If you’re like most golfers, you’re always looking for more golf tips to improve your game and shoot lower scores. Because let’s get real, golf is just a little more fun when you play better. Sure, it’s always fun to get outside with friends, but there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your hard work on the range pay off on the golf course. There’s nothing like seeing your score after 18 holes and impressing yourself.
Even if you’re brand new to golf, I’m sure you already know that the game is more challenging than any other sport. You have to battle the course, weather conditions, and learn how to hit every shot imaginable.
If that wasn’t challenging enough, the mind also plays a monumental role in playing your best golf. If your mind isn’t helping your game, it’s hurting you.
No pressure right? Well, hopefully, this article will provide you the tips to improve your skills and create a strong foundation from the start.
In this post, I’ll share my 15 best golf tips for beginners so that you can become a better player quickly. I’m confident these methods will help you have more fun and play better golf. These are tried and true methods that I’ve learned from playing this crazy game of golf for more than 20 years.
15 Best Golf Tips for Beginners
Golf is such a fun sport but at the same time, it’s also so difficult that some days will make you question if it’s worth it. Just remember, no matter how hard you try, that feeling will probably never go away. As long as you stay optimistic and have the mentality of “Just keep swinging” you will make the most of this crazy game.
Here are the best beginner tips to help you enjoy the game and breakthrough plateaus.
1. Play the Right Equipment
One of the best golf tips I’ve learned over the years is to start playing the right equipment. If you’re playing blade iron sets or unforgiving clubs and shooting in the 90s, you are making golf much harder on yourself.
You want to think about your equipment in three categories: golf clubs, shafts, and balls.
The first thing to think about is playing clubs that are designed for beginners. You need to play the right clubs for your current ability as they are more lightweight and designed for beginners. This means they’re easier to hit straight and far above all else.
Please note, playing the right clubs for your game might not always go over so well with your golfing buddies. Meaning, they might give you some grief for a set of hybrid-like irons or cavity back wedges.
But who cares if your friends give you grief for carrying hybrids or a 7-wood instead of long irons. At the end of the round, the only thing that matters is your score!
While playing forgiving and lightweight clubs is important, the shafts of the clubs are equally important. Too many players opt for heavier, stiffer shafts which kill total distance.
Instead, make sure your shafts allow you to swing with speed and get the most from each club in the bag. Most beginners will benefit from graphite, a regular flex shaft (for men) in the beginning of their golf journey. As you advance and increase swing speed, you can test out different shaft weights and flexes to maximize each golf shot.
Use the Right Golf Ball
The final thing to think about in terms of equipment is your golf ball.
Whether you’re a veteran or beginner golfer, you want to make sure to play the right type of golf ball. As a beginner, you want one that emphasizes more on distance than spin.
As you evolve and start shooting lower scores, you can try out a softer golf ball to help you spin it with your shorter clubs. Balls have different compression rates and newer golfers need softer golf balls to offset slower swing speed.
Plus, buying the right golf ball for beginners will also save you money too. As a beginner, you’re bound to lose more golf balls and cheaper balls are usually a better fit for your swing too.
2. Focus on The Fundamentals
While most players want golf tips to hit it farther and figure out how to hit all kinds of trick shots, don’t forget the fundamentals. So much of the swing happens at setup, well before you ever hit the golf ball. This is why the best players in the world are constantly working on setup because they know one small error at address and lead to an off swing.
Specifically, make sure to double-check these checkpoints before hitting the golf ball:
The first thing you need is a solid stance. Make sure that your feet are shoulder width apart with your knees bent in an athletic position. I also suggest flaring your lead foot out slightly so it’s easier to clear your hips on the downswing.
For longer clubs like your driver or fairway woods, widen your stance to compensate for longer golf clubs. The longer the club, the larger the stance to create a full shoulder turn on your backswing.
Once your stance is solid, the next golf tip is to develop a good posture. You want to try and have your back flat, tilt your hips, bend your knees, and keep your head slightly back at address.
Not only will this help you create a more consistent swing, it might help you avoid potential injuries as well.
Find The Right Grip For You
Another important golf tip is to make sure your grip matches your swing. If you’re brand new to golf, start with a neutral to strong grip.
Arguably the biggest mistake that so many golfers make is having a grip that is too weak. This leads to a slice that plagues a majority of golfers and kills your total distance. So if you’re just starting out, opt for a strong grip as it should help you in the long run (because changing your grip takes hard work once you’re an experienced player).
As your swing develops and you start to notice tendencies, you can weaken or strengthen your grip as necessary.
3. Double-Check Your Alignment
One of the biggest aspects of your setup is alignment to your target.
A big mistake that so many players make is that they don’t aim square at the target. This how bad habits get created – for example – if you’re aimed right, your body will realize it and make an effort to pull it back left. Conversely, if you’re aimed left, your mind will make adjustments to get it back to the intended target.
Because even if you aren’t consciously aware of your alignment, your subconscious mind is fully aware. Therefore, it makes adjustments in your swing to compensate for poor alignment. Over time, this can lead to all kinds of bad habits that are hard to break.
Before trying to change your swing, check your aim first. Have a friend video your swing if you’re on the course or use alignment sticks at the driving range. The more square you are to the target, the more likely you will hit a better golf shot.
4. Master Your Tempo at the Driving Range
Don’t the PGA Tour players make golf look easy? While I can’t create an article sharing every golf tip from them, I will share one important nugget.
If you think about it, among all the great players in golf, most of them don’t have much in common. But the one thing they all have in common is a great tempo, even if they have different swing speeds.
All great players all have a 3:1 tempo.
This means their backswing is three times as long as their downswing. So if you want to mimic anything about the guys you watch on TV, make it your tempo. Regardless of if your swing speed is fast or slow, your tempo needs to match this 3:1 speed for full shots.
5. Don’t Let Anger Get In The Way
Imagine hitting a really bad shot… maybe you duffed it off the first tee or hit it out of bounds on the 10th hole after a great front nine.
How do you react in these types of situations?
Do you make it personal and get mad at yourself, as if you’re the only golfer to hit an embarrassing shot ever? Or, do you laugh it off and focus on the next shot?
If you want to become an awesome golfer you have to understand that bad shots are part of golf. Even the best of players still hit bad shots and they get paid millions of dollars to play this crazy sport. Justin Thomas, one of the best ball strikers in the game, hit a shank in his final round at the 2022 PGA Championships (which he won).
Needless to say, hitting bad shots will continue to happen as long as you go out there and swing the golf club. The key is making sure one bad swing doesn’t lead to more bad swings and a full on meltdown on the course.
Let go of the tension. Always remember to have fun when you’re on the course, there are a lot worse places you could be!
If you need any more motivation about managing your anger on the golf course, use this quote that Tiger Woods told his son Charlie Woods. “Son, I don’t care how mad you get. Your head could blow off for all I care, just as long as you’re 100% percent committed to the next shot. That next shot should be the most important shot in your life. It should be more important than breathing.”
It’s okay to let out a little steam but just don’t let it affect the next shot.
6. Make Your Driver Your Best Friend
If you’re like a lot of beginning golfers, you might have a love-hate relationship with your driver. As it has the least amount of loft, it often exposes your swing flaws more than other clubs. While the misses can be scary at times, try to find a consistent swing with your driver.
Even if you don’t hit it straight all the time, don’t worry about it. As a beginner, focus on distance. If you can hit it long, you will have shorter clubs into the green which are much easier to hit than hybrids and fairway woods.
Here are a few more golf tips for your driver:
- Increase the loft. If you’re a beginner golfer, make sure it’s set at least 10.5 degrees or more. This will make it easier to get the ball airborne with a full swing and maximize your distance off the tee.
- Check your shaft. As a beginner, don’t make it harder to hit by playing a stiff shaft. Instead, opt for a regular or senior flex shaft, depending on your age, as you might not have as much upper body movement in your swing.
7. Practice Your Short Game
While your driver should be your best friend, don’t forget to love your wedges and putter as well. One of the easiest things you can do to improve your scores is to practice the shots around the green. Spend time on the chipping green hitting different types of flop shots, bump and runs, and bunker shots.
8. Tee It Forward
As a beginner golfer, I highly recommend teeing it forward. Don’t make the course more difficult by trying to play the tips or one back from them. This will leave you with a lot of long approach shots which will likely slow your round down and not make it a very fun experience
Instead, tee it forward or start playing on par-three executive style courses. As you evolve, keep playing different tees and new golf courses. I bet you will have a lot more fun and probably keep the foursome behind you a lot happier as well.
9. Get Golf Swing Lessons Early
If you’re a brand-new golfer, you have the advantage of not having formed bad habits over years or decades like a lot of golfers. Instead of trying to learn how to play golf on your own, hire a swing coach. Even a few golf lessons to work on the fundamentals will help you drastically speed up success.
A good swing coach will help you get your feet, hips, and shoulders square to the target. From there, they can help you with your takeaway, transition, and downswing. Plus, they can work with your chipping and pitching skills. Create the right habits from the beginning to become a solid golfer from the start.
10. Create a Pre-Shot Routine
To play your best golf, you need to create a pre-shot routine.
A pre-shot routine will help you stay focused during the round and help you stay consistent at any golf outing. That way when you’re about to break 100, 90, or even 80 for the first time, you don’t sabotage yourself. Yes, the average golfer (and many golfers for that matter), skip it entirely.
The pre-shot routine starts from the moment you stop pushing your golf bag and laser your target. From there, you need to take practice swings that mimic the shot you want to hit. This will train your mind to execute the motion of your practice swings when you’re ready to hit the shot.
Overall, your pre-shot routine will help you pick the right club, choose a target, set up square, and have your mind in the right place. Practice it first on the range for a more effective practice session and it will feel effortless on the course.
11. Learn From Your Playing Partners
While practice sessions will help your game, sometimes you need to learn by watching other golfers. It’s incredibly beneficial to tee it up with better, more seasoned golfers. A lot of players are happy to share their insights and are much more valuable than trying to figure it all out on your own.
Even if you lose money to them in a match, you can learn so much about their putting, course management, attitude, and more.
So if you’re a high handicapper or beginner, try to play a round or two with a mid handicap so you see how they manage the course.
12. Start Playing Golf More Frequently
So many golfers think they have to be perfect with each range session before heading to the course. In reality, you should spend less time on the driving range working on your golf swing and more time on the golf course.
Think about it, golf is the only sport where you don’t practice on the course! Basketball players practice on the court they play, just like football players on the field.
But golf is different and one of the reasons it’s so hard to take your range game to the course. Grab your friends and have more fun on the course to get into real scenarios to learn about club selection, playing from different lies, how your body holds up, and more.
13. Become a Wedge Guru
If you want to start playing golf at a higher level quickly, make your wedges your best friend. When you have confidence with a sand wedge, pitching wedge, and gap wedge, you can drop shots quickly.
The key here is to just practice the short game more. Sure, it’s not as fun as bombing drives on the range, but if you can’t score from 125 yards and in, that’s even more frustrating. The sooner your short range scoring improves, the faster you will hit your golf goals.
14. Love Your Putter
Most people love their driver but don’t give two thoughts as to which putter they should use. In reality, your putter is the most important club in the bag.
Putting can make or break your score as you use the club on every single green. You need your putter to give you tons of confidence because even if your golf swing is off, your putting can save the day.
15. Enjoy Every Round
If you’re like most people, you’re busy with life, family, and work. So when you do get to play this great game, enjoy every moment of it.
The more you approach each day of golf with appreciation and gratitude, the better you will likely play. Even if you don’t score well, a positive attitude will allow your playing partners to have a better day too. Plus, when you enjoy yourself, you can learn what you need to improve in each practice session.
FAQs About The Best Golf Tips
Do you have more questions about playing this challenging sport at a higher level? If so, we have answers below…
What is the best golf tip ever?
Based on my experience, I would say the best golf tip ever is to master your tempo. So many players rush their swing on the way down or on the way back. This throws everything off and makes it difficult to shoot consistently low scores.
Even if your swing isn’t perfect, if your tempo is a consistent 3:1 speed, you will hit the ball in the middle of the club more often than not. Who doesn’t want that experience on the course?
Conversely, the worst golf tip I’ve heard (and continue to hear) is, “Keep your head down.” People have been saying this for decades and it’s actually hurting your game.
The truth is, you don’t need to keep your head down. If you keep your head down too long, you actually don’t rotate as much on the downswing and it can lead to all kinds of swing issues.
Instead, you should think about chest down, not head down. Your head needs to rotate up and through on your downswing to maximize power and hit the ball consistently.
Another popular tip is “let the club do the work”. This is actually pretty good advice. You can read more about it here.
How do you break 80 every time?
Player’s who often shoot in the 70s are that much different from those in the low to mid 80s. When it comes to shooting in the 70s and eventually becoming a scratch golfer, you need to:
- Work on your short game. If you want to break 80 and play your best golf, work on the short shots twice as much as your long shots. For example, if you have 90 minutes to practice, spend 30 minutes putting, 30 minutes with wedges, and 30 minutes at the range. During the range session, spend a lot of time hitting different wedge shots and drivers. Your short game is easier to hone than a full golf swing since there is less lower body movement and a shorter motion. The faster you improve with putting and wedges, the faster you will play better golf.
- Master your mindset. Golfers who regularly shoot in the 70s don’t get mad often and manage their emotions instead of letting them interfere with the round. They learn that bad shots and bad breaks are part of the game. Instead of making each bad shot an entire experience and move on.
- Have a plan for every shot. If you want to break 80, make sure you have a strategy for each hole. Don’t just swing and hope it finds the fairway or green. Instead, create a tee box strategy, approach shot strategy, try not to short side yourself, and only hit the shot you know you can hit. Don’t try to play hero golf!
As I’m sure you know, there are a lot of different components to playing a good round of golf. There isn’t one golf tip or one new club that will shoot your best score every time you go out.
Some days you’ll hit the driver perfectly and won’t have any iron game. Other days, you won’t find a fairway but still manage to card low scores, that’s just this crazy game of golf
Instead, it’s about constantly learning along the way. (here are a few golf books that might help) Each shot is an opportunity to learn, grow, and become a better golfer.
I’ll end with this; always enjoy your time playing golf. Hopefully, you’re with friends, family or other people who are obsessed with golf just like you. Having more fun will also lead to lower scores too. Don’t forget, it’s just a game.