton of lessons? What mistakes should I be avoiding that you made while learning?

    Essentially I want to get to a level where I can play a round and not embarrass myself amongst friends. From there I would be hoping to improve and get my handicap down little by little, year by year.

    I'm Cork based so if there are any recommendations for lessons in Cork they would be very appreciated.


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 296 ✭✭ Golf is my Game


    I wouldnt bother with lessons, the best way is to play with the best standard of people you can and to do loads of practice. You'll copy the good lads and imitate them as you go. Most don't care if your a beginner either even if your worried how you might look to them because most golfers are so would up in their own game to care about yours. Go to a range too and read about about the short game to understand chips and putts and them find a place with a practice green.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,075 ✭✭✭ talla10


    I respectfully disagree with the other poster.

    I think lessons are important especially at the start. Learn the basics right, start on the range and progress to the course when you are more comfortable and hitting the ball regularly. I went out to the course too early, lost plenty of balls , probably annoyed my mate but he was good enough not to give out.

    Don't buy new clubs- plenty of good second hand sets to start with and as you improve you can invest more in clubs and equipment.

    Just my two cents. Good luck


  • Registered Users Posts: 588 ✭✭✭ MorganIRL


    talla10 wrote: »
    I respectfully disagree with the other poster.

    I think lessons are important especially at the start. Learn the basics right, start on the range and progress to the course when you are more comfortable and hitting the ball regularly. I went out to the course too early, lost plenty of balls , probably annoyed my mate but he was good enough not to give out.

    Don't buy new clubs- plenty of good second hand sets to start with and as you improve you can invest more in clubs and equipment.

    Just my two cents. Good luck

    I 2nd this poster. A few lessons for the basics are key. It's different then when ur a kid and you have the time to rectify your mistakes cause your able to go out 3/4 a week. It cud be a slow process if ur going out to 18holes with not a clue how to swing, never mind losing friends and the cost of a round of golf, to dig holes and look for balls. As anyone that has played golf has heard. " Golf ruins a nice walk" Do not buy a new set. Buy a cheap set off DD to get you going.


  • Registered Users Posts: 934 ✭✭✭ pinkdoubleeagle


    I wouldnt bother with lessons, the best way is to play with the best standard of people you can and to do loads of practice. You'll copy the good lads and imitate them as you go. Most don't care if your a beginner either even if your worried how you might look to them because most golfers are so would up in their own game to care about yours. Go to a range too and read about about the short game to understand chips and putts and them find a place with a practice green.

    Worst piece of advice I have ever seen on here


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,940 ✭✭✭ KevRossi


    Try some pitch & putt as well as a driving range. An easy and cheaper way to get to practice some of the basics. Work out where you're not too strong and get some coaching on this.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 256 ✭✭ pakman


    Lessons, cheap clubs, and lots of patience. If you do lessons it will give you a good grounding and stop you turning into a Youtube student which will just confuse your game.

    You will need a decent grip which needs to be taught imo and if you go about things the wrong way you will be spending money on lessons to undo bad habits learned. I also suggest getting out and playing as soon as you can hit a ball half decent. You'll have some good moments and they'll be enough to have you coming back.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭ CBear1993


    I was in the same boat OP.

    Had never played, felt a bit of pressure in last year or so as my firm had a lot of golf days. I stopped playing GAA/other sports a few years ago.

    So I took a few lesson around Ashbourne area, Co.Meath. I was getting charged €30/35 a lesson which I thought very reasonable, and it's with an ex PGA Pro (I've no clue if that means anything)

    Needless to say, I got 3 in before lockdown, and I haven't rang my golf tutor since courses opened again 18th May :D:D:D really ought to get back

    It was really just a hobby to take up ,something to do at the weekends or on holidays.

    Lessons are good, even after the first 2 I noticed I was able to generate more power, not through my arms, but just the motion of my hips/legs.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 454 ✭✭ Coybig_


    Thanks lads, what should be my ballpark cost for clubs?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,468 ✭✭✭ joebloggs32


    CBear1993 wrote: »
    I was in the same boat OP.

    Had never played, felt a bit of pressure in last year or so as my firm had a lot of golf days. I stopped playing GAA/other sports a few years ago.

    So I took a few lesson around Ashbourne area, Co.Meath. I was getting charged €30/35 a lesson which I thought very reasonable, and it's with an ex PGA Pro (I've no clue if that means anything)

    Needless to say, I got 3 in before lockdown, and I haven't rang my golf tutor since courses opened again 18th May :D:D:D really ought to get back

    It was really just a hobby to take up ,something to do at the weekends or on holidays.

    Lessons are good, even after the first 2 I noticed I was able to generate more power, not through my arms, but just the motion of my hips/legs.

    On the arms....i have been trying to communicate this to a friend who started last year.
    His swing is really just his arms moving, without the rest of his body working.
    He needs to get lessons but he hasn't. As a result he is not making any progress on adding any distance which he really needs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,968 ✭✭✭ blindside88


    I’d agree with what others have said. Get a decent second hand set. €250 - €500 will get you everything. Here’s an example of a set:
    https://www.donedeal.ie/view/25337543

    But you could chose to buy everything separately if you preferred.

    I’d go and hit a few balls on the range first to get comfortable with the clubs them arrange a few lessons, play a few rounds and get a couple of further lessons. As has been said already pitch and putt is great also for working on your short game.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,506 ✭✭✭ Ottoman_1000


    I wouldnt bother with lessons, the best way is to play with the best standard of people you can and to do loads of practice. You'll copy the good lads and imitate them as you go. Most don't care if your a beginner either even if your worried how you might look to them because most golfers are so would up in their own game to care about yours. Go to a range too and read about about the short game to understand chips and putts and them find a place with a practice green.

    Do NOT take this advice. If you go out in a 4 ball with 3 of your friends at the weekend you will end up with 3 different opinions on how to play the game(and there will be flaws in all 3)!!!

    My advice for whats its worth, buy yourself a reasonable set of 2nd hand clubs on donedeal, I paid about €275 for a full set of callaways about 7/8 years ago when I took up the game and I got down to a HC 10 with them!! My games has gone to pot since I upgraded a few years ago but that is for another day, haha :o... book some lessons and get plenty of practice on the range following the advice from your instructor. Don't stress about scores or handicaps or anything like that yet. Just have a target of getting on the course and trying to hit some decent shots (believe me you will have some shockers) and go from there. It will gradually come together if your willing to put in the time to practice...


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,636 ✭✭✭ feargale


    Players keep losing golf balls. Shouldn't they make the balls bigger and colour them orange?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,938 ✭✭✭ PokeHerKing


    Lessons are only useful if what you're being told/taught resonates with the student and actually produces results. You could spend hundreds on lessons and never get anywhere.

    Hitting a golf ball is not rocket science. Perfecting it might be but getting bogged down in perfection is a road to ruin imo.

    I don't disagree with getting lessons but for an adult who's never swing a club before a bit of intuition and practice should more than suffice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,898 ✭✭✭ Deeper Blue


    Please don't listen to the person that said not to bother with lessons. Lessons are essential, especially when starting off. As has been said it's vital to get the basics right and then practice from there. Getting the basics wrong will mean you're practicing the wrong things and you'll probably end up having to get your swing fixed down the line if you end up playing regularly.

    For clubs I'd have a look on adverts.ie for a second hand set, you should be able to get one relatively cheap. Pro shops may have second hand sets also.

    Best of luck


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,859 ✭✭✭✭ callaway92


    KevRossi wrote: »
    Try some pitch & putt as well as a driving range. An easy and cheaper way to get to practice some of the basics. Work out where you're not too strong and get some coaching on this.

    Dunno about that. Pitch and Putt is a completely different Sport. Look at the state of the swings of the best players (and teeing up high etc)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 454 ✭✭ Coybig_


    What about this set, would that do the job for me?

    Thanks.

    https://***.donedeal.ie/golf-for-sale/callaway-golf-set/25320204

    Replace *** with www


  • Registered Users Posts: 588 ✭✭✭ MorganIRL


    Coybig_ wrote: »
    What about this set, would that do the job for me?

    Thanks.

    https://***.donedeal.ie/golf-for-sale/callaway-golf-set/25320204

    Replace *** with www

    Personally I think there's better out there. But they mightn't come with the woods or bag. Try a pro shop and see do they have a set. At least then u will be able to feel the club's and see do u like them.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 454 ✭✭ Coybig_


    MorganIRL wrote: »
    Personally I think there's better out there. But they mightn't come with the woods or bag. Try a pro shop and see do they have a set. At least then u will be able to feel the club's and see do u like them.

    Thanks. I suppose there is no rush to buy everything all at once either if I dont have to. I could find a nice set of irons and then supplement with the other stuff as I go.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,546 ✭✭✭ Ginger83




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,276 ✭✭✭ Gerry T


    Practice makes permanent. So without lessons your going to get really good at doing the wrong things, so that's a must.
    Second cheap clubs are fine, but what you need correct in a club is the grip size, club length, lie angle and if possible shaft stiffness. Whoever you get lessons from can advise you with this and you might be far better of buying second hand from a club pro that looks at these things. After that its just lots of practice.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,308 ✭✭✭✭ prawnsambo


    Lessons and practice. Padraig Harrington insists (as do others) that the first thing you should learn is swing speed. Don't worry about accuracy at first, but work on getting your speed up. It's always harder to get the speed up when you've learned accuracy first.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,121 ✭✭✭ Keith C


    I'd also recommend watching Rick shiels on YouTube. His clips are short, to the point and easy to follow


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,047 ✭✭✭ bmc58


    Get a second hand set of decent clubs(plenty out there for €100 to €150).Get a lesson or two from a Pro in a golf course.Get your grip and stance correct.And then practice anywhere.In a field(if you can find one) and practice your chipping in your back garden.Go to a driving range and see how you are hitting it.You probably have to go back to a pro for some more advice.But it takes a while to gain confidence.Play on any short Par three courses if any are near you.Full lenght courses can be dispiriting if you try them too early.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,047 ✭✭✭ bmc58


    Don't play Pitch and Putt before you play on a golf coures.Both games are totally different.


  • Registered Users Posts: 209 ✭✭ newindublin


    I would not buy clubs that were not properly measured for you. This does NOT mean a fitting, this just means taking your body measurements and understanding how clubs would best suit your personal measurements for lie angle and length. The ping dot system explains this concept but all club fitters are doing the same thing when it comes to lie angle and length. This is just to get you learning with clubs suited for your body. ping dot system link

    So for a totally new person:

    1. Measure yourself and buy a reasonably similar set of clubs.
    2. Get a few lessons, group lessons are fine. Work on a reasonable grip, stance, and takeaway if possible.
    3. Practice.
    4. Dont give up, try to enjoy the good shots and forget the bad.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,898 ✭✭✭ Deeper Blue


    Another thing I'd do is avoid watching videos on Youtube.

    Just my opinion but there's so many different tips on there that you'll flood your mind with a million thoughts when you need to keep things simple.

    Work on doing what's taught in the lessons and nothing else imo


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,541 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    At the start the only person you should be taking any golf advice from is a pro.

    Friends, youtube, golf digest, sky sports is all meaningless to a complete beginner.

    Also, trying to copy what someone else is doing doesnt work, what it looks like they are doing and what they are actually doing and what they think they are doing are 3 different things.
    It looks like most golfers throw the club from the top and spin their hips, but you need a professional to explain to you what you actively do and what automatically happens as a result of this.

    You will save yourself years of dridgery if you just start with lessons. All you have to do is look at any 12 year old who has taken lessons, they all swing like pros compared to years ago where people learnt from their dads.


    For an absolute beginner I would go and buy a complete starter set with bag and all the clubs for €150.
    Dont worry about anything else for at least a year until you figure out if you are going to keep playing or not. The quality of the set and bag will be far better than anything you need as a novice.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 454 ✭✭ Coybig_


    Think I'm going to book some lessons to get the fundamentals, or at least, give me something to be practicing. Probably book 5 or 6, every 2 weeks.

    I'm after getting a loan of some older irons from friend, which I can use to bring to lessons.

    Maybe halfway through the lessons I'll start looking into my own set, might call into some shops so I can get a feel for things and maybe they'll have something second hand too.

    I'd rather not get an ultra cheap set that I might want to replace quickly, rather spend a little bit more money on something that can last a little while - but only after a few lessons so I know what I might want. I'm sure the instructor might have some recommendations too.

    Thanks for all the advice so far.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,541 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    Coybig_ wrote: »
    I'd rather not get an ultra cheap set that I might want to replace quickly, rather spend a little bit more money on something that can last a little while - but only after a few lessons so I know what I might want. I'm sure the instructor might have some recommendations too.

    Just on this bit, even a cheap set is going to last you years and considering you will be getting all the clubs including a putter and a bag for the price, I think its the best place to start.

    If you have the cash, by all means buy better things, but imo they wont make any difference to your game for 2-3 years.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 35 ✭✭✭ Top chief


    Hi i started golf about a year ago got a few lessons they definitely helped me . Might head back and do a few more lessons soon .

    Got a set of Wilson golf clubs on adverts to start off think I'm ready to get a new set . Looking at a set of Callaway


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