Five things I WISH I knew as a beginner golfer: What to avoid

GolfMagic's equipment editor Alex Lodge takes a look at five of the biggest mistakes amateurs make when they start playing golf.

Five things I WISH I knew as a beginner golfer: What to avoid
Five things I WISH I knew as a beginner golfer: What to avoid

Golf is a tremendously frustrating game for those that have played it for years. 

But to the uninitiated it can seem overly complicated. There are just so many rules to digest. So much equipment to use. So many different types of shots to try and master. So many different ways to practice. 

You get the picture. 

At times it just seems easier to give up. You'll tell yourself: "You are never going to get any better". 

This is where our Equipment Editor at Alex Lodge comes into the picture to save the day. 

We have decided to take a look at FIVE of the biggest things we wished we knew before even picking up a damned club. 

So if you're reading this as a beginner to the game of golf, we implore you to take our advice!

Let's dive right in... 




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1. Mental game

This is perhaps the most important part of the game. It is overlooked so much it is truly painful. 

Alex said:

"I've seen so many golfers - myself included - having childish strops on the golf course. Throwing clubs, throwing temper tantrums. Realistically, you're not good enough to get mad at golf. It doesn't mean you're bad, but you're no Jon Rahm or Tyrrell Hatton." 

We recommend trying to remind yourself that a bad round of golf is better than any day at work. 

Just try and enjoy the game! 

Equipment: Best rangefinders 2022

2. The basics

Golf is such an incredible game and there is an enormous amount of equipment out there for you to try out. 

It's also easy to be overawed by information. Don't! 

Alex points out to focus on the basics of golf; the grip, posture, alignment and aim. 

He said:

"These are the things you need to work on. Work from the ground up to build your swing." 

We also recommend to play with people who are better than you at golf to try and glean some information and advice. 

That's almost as important as a lesson. 

Equipment: Best golf shoes 2022

3. Equipment or lessons? 

Again, there is simply mind-boggling amount of equipment out there to try. It's all so shiny and new, packed with technology. You just want to get out onto the range or even on the course. 

But then the crushing reality sets in and you realise that you are not Rory McIlroy

Then what? 

You've spent all of your money when you really should have been having lessons. 

Alex said that when you are beginning golf:

"Lessons are more important than what clubs you're using. To begin with, it doesn't matter if you're using stiff flex, regular flex or extra stiff flex [shafts]. What you're focused on in the beginning, is just trying to get the ball in the air and trying to get it as straight as possible. 
"Yes, golf equipment will change that - but not as much as you think." 

Alex made the stark admission that despite being at GolfMagic for three years testing equipment, he is yet to get any better at golf. 

Why? No lessons!

For shame, Alex. 

This writer is happy to hear that has changed now, though!

Related: Why upgrading your irons every five years is a must!

4. Practicing on the course

Our range swings are different to our on-course swings. 

That is why it is incredibly important to put yourself in scenarios during your practice sessions that you would experience on the course. 

Alex said: 

"This is a crucial aspect of practicing golf and a lot of amateurs don't realise. It took me a while, but once I practiced it makes shots less daunting." 

5. Short game

This is the main aspect of the game that separates us mere mortals with the professionals. And it drives us mad. 

Just take a look at this crazy graphic:

Equipment: Best putters 2022

Alex said: 

"It may not be the most interesting thing to practice but hitting one hundred four-foot putts for half an hour is going to be a lot better than hitting one hundred drivers. Getting that frequency in, getting a consistent stroke and hitting the sweet spot every single time is going to benefit you a lot more."


What do you make of our tips? Have we missed any out? What do you wish you knew before you started playing golf?

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