How to learn golf?

MDs on my team have been inviting me to golf events with clients, but candidly have only been to a driving range once with buddies. I'm not just bad, I don't know the first thing about the sport.

For those looking to pick up golf as a complete beginner, anyone have any tips, sources, videos, etc. that you found helpful when you were learning the sport? 

Comments (31)

Jun 25, 2022 - 8:04am
kodi, what's your opinion? Comment below:

This is one of the hobbies that will take some time to be better. Do you have any golf buddies who can teach the sport to you? Otherwise, ask in your country club for a referral to a decent coach.

Jun 26, 2022 - 5:03pm
Isaiah_53_5 💎🙌💎🙌💎, what's your opinion? Comment below:


"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 6
Jun 27, 2022 - 12:10pm
Bruvver, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Mate, you gotta be one of the most self-centered people out there. You manage to make every single topic you comment on about you - just now, OP asked how he can get better at golf and you answered "I have a natural ability to play golf, my only weakness is putting". Who cares dude? No one asked. Plus no, you don't get to the green "easily".

Sorry man, but someone had to say it. Hopefully you are a bit more self-aware in real life (doubt it, though).

Jun 25, 2022 - 8:29am
Ricky Sargulesh, what's your opinion? Comment below:

My approach (as a casual golfer who still isn't very good):

Step #1 is you just need to get to the point where you can play at a good pace, which isn't hard.  Take a couple lessons, hit the range, watch youtube videos, etc..  If you're struggling hard on a hole just pick your ball up and give yourself the max score.  If your drives are slicing into the woods, tee off with a hybrid instead.

Step #2 Once you're playing at the right pace, let your ego go and play with friends who are much better than you so you can pick up tips and tricks, and realize that even if you have the worst score in the foursome by 20 strokes nobody cares as long as you're keeping pace and fun to spend time with.  Once you let the ego go its way easier to accept invites, which will lead to more playing and more improvement. 

  • 5
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Most Helpful
Jun 25, 2022 - 10:27am
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:
  1. Try to avoid buying clubs "off the rack", get a fitted set right away. All things considered, the price difference between the two is really not a lot and it will greatly increase your enjoyment of the game. 
  2. Get lessons from a golf professional. The good ones will be like doctors - they have seen it all and can help everyone. They can build up your swing and help you avoid bad habits. 
  3. Work with said professional on the range and then ask them for a playing lesson. That's when they take you out on the course and play a few holes but let you experience actual "in game" situations, which will be very valuable to you. 
  4. From there, it's on you to practice and build up a game to the point where you can keep up with your bosses/clients

Most business outings on the golf course are more about telling jokes and making bets. It can sound intimidating at first, but just relax, have fun with it and work with an instructor from the beginning and you'll be fine. 

  • 6
Jun 25, 2022 - 1:13pm
Froggen, what's your opinion? Comment below:

All good advice but I'd do 2-4 first before going for the fitted clubs. A golf pro is going to most likely have you change your swing and grip dramatically from your current setup. You want that nailed down prior to getting fitted clubs. I waited till I was a bogey golfer to take that step (7 handicap now).

I'd rather play with a fun 30 handicapper then an uptight scratch golfer. Its such a mental game that the people you play with can really effect how well you do. The range is a good start but getting out on a course is where the real improvements are made. Just get out there with friends for a few rounds, learn the etiquette, learn how to keep good pace. 

Jun 25, 2022 - 3:40pm
Ricky Sargulesh, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Agreed, definitely get a cheap starter set first, get fitted once you feel good about your swing.

Jun 25, 2022 - 1:25pm
Gordon.Ghetto, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Grew up on the golf course and agree with above. Get a decent set of clubs and get some lessons from a golf pro. Most important, keep practicing. Your game will go to shi if you don't go out consistently.

Jun 27, 2022 - 8:39am
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The PGA web site maintains a list of golf pros/instructors across the country, that's where I would start because that's a certification that is not easy to get. Otherwise, I would start calling local courses and see if they have an instructor and start interviewing them. Even your local country clubs may have exceptions to allow you to come in and take lessons. Start calling courses around you with a good reputation and see what they say. 

Personally, my instructor is a PGA professional and he also plays on the local mini-tours around me. He's also sponsored by Callaway and has ties to PING (past sponsor). That combination allows him to be a great instructor while also being able to get me some good product discounts.

  • 4
Jun 25, 2022 - 10:35am
Lawrence3, what's your opinion? Comment below:

A lot of professional coaches offer "get golf ready" lessons specifically geared towards getting people ready for business golf. YouTube will only have your brain spinning at the start. A professional will be able to teach you swing fundamentals. If you have any degree of athleticism, you'll be fine after a few lessons and some practice. You won't be good, but you'll be able to keep up

Jun 25, 2022 - 11:16am
momo220, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Follow manoloteachesgolf on Instagram meng. He'll have you waggling and smacking that shit in no time

Jun 26, 2022 - 2:37pm
Purple_Rain, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I also started playing about a year ago - I'm 32 now - and it has been an incredibly frustrating learning curve. Just keep at it because once you start figuring out your swing it becomes HIGHLY addicting. Would also say that the first ~8 months were sortve wasted because I relied on Youtube vids. Def get yourself a good instructor to kick things off - will speed up the learning process significantly. 

Also follow people like Claire Hogle and Hayden Sylte to stay motivated ;)

Jun 26, 2022 - 4:51pm
eloquence, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Golf is tough because it takes a lot of practice to be able to play a round, let alone play a round without being embarrassing 

If you're in NYC, I'd recommend finding somewhere to take golf lessons over just watching YouTube videos. Those don't help too much when you just need to be out there practicing a swing. Doesn't need to be a full course as a beginner, I'm sure there's places like Chelsea Piers or similar where you can take a lesson and hit a bunch of balls


Jun 27, 2022 - 8:40am
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

No. That's just asking you to develop bad habits that will be hard to break later. Get an instructor right away, you'll be better off for it in the long run. 

Jun 30, 2022 - 5:05pm
kppw1517, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Simulators are great once you have a decent base to work off of. I spent a summer playing outside and getting some lessons on the weekends. Then I just played a ton on the simulator over the winter (since that's the only thing around in the city) and it helped a ton with getting a more consistent swing. Massively improved my game in a year. 

Jun 27, 2022 - 9:12am
DisgruntledAppraiser, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Lot of great tips so far, but another thing to keep in mind is most (not all) but most golf outing type events are "best ball" format. In other words, everyone in your group hits the same shot and your group chooses the best shot of the bunch to play their next shot. Also, no one likes playing with people who get pissed every time they hit a bad shot. Golf is supposed to be fun, so a little personality will go a long way to making the round a lot better for everyone even if you suck at golf. If your MD's are inviting you, we can safely assume that there's a reason they want to include you so just take it as an opportunity to face a challenge and advance yourself. Getting good at golf is extremely difficult. Literally no one is ever satisfied with their game. But, you'll be amazed what a couple lessons and a few regular trips to the driving range will do for you. 

A useful trick to keep in mind too is that golf is a tempo sport and not a max effort thing. It helped me a lot to not rush my swing to count to 4 in my head as I'm swinging to avoid rushing. Smooth is better than fast here. 

Last thing - I do disagree with getting brand new fitted clubs from the outset. Spend $200 - $300 on a used set and spend the money you save on lessons and range time. If you end up liking the sport and want to continue playing, then look into getting some nice custom sticks down the road. You'll appreciate them more at that point anyway. 

Jun 27, 2022 - 10:12am
Bizkitgto, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you are brand new, get a cheap pair of clubs (you can find a set of old Ping EYE2 irons for under $100). Don't buy new clubs until you have your swing down, and when you get new clubs make sure you get them fitted properly. Get lessons, it's better if you have a friend or two  as you will pay the same. Take lessons, and then hit the driving range over and over until you can consistently hit the ball "straight", once you can get that down, look at hitting the golf course. You can read all the books and watch all the videos you want, but without actual practice, nothing will happen. Golf is almost all muscle memory, so you need to play lots to get better, and that is why I think so many casual golfers never really get better over time (myself included). 

Jun 27, 2022 - 10:18am
Gashby, what's your opinion? Comment below:

With you knowing nothing about the game my only tip would be ask someone you know to go golfing with them on a Par 3. This will be a much easier course for you tolearn on, and you wont have more experienced golfers up your ass. I started golfing when I was 6, and I am currently teaching my GF to golf. All the youtube videos can only teach so much, and it's up to you to follow what they are doing, I bit the bullet and I am getting her lessons. Any course local to you will have a club pro who can give lessons. 

Jun 27, 2022 - 10:28am
money.monkey, what's your opinion? Comment below:

- If you're in Manhattan, please don't even try to pick up golf. It'll be a waste of time/money and you may as well spend that going out and enjoy the city.

- Elsewhere with a car, take lessons. Don't form bad habits by watching youtube videos. Everyone's swing is different, and the fastest way to improve is by having a professional teach you what to do based on your physical/athletic abilities. You don't need to be a beast to play golf well, just need the right swing/strategy.

- Don't buy new clubs. Used clubs work just as well. The only thing new you should ever buy are wedges, but they don't even matter that much until you shoot in the low 80s/high 70s.

- Remember that golf is meant to be hard and enjoy the game/nice shots you make once in a while


  • 1
Jun 27, 2022 - 8:51pm
ironman32, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hardest part of golf is both learning the swing is difficult, but also knowing the proper etiquette on the course is important. 

Two ways I'd do it (mostly as said above):

1. More Expensive way - Get a swing coach and start taking lessons. Eventually, as you progress, get a playing lesson from that pro/another pro on the course, go over, pace of play, scoring, where to stand during shots.

2. Cheaper way- have a friend show you the ropes. when you're just beginning, a friend who is willing to teach is prob just as good as a pro. It's like if you don't know football, I can show you the basic basics probably like Bill Belichik, but once it gets more advanced he'd be better to learn from. 

Jun 28, 2022 - 1:09am
driveslowhomie, what's your opinion? Comment below:

get lessons - learn what you need to do then drill it at the range 

i just started a few weeks back as well and (and splurged on a brand new set of apex 21 irons...)

been waking up at like 7/730am on weekdays if i sleep by 1/2 the night before to hit the range in the morning 

it's a crazy game though there are folks who have been playing regularly for 2-3 years that still consider themselves beginners

it's very challenging but very rewarding 

Jun 28, 2022 - 5:31am
kidzletplays, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Start out by hitting one of your wedges or short irons, warming up your golf muscles with half-swings. Then increase the length and speed of your swings, and move on to your middle irons. Work your way up to the driver, and after you hit some balls with it, go back to a short iron or wedge. Follow these steps also:-
1. Have a range routine
2. Learn the short shots
3. When in doubt, go back to basics
4. Find the right teacher

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Jun 28, 2022 - 8:28am
financeabc, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Getting good at golf is not much different from being good at hitting a baseball.  Assuming you have good hand-eye coordination, if you practice enough, you should be able to get good at it.   Buy some cheap clubs to start because you do not know if golf is going to a long term interest of yours.  Go to a driving range on a regular basis and take swings with different clubs.  You can practice putting anywhere, even in an apartment.   I don't think you want to practice on an actual course yet because you are going to hold everyone up who is behind you. 

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Jun 28, 2022 - 8:28am
financeabc, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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