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Getting Started With Golf - A Beginners Guide To Success On The Golf Course!

Author: Angela Murray

Book Series: Getting Started Series

Get Started with Golf

A Beginner's Guide to Success on the Golf Course

Published By Shaharm Publications

For a full list of books by Shaharm Publications, please go to:


Copyright © 2014-15. All rights reserved worldwide.

No part of this publication may be replicated, redistributed, or given away in any form without the prior written consent of the author/publisher.

Table of Contents

1. For the Love of Golf

Although you have many different sports to choose from, one that is popular in most areas of the world is the game of golf. There is perhaps no other game that is as enjoyable, relaxing and diversified as golfing. In fact, once you begin to take up the game and to play it regularly, you will likely be hooked for life! When you are first getting your start, however, the clubs, course and everything that is involved with it can seem quite overwhelming. That is where this publication comes in. It can help you to take up the game and to overcome any shyness that may be keeping you from enjoying it to the fullest.

The first things that we will consider are some of the many benefits that are associated with learning how to play the game of golf. More than likely, you had not given this much thought, but when you look at the benefits one by one, you will see that there are many reasons why you should take up the game. In fact, it can be quite motivational and you will find that you are moving ahead with learning the game and beginning to enjoy it, more and more.

Although there are many things that need to be considered when taking up the game of golf, one of the most important is the equipment. To some individuals, the equipment may seem somewhat basic, but in reality, it is very complex. You can start out small, acquiring a used set of golf clubs and loving the game, but as you continue to learn more about it, you will likely want to own your own set of high quality golf clubs. We will take a look at some of the equipment involved in playing the game of golf so that you can have a greater understanding of it.

The terminology associated with golf is also something that is quite complex, and you may feel a bit overwhelmed with some of the words that you are hearing. After all, where in life do we use words such as bogey, eagle or birdie and associate it with a sport? When you understand the terminology behind the game of golf more fully, you will find that it is much easier to enjoy all that the sport has to offer.

The rules of golf are also worthy of your consideration, especially if you want to be a welcome addition on the golf course. Although they may seem simplistic, as does the equipment, they can be quite diverse if you really pick them apart. We will discuss the rules of golf in this publication and do so in an easy-to-understand way so that you can get started with the game as soon as possible.

Once you understand the rules, the equipment and the terminology of the game, it's time for you to get started. One of the first things that you need to understand is how to hold the club and swing it. More than likely, this is going to be somewhat foreign to you, and you may want to swing it like a baseball bat. There are specific ways that you can swing the club, however, and if your form is correct, your game will follow.

The game of golf can be broken down into several basic sections, with one of the most important being the long game. This is the part of the game that gets you from the golf tee, fairly close to the green. If you improve your long game, you will find that you are cutting numbers off of your score and that is a positive improvement. We will discuss the long game in detail and how you can master it quickly.

The short game is also very important and many games of golf are either won or lost, depending on how you play the short game. This is the part of the game that takes place as you are approaching the green. It is not difficult to add significant strokes to your score if your short game is off. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do that will help you to enjoy the game because your short game is fantastic.

Finally, you will end up on the green at some point or another and then it is time for you to putt the ball. As your game is improving, you are likely to reach the green in three or four strokes, and what takes place when your ball is on the green is going to make a big difference in your overall score. After all, if you take three or four putts to sink the ball into the hole, you are doubling your score! We will talk about how to reduce your score by putting effectively.

At some point or another, you are going to want to improve your game. There are a number of ways for you to do so, but one thing for you to consider is the possibility of taking up some form of golf fitness. There are strength exercises, stretches and even cardiovascular fitness exercises that will help to improve your game greatly. We will discuss some exercises that are specific to the game of golf and how you can improve your game in a very short amount of time.

After discussing all of the factors that will help to improve your game, it is time to get out on the golf course. Part of the enjoyment of the game of golf for many people is being stylish when you're on the course. We will discuss some of the do's and don'ts of golf style that you will find interesting.

Do you have a golf course where you intend on playing? It is important for you to choose the right course because it can make a difference in your game. We will discuss where to play and how to choose a course that is right for you. You would probably be surprised to learn that the perfect course is in your area.

Golf etiquette is also a very important part of the game. Some people feel as if there is a degree of snobbery associated with the sport, and to a certain extent there is. As long as you understand the basics of golf etiquette and follow it, you will not have any difficulties when you're on the course.

Playing golf is a time honored tradition and it is something that you will love, once you begin to do it regularly. This publication is a guide to help take you from a raw beginner to someone that is comfortable in stepping onto the course. It is now time to begin, and we will start with an overview of the reasons why you would want to learn the game of golf in the first place.

2. Why Learn the Game?

Everybody that begins playing the game of golf does so for their own specific reasons. In some cases, it is a matter of getting out and enjoying something, while at the same time getting a little bit of exercise and fresh air. For others, however, it has to do with tradition and perhaps playing something that is played by other members of their family. In either case, you are not only going to experience the benefits that you desire, you will experience many other benefits as well. In this chapter, we will review some of the more common reasons why people play golf, some of which you are sure to love.

Exercise - Perhaps one of the primary benefits of playing golf is that it gets you some exercise. Even if you use a golf cart when you're out on the course, you're still going to do a considerable amount of walking. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise that exists, and it can increase your heart rate and strengthen your muscles.

Fresh Air - Many of us spend the majority of our time sitting under fluorescent skies with a carpet earth under our feet. It can certainly be beneficial if we get out in the fresh air every once in a while, and golfing gives you the perfect excuse to do so. You will find that it is very enjoyable and you will not only love the fresh air, getting out in the sunshine is a benefit as well.

Skills - If you are like most golfers, you are not going to be satisfied with simply playing a game and not paying attention to the score. As you continue to learn more about the game and enjoy it, you will find that you want to improve your skills in many different ways. Improving your skills in golf can be a catalyst to improving your skills in other areas of life as well.

Clear Mind - Unfortunately, we live in a world that does not permit us the benefit of clearing our mind and enjoying some peaceful thoughts. When you are out on the golf course, however, you will find that you are enjoying some relaxing time and that your mind is able to drift and think on any subject that you desire.

Less Stress - One of the biggest problems that many of us face in life is a high level of stress. We likely experience it at home, at work and in all areas of life. Golf is not going to completely remove the stress from your life, but it will give you the opportunity to de-stress when you are out on the course. Getting away from our stress every once in a while is a healthy choice.

Concentration - A lack of concentration is also a problem for many people, but it is a problem that is solved through the game of golf. When you get out on the golf course, you will find that you are able to concentrate on the game and truly focus on the moment.

Socialization - There is no doubt that golf is a social game, and you will enjoy playing it with old friends and you will likely meet some new friends as well. The competition associated with golf is not typically one that is at a very high level, and you can simply relax and enjoy being around friends and family members when you're out on the course.

As you can see, the benefits of playing golf are quite diversified and it is likely that you could use some of these benefits in your life as well. By learning how to play the game and then playing it regularly, you will experience these benefits as well as others, by doing something that you love.

3. Looking at the Equipment

As is the case with any sport, there are very specific types of equipment that are associated with playing the game of golf. When you first start playing the game, it may seem somewhat overwhelming when you look at all of the advertisements that are showing you the latest and the greatest pieces of equipment that are available. Not only do they promise to improve your game, they promise to enhance your life in some way or another. How can you cut through the hype and find out what you actually need?

First of all, let me put your mind at ease when it comes to golf equipment. Although it certainly is possible for you to spend thousands of dollars before you get out on the golf course, it is not necessary to do so. In fact, you can enjoy some great golf with a used set of golf clubs, some old balls and a few tees that you pick up at the golf shop. For under $100, you can begin playing the sport and you can grow from there.

The first thing that you will need is a set of golf clubs. This is where many people tend to get confused because they may go to a sporting goods store and see that there are hundreds of choices available. In reality, the golf clubs can be broken down into a few basic sections, and it is not necessary for you to have clubs that represent each of those sections in your golf bag. Here are the different types of clubs and what they can do for your game.

Drivers - These clubs, which are also known as woods, are typically what are used in the long game, including driving off of the tee and in some cases, hitting a long ball in the fairway. The drivers are arranged according to number, with the number one being the largest and moving down successively. The 1 wood is typically known as "the driver" and is sometimes affectionately known as Big Bertha. It is typically best if you start with a 1 and a 3 wood. You may also find that having a lower one, such as a 5 wood can be of benefit in the fairway.

Irons - The irons are similar to the drivers in that the lower the number, the longer the ball. Typically, you can get started with a few irons, including the 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9. You can even reduce it further, depending upon the set of clubs that you purchase. It is a good idea to have the 9 iron, however, because it can replace the pitching wedge for your short game.

Wedges - These are special types of clubs that are for very specific shots, such as the pitching wedge for the short game or the sand wedge, for when you end up in the sand trap. It is not necessary for you to have any wedges when you first get started, as you will likely find that the 9 iron serves the same general purpose.

Other Pieces of Golf Equipment

Aside from your golf clubs, you also need other pieces of equipment that will serve specific purposes as well. Admittedly, these pieces of equipment can be quite varied, but it is best if you keep things on a fairly basic level when you're first getting started. As your game improves and you want to spend additional money on trinkets, you will have plenty of opportunity to do so.

Tees - This very basic piece of equipment is what will be used when you are driving the ball from the tee. It is just a small wedge of wood with a cup on top where the ball sits. There are 2 different sizes, large and small. The large size will be preferred when you use the 1 wood and you can use the other sizes for lower woods. They are only used on the tee, not in the fairway.

Balls - It is also a good idea for you to have a ready supply of golf balls available at all times. When you are first starting, you can purchase a bag of used balls for a relatively low price at the sporting goods store, or you can pick up some used balls at the pro shop in some cases. It may be nice to have some fresh, new balls in your bag, but at the rate that you will lose them when you first get started, it is not an economically wise choice to do so. Until your skill improves, you will notice a difference in your gameplay.

Golf Bag – Another piece of equipment that you will need is a golf bag. It is important for you to have this from the start because most courses will want you to have your own bag of clubs and will not allow sharing clubs with other players. The golf bag is a fairly simple piece of equipment, but there are different options available that you may want to consider. When you are first getting your start, a simple golf bag with 1 or 2 pockets is all that is going to be necessary to carry your clubs and the other equipment. As you continue to enjoy the game, you may wish to purchase a higher-quality bag with additional pockets.

Golf Cart – On some larger courses, you will likely be using a motorized golf cart, so you will simply put your bag on the cart and carry it on your shoulder as necessary. In some cases, however, you may be playing on a smaller, municipal course and you might want to walk to pick up some additional exercise. You will find it to be beneficial to purchase a small golf cart with wheels that makes it easier for you to get around the golf course, and it also acts as a tripod when you are taking your shot so you don't need to worry about your bag lying on the ground.

There are many different pieces of golf equipment, including some that are largely unnecessary. As you continue to play the game and enjoy it, you may wish to pick up a few extra pieces of equipment to enhance your game, or to simply enhance your enjoyment of it. When you first get started, however, the basics that are described above are all that is really necessary.

4. Understanding the Terminology

One of the things that you want to learn when you first start playing golf is the terminology that is a part of the game. Once you understand what people are actually saying, you will find that you are enjoying it more and that you are naturally using those terms when you're talking about the game as well. The following are some of the more common phrases that will be used on the golf course regularly.

Ace - When you are on a par three hole and you are able to get the ball in the hole in a single shot, it is known as an ace.

Alignment - This term refers to your position, as well as to the position of the clubface in relationship to the position of the ball.

Away - If someone says that you are "away" when you are on the golf course, they are simply saying that you are the furthest person from the hole.

Back Nine - If you are playing on an 18-hole golf course, the back nine are the second nine holes that are played.

Ball in Play - After you take your initial shot from the tee, the ball is said to be in play. If it goes out of bounds or after you sink your putt, the ball is no longer in play.

Best Ball - This is a term that refers to a particular game in golf in which every shot is taken at the position of the best shot in the group. It may also refer to a two player team and only the best score for the hole is counted.

Bogey - When you complete the hole and are one-stroke over par, it is said to be a bogey.

Bunker - This item, which is also referred to as a sand trap, is a pit of sand that is typically located to either side of the green. It is considered to be a hazard on the golf course.

Carry - The carry is how far your ball travels through the air after you hit it, before it lands on the ground.

Check - When you hit the golf ball with some backspin on it, it will stop rolling or may stop abruptly when it strikes the ground. This is known as the check.

Chip - As you are approaching the green and your ball is located just off of the green, the shot that pitches the ball up onto it is known as a chip.

Club Face - The part of the golf club that contacts the golf ball is known as the club face.

Clubhouse - Most golf courses will have a building where you will pay for your outing and it may have an area where you can relax after you play the game. In addition, the clubhouse may include bathrooms, conference rooms and the pro shop, where you can purchase golf related items.

Collar - The area around the green where the grass is slightly longer than the green is known as the collar. It is also sometimes referred to as the fringe.

Course Rating - When you're trying to choose a golf course, you can look at the rating of the course either online or through a golf publication. If the rating is higher, it is more difficult play.

Cup - This term refers to the hole in the green, which is what you are aiming for when you are golfing. It is also known as the hole.

Divot - This term refers to the small piece of grass and dirt that is removed when it is struck by the golf club. It is proper etiquette to replace the divot.

Dogleg - If the fairway curves to the right or the left between the green and the cup, it is known as a dogleg. It is usually referred to as "dogleg left" or "dogleg right", depending upon the direction of the bend.

Double Bogey - This term refers to getting the ball in the hole in 2 shots over par.

Double Eagle - If you are fortunate enough to get your ball in the hole in three shots under par, it is known as a double eagle. This is an exceptionally rare occurrence.

Drop - There are instances in which you would pick up the ball with your hands and drop it onto the golf course. It may be a part of gameplay if you are in tall grass, or you may drop your ball back on the fairway after you have gone out of bounds. Taking the drop will likely cost you an additional stroke.

Duff - When you miss the ball or make a completely bad shot, and it will happen, it is known as duffing.

Eagle - When you are able to sync your shot in the hole in two shots less than par, it is known as an eagle.

Executive Course - This is a type of golf course that includes nine holes that are all par three. It is designed to be played in less than two hours.

Fade - When a right handed golfer hits a shot that goes slightly to the right, it is known as a fade.

Flop - When you hit the ball in a way that it goes into the air and falls slightly in front of you, it is known as a flop.

Follow Through - This is the action taken during your golf swing after making contact with the ball. Having a good follow through is just as important as all other aspects of your swing.

Fore - When your shot is heading in the direction of other players, you would yell "Fore" loudly to warn them that the ball is heading their way.

Fringe - The area around the green where the grass is slightly longer than the grass on the green.

Front Nine - On an 18 hole golf course, the front 9 refers to the first nine holes that are played.

Gimme - When your ball is close enough to the hole that it is obvious that you will sink it on the next shot, you can pick it up and call it a gimme.

Greens Fee - This term refers to the money that you pay for a round of golf.

Grip - The grip is how you are holding the club.

Handicap - There may be times when you are playing with other golfers who are playing at different skill levels. The handicap is the strokes that can be taken from your score if you are playing with a better golfer.

Hazard - There may be a number of different hazards on the golf course that you would want to avoid. They include water and sand traps.

Hole - This is the ultimate goal for the golfer, to hit the ball in the hole, also referred to as the cup.

Hook - The hook shot is when the ball bends to the left if you are a right handed player.

Iron - One of the clubs that uses a metal blade as the club head.

Lag Putt - When you make a putt (typically a short putt) and it comes up short of the hole, it is known as a lag putt.

Lie - The position where your ball is located after your shot is known as the lie.

Lost Ball - If your ball is unable to be found in a reasonable amount of time or according to different regulations (depending on where you are playing), it is said to be lost.

Mulligan - When you are playing a casual game of golf and you make a poor shot, you can take a mulligan and make another shot without counting the stroke. It is not a legal shot in pro golf, but most casual games take advantage of it.

Open Face - When the club head is aligned so that the ball would go to the right, it is known as an open face.

Out of Bounds - There are areas on the golf course, which are off of the fairway that are said to be out of bounds. They are typically marked areas.

Stroke - Any time you make a shot on the golf course, it is known as a stroke.

Tee - A wooden (sometimes plastic) device designed to hold the ball off of the ground.

Water Hazard - Any body of water on the golf course is known as a water hazard.

5. Know the Rules of Golf

Although it is true that the rules of golf may be quite complex in some instances, there is no need for you to pay attention to each and every rule when you're first starting. Is important, however, for you to understand the basics of golf and the rules that are associated with it. In this chapter, we are going to talk about some of the rules that you will need to be familiar with before you go onto the golf course. We’re also going to talk about the etiquette of golf, so that you can be a welcome player from the first time you go out.

The Basic Rules of Golf

Know the Game - There are a number of different types of games that can be played, including a standard game of golf, best ball and what may be played by a group of executives. You should familiarize yourself with the basics of the game, including where you are going to hit the ball from and how you should count your score. These are things that can be discussed prior to starting the first hole.

Order of Play - When you are starting a new hole, the player that has the lowest score at the previous hole is going to hit the ball first. When you have already hit the ball, the individual whose ball lies further from the hole is going to hit it next.

Where to Tee the Ball - The first shot of the game is taken with the use of a tee. The ball will be placed between the tee markers that are appropriate for your use. You should either take your first shot from directly between the tee markers or you can take it slightly behind them but you are not permitted to be in front of the line.

The Rules of a Stroke - Each stroke of the ball is going to be counted on your score. This can get confusing, especially if you are playing a game with those who are very familiar with the rules. In essence, any time you take a swing at the ball and make contact with it, it is going to count as a stroke. The only difference is if you are hitting the ball from the tee and you miss the ball, it also counts as a stroke. If the ball goes out of bounds and is either lost or needs to be dropped back in play, you lose a stroke.

Giving Advice - In a casual game of golf, it is likely that you will talk about the shot with your partner or another player before the shot is made. If you are playing with somebody who is following the rules closely, you will not give any advice on the shot that they are taking, and it is inappropriate to ask for advice from another player. The only other player that could be asked for advice is your partner. If you have a caddie, they can give you advice as well.

Practice Swings - It is legal to take a practice swing before making your shot, but you cannot take it between holes or during the time when it is not your shot.

Searching and Identification - There will be times when it is necessary for you to search for your ball and to identify the fact that you are playing the proper ball. Although you can move grass, sand or other material that may be obscuring the view of the ball to make sure it is yours, it is not permissible to pick up the ball in order to identify it. It is your responsibility to play the right ball, and if necessary, an identifying mark should be placed on it. If it becomes necessary to lift the ball in order to look for the mark, you must inform the other players before doing so.

Where to Play the Ball - When it is your turn to take a shot, you must play the ball where it lies. It is not permissible to move the ball to a better location, even if you have an obstacle in the way. You must also not change the environment around the ball so that you have a better stance, including breaking tree branches or adjusting the dirt so that you can stand firmly.

Ball Substitutions - When you begin playing the hole, you need to complete that particular hole with the same ball that you started with. The only reason why you would switch balls is if you hit it into the woods, water or another area and it was lost. If you hit the wrong ball by accident, it will cost you a two-stroke penalty.

Playing on the Green - Once your ball is on the green, the rules change slightly. It is inappropriate to take other clubs onto the green other than your putter; they should be left on the fringe. You're also not permitted to repair the green in any way, although you can move leaves and other debris out of the way if they are blocking your shot or would affect it. It is not permissible to test the green by using a practice ball. After taking your shot, the ball has 10 seconds to fall into the hole. If it hangs on the edge of the hole for more than 10 seconds and eventually falls in, a penalty stroke will be assessed.

There are also rules that are specific to the flagstick that is in the hole as well. You can ask for somebody to be at the flagstick any time that you are taking a shot on the course. If the flagstick is removed without your authority and it affects the movement of your ball, the player that moved the flagstick takes a penalty stroke. If the flagstick is being attended, it is not permissible for the ball to strike it either in the air or while it is rolling.

Cleaning the Ball - There are only a few times when you are able to clean the golf ball. You can clean it between the holes or you can clean it while it is lying on the green, if you mark the position of the ball before you lift it.

Unplayable Lie - If your ball is in a position where you are unable to play it, you will incur a penalty stroke. You then have the option of either replaying the ball from the original point where it was played or you can move back in a straight line between the lie and your previous shot. The other option is to move it two club lengths in any direction and to take a drop.

A Basic Look at Etiquette

In many cases, golf etiquette is going to involve some common sense and you will simply want to play in a way that is respectful to other players, regardless of whether you're playing with them or not. There are also some specific things to keep in mind when considering golf etiquette, including the following.

6. How to Hold and Swing a Club

One of the most important things to consider when playing the game of golf is the way that you handle the golf club. It will make a difference in your score and, as you continue to improve your game and the way that you are working with the club, you will find that you are enjoying it more. Although entire volumes can and have been written on how to hold and swing a golf club, the following basics will be of benefit to you. It should be noted that these suggestions are for right-handed golfers. Left-handed golfers may need to reverse some of the positioning.

The Clubface - The club should be placed with the clubface on the ground and square to the ball. The shaft of the club will extend upward and will be held in the hand, as is described in the grip.

The Grip - The club should be placed in the left hand on the inside of the fingers. The end of the club should be slightly beyond and outside of the hand when it is closed. Close your grip loosely and point your thumb toward the head of the club. You don't want to have a tight grip, as if you were trying to choke the club. Keep it loose and relaxed, but make sure that you are holding onto it tightly enough so that it does not fly off when you take your swing.

The right hand is placed below the left hand, closer to the head of the club. It is in a similar position to the left-hand and the left and right hands should be touching.

Another option is known as the baseball or 10 finger grip. This is a popular option with beginners and it can also help if you have arthritis in your hands, wrists or fingers. Quite simply, you would hold onto the club as if you were holding onto a baseball bat, with both of your hands wrapped around the club. You can then put the club onto the ground and square up the club face with the ball. A modified version of this grip, known as the Vardon grip is done with your pinky finger on your right hand and the index finger on your left hand interlocked.

Posture - The proper posture for the swing is one that is balanced, and you should continue to maintain your balance throughout the swing. Keep your back straight but bend slightly forward at the hips and flex the knees so that they are not locked. Most people feel as if this position is comfortable, and it will center your weight over top of the ball.

The Backswing - It is not necessary to keep your left elbow locked out during the backswing, it should be relaxed as you are coiling your shoulders and rotating the body at the hips. Continue to coil your body until the club is near its height. At this point, it is natural for the right elbow to begin to bend. You will find that the wrists will bend slightly at this point, and the club will be above your head. The hands, however, are going to continue to maintain the same position and grip on the club.

The Forward Swing and Follow through - Now is the point when you will take the club back down to the ground and make contact with the ball. Quite simply, you are going to reverse the movement that you made during the backswing to the point where the club connects with the ball. It is important not to stop short, however, because a lot of the power is going to be in the follow-through movement that takes place after the ball has been hit. Continue to coil your body forward and to take the club upward until it is over your head again. It should be a single, smooth movement that will send the ball sailing toward its intended target.

7. Driving on the Long Game

In the previous chapter, we talked about the way that you can hold and swing a golf club. You can refer to that chapter, regardless of whether you are talking about the long game or the short game. You may wish to modify the power that you put into the ball, however, depending upon the circumstances and where the ball is lying on the course. In this chapter, we are going to talk about the long game and how you can improve your shot considerably from the tee.

First of all, one of the most important things to consider is the amount of power that you are putting into the drive. According to the way that you swing and the follow-through, much of the power from your body and from the club is going to be transferred to the ball and will send it sailing down the fairway, hopefully in the right direction. In order to get more power, however, you may need to adjust your stance slightly.

One of the factors that need to be considered when driving a ball is your stance, and where you are positioned with your feet in relation to the ball. For a long drive and for plenty of power, you want to be standing slightly behind center, or perhaps even have your left foot close to being aligned with the ball, although you would always want to have it in a forward position. This is known as a forward ball position, and it means that the ball is ahead of your center of stance. It provides additional room for you to swing, and you will get more power out of your drive.

On the other hand, if the drive calls for more control and power, it may be necessary for you to adjust your stance even further. If you want to control the ball for a shorter drive, even though it is considered to be part of the long game, the first thing that you should do is to move your hands down the club 2 inches. In addition, your feet would be closer together, as you would take a narrower stance. Typically, the stance for a controlled drive is to have your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, but you would still want to maintain the ball forward position. In addition, make sure that you are in a straight line, from the center of your eyes, through your hands and down the shaft of the club.

When pulling the driver back, you would want to do so fairly slowly, but don't do it so slowly that you are going to feel tension in your arm. Continue to bring the club back and to rotate your wrists at the top, so that the club is almost at a 90° angle to your body behind you. The majority of your body weight is shifted onto your right leg at this time and your head will have moved backward in relationship to the ball.

The downswing is very important to consider, and you need to have both a degree of power and control to get the ball sailing in the right direction. By making an aggressive downswing, trying to put the full power of your arms, torso and the club into the ball, it is going to make contact and you will see the ball react in the right way. The swing should be in one smooth movement, however, and this is a problem that many new golfers have. The backswing should transition directly into the forward swing or you may find that the ball is going off to the right or to the left. Making the downswing directly after the upswing, transitioning your power from your right side to your left side and having a proper follow-through will give you a long, straight drive that will be impressive to watch.

8. Understanding the Short Game

Although it certainly is impressive to hit a long drive from the tee, that is not one of the more important things to consider when playing a game of golf. After you have the ball away from the tee and on the fairway, the short game begins and this is where much of the game of golf is either lost or won. If you want to improve your overall golf score and do so consistently, you would want to shave points off of your score by shaving them off of the short game. Here are some tips that can help you to do so.

First of all, the way that you handle and swing the club is going to be similar in both the long game and the short game. The only thing that you will need to do, however, is to modify the swing, depending upon your distance from the hole. After all, if you are approaching the hole and need to do a simple chip up onto it in order to get on the green, you would not want to take a full swing or you would simply send the ball sailing over the top of the green. That being said, here are some other factors that can really make a difference when it comes to your short game.

Proper Club Selection - One of the most important things to consider when playing your short game is the club selection. More than likely, you are going to be using an iron during this time, and choosing the right iron will make a difference in how far the ball travels. As is the case with any golf club, the lower numbered irons are for more power and distance, while the shorter irons are for shorter distance and additional finesse.

Familiarize yourself with the typical distance that a golf ball will travel when you use an iron. Be aware of the fact that the distance may differ, depending upon your skill level as well. When you choose the proper iron, it will get you close to the target.

Modifying Your Swing - When you're taking your swing from the tee, it is done in such a way that you're trying to put all of the power possible into the swing and transfer it to the ball. In your short game, however, finesse is often called for rather than power. Yes, there may be times when you are stretching the limits of a particular club in order to reach the green, and in that case power will be necessary, but you want to control the ball to the greatest extent possible.

One of the primary reasons why control is beneficial in comparison with power is because you are aiming at a smaller target when you are playing the short game. In the long game, you are basically aiming for the green or perhaps for the center of the fairway, depending upon the length of the hole. As you get closer to the green, however, your focus is going to tighten and you will be aiming for the cup, rather than a larger target.

Pay Attention to the Chip - If there is one shot that is vitally important when it comes to the game of golf, it is the chip shot. This is the shot that is taken when you're in range of the green and you simply want to lob the ball up onto the green so that it sticks. If you chip the ball properly, you will stick the ball close to the hole and you will be able to putt-out in one or two shots. If you do it improperly, however, the ball will strike the green and continue rolling away from the cup and perhaps even off of the green again.

Chipping the ball requires a particular level of finesse and it is something that you should practice regularly. When you're able to chip a ball successfully, it is quite impressive and you will find that you are shaving points off of your score by mastering the simple shot.

9. Putting Your Way to Success

Much of the game of golf is going to be played off of the green, but once you reach the green, you certainly don't want to slow down when it comes to your skill level. After all, if you are able to master your long game and short game and can reach the green in well under par, you would not want to have to putt three times in order to get the ball in the hole. Being able to putt effectively is just as important, if not more important than any other shot on the course. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to improve your putting game considerably.

First of all, putting is one of the easiest shots to practice, as you can practice it on the putting green at the golf course or perhaps even in your own living room. It will not take you long to learn how hard to hit the ball in order to get close to the cup. Admittedly, it is also a skill that takes a lifetime to master, and even those who have been playing for years will still practice their putting on a regular basis.

One of the problems that many people have is that they duff their first shot and it either rolls over the hole and beyond by several feet, or perhaps it comes up extremely short. In part, this may be due to the fact that they are trying to sink the ball on the initial putt. It is a good idea for you to get the ball in the hole if at all possible, but if you're making an extremely long putt, it is better for you to aim for a larger circle. Draw an imaginary circle around the cup that is approximately 2 feet from it in any direction. Rather than trying to get the ball into the cup on the first shot, try to get it into that larger circle and then sink it on the second putt. You may also find that you are sinking a lot of your putts on the initial try by using this method as well.

Another problem that many people have when they are on the green is that they are trying to hit the ball in a way that will put it in the cup. Rather than thinking about the club striking the ball, keep your mind on the way that the ball will roll after you have hit it. You would not want to push the ball in order to achieve this, but when you strike the ball solidly and envision how it is going to roll after you strike it, you will likely see more success.

Finally, you need to do what is comfortable to you as far as your grip is concerned. You may read a lot of information about interlocking your fingers or the specific way that you should point your thumb, but that is not always the best choice available. Even though it is a good idea for you to follow certain standards, you should also do what is comfortable to you. If you do, you will find that your ball is going straighter and landing in the cup on a more consistent basis.

10. Golf Fitness to Improve Your Game

Throughout this publication, we have talked about many different ways that you can improve your game of golf, by the way that you swing the club, hit the ball and even in the way that you stand. The fact of the matter is, however, there are many different things that you can do to improve your game, including what we're going to discuss in this chapter, golf fitness. If you truly love the game and want to improve your power or shave strokes off your score, you will pay attention to the fitness exercises in this chapter and apply them in your life.

Stretching - One of the most important things to consider when golfing is your ability to stay loose, especially when you're swinging the club. That is why it is important for you to stretch regularly, and to do so even during the off-season. It will help to improve your strength to a certain extent, and it will also help you to avoid any injuries that can occur during golfing as well.

For some individuals, some simple yoga exercises are all that are going to be necessary for loosening up and hitting the golf course safely and successfully. Others, however, might enjoy using a different approach and doing some stretching exercises a few days a week that will show immediate and dramatic results.

Although this type of stretching is not in the mainstream, it certainly can help you and it can do so quickly. Since this exercise stretches the muscles effectively, it is only recommended that you do it three times per week.

First of all, apply some resistance, either with your hand or with a towel that has been rolled up, in order to stretch the muscle. You can stretch all the muscles in the body in this way, including the shoulder, neck, hips and calf muscles. Make sure that you are only applying some slight resistance because you don't want to overstretch and cause injury.

Once you have stretched for several seconds applying resistance, push back against the resistance, but do not allow the object that is causing the resistance to move. Do this for approximately two seconds and then completely relax for two seconds. Finish it up by stretching with the resistance again, and you will notice that you're able to stretch much further.

Strength Training - It is also a good idea to hit the gym and to do some strength training. Building up the muscles in the body can help you to be strong when you are on the course, and can also make a difference in the power that is available when you hit the ball.

It is not necessary to be in the gym for hours at a time and to work out as if you were trying to win a weightlifting competition. Some simple weightlifting exercises, focusing most of the exercises on your core muscles and legs, are all that is needed. When you strengthen those muscles, it will cause your body to produce hormones and other chemicals that build strength in other areas of your body as well.

Get Your Rest - One other factor that needs to be considered, if you want to play a great game of golf, is that you need the proper rest. This would include resting an appropriate amount of time after a workout before you hit the golf course. In addition, you should be sleeping a minimum of seven hours every night, although many people are going to need at least eight hours in order to be fully rested.

Doing these fitness exercises and taking care of your body will not only benefit you on the golf course, it will benefit you in many areas of life. Begin applying these factors today, and you will notice a difference in your game very quickly.

11. Hitting the Course in Style

One of the enjoyable parts about golfing for many new players is being able to dress the part. There certainly is a lot that can be written about golf style. If you simply watch an event on TV, you will see that many people dress the part, regardless of whether they are playing on the course or are in the audience. In this chapter, we are going to talk about the reality of golf style and what you should consider when going on the course.

First of all, it may be necessary for you to familiarize yourself with the regulations of the particular course where you will be playing. In some cases, they may have certain rules that would limit your ability to dress as you like. For example, it is common for many courses in the colder areas of the country to require that you wear long pants. Another option that may be necessary is to wear a shirt with a collar. If you show up at the course wearing clothes that are against the rules, you may not be permitted to play that day.

Rather than considering the specific way that you dress and trying to be in style, it may be more important for you to dress for comfort. During certain times of the year and in some parts of the country, it can get rather uncomfortable on the course and you would want to make sure that you have the appropriate attire. This may include bringing a jacket along with you if the weather could turn colder, or perhaps even bringing rain gear, depending upon the weather that day.

You may also want to consider getting a good pair of golf shoes because they can make a difference in your level of play as well. There are a variety of options available when it comes to golf shoes, including the types of spikes that are included on them. In some cases, you may not be able to go into the clubhouse if you are wearing the wrong type of golf shoes, so this is something that you need to consider as well.

Some other considerations for playing on the course include having a nice pair of sunglasses and perhaps even a hat. You may also want to pack some sunscreen because a day out on the golf course can be quite uncomfortable if you get sunburned.

The bottom line is that you should do what is necessary to be comfortable while you’re on the course, while at the same time following any regulations that may be in place. There are not any specific rules when it comes to the style of clothing you wear, so as long as you are sticking within the boundaries of the course regulations, you can really choose any style that you want

12. Where Should You Play?

Now that you understand the basics of golf and are ready to get out and play a game, it is time for you to choose a course where you will play. The fact of the matter is, there are many golf courses in almost any area of the world, and you will have plenty of options, when it comes to choosing a course that is right for you. In this chapter, we are going to consider a few options that will help you to choose a course where you can play comfortably and fit in with the general crowd.

Course Size – One of the first things that you should consider is the size of the golf course. For those who are on their first outing or if you are still uncomfortable with how to play, you may want to consider choosing a nine-hole course or perhaps an executive course. These courses tend to be easier to play, and the people around you will not be as upset if you tend to step outside the boundaries of golf etiquette every once in a while. Municipal courses are an excellent choice for first-time players.

Course Requirements – There may also be specific requirements that are associated with the course, including keeping up with the pace of play of players that are either behind you or in front of you. On some courses, there are rangers that will be on the course and will come up to move you along, if you tend to be lagging behind. When you’re just getting started with playing golf, it is better if you choose a smaller course that does not have strict requirements. In that way, you can play at your own pace, and if you feel as if you are holding up the people behind you, you can allow them to play through.

Course Rating – There is a rating system that exists for golf courses and every course is going to be rated according to that system. You can find the information for the rating of the golf course that you are looking into, online or through a golf publication. If the rating is higher, the course is more difficult to play so when you’re first starting out, you would want to choose a course that is rated lower. In addition, a course that is rated higher is usually going to pull in players that are more experienced, and they may not appreciate waiting for a new player that is having difficulty on any hole.

Amenities – One other consideration for choosing a golf course is to look for the amenities that they may make available. This could include what may be available at the clubhouse, such as a restaurant or perhaps a pub, where you can enjoy a drink after your round of golf. They may also offer additional benefits and amenities as well. In some cases, however, the amenities come at a price, and you may need to pay a membership fee in order to play on the course in the first place. That membership fee is in addition to any greens fees, which are typically as expensive if not more expensive than a common green fee.

Although choosing a golf course can be difficult, there are likely to be options that are available that will make you comfortable while you are playing. The game of golf was meant to be enjoyed, and it is also one that you will appreciate playing for the long-term because you can build your skill over time. By choosing a course now that is right for your skill level and enjoying higher level courses as you continue to learn more about the game, you will find that your love of the game increases.