Golf Advice for Beginners

I've been playing for over a decade, and I'm not a pro, but I'm more consistent than all my buddies! Average score around 85.
  1. Book Recommediations
    This should be required for anyone serious about golf... Five lessons by Ben Hogan and Quantum Golf by Kjell Enhager. One is technique, the other is mental. Both are short, and will teach you more than enough to start your journey.
  2. Stop Saying You Suck
    Or, "my ball will probably go in the water". Maybe it will maybe it won't. But if it's in your mind and you have a vision of it, it's more likely to happen.
  3. Think on the Range, Not the Course
    The range is where you work on your swing, a round of golf should be enjoyable and relaxing.
  4. Don't be a Hero
    My dad just started playing seriously last summer and he's still a hacker. But if he's faced with a 200 yard shot over water, he will try instead of laying up. The lesson: be smart and know your limitations. You can save a bad hole by not taking the most difficult approach shot, going for safe play.
  5. You Don't Need New Clubs
    A friend of mine used to go through a golf set every year because he worked at a golf store and got a discount. Don't do that. Spend money on playing and practicing. Until you break 100, club innovations aren't going to help you. The game is expensive enough.
  6. Keep Chips & Pitches Low
    Amateurs are enamored by the flop shot. But it has the highest degree of difficulty. Take a lower lofted club, use a putting stroke and run the ball to the hole for the most control. Rule of thumb - pitching wedge goes 50% air, 50% roll while 7 iron is more like 33% air, 67% roll.
  7. Limit Wrist Action
    A good swing is long, fluid and repeatable. The more "wristy" you get, the less control you have of the face of the club, meaning slices and hooks. A big problem of mine was breaking my wrists too early on the backswing, causing me to lose distance with my driver.
  8. Practice, Practice, Practice
    Golf is one of the toughest games I've ever played because you need to rely on mental sharpness over athletic ability. It takes a lot of practice and repetition to become better than average. As they say, "The secret is in the dirt".
  9. Grip & Setup are Crucial
    This might be taken for granted in a sport like baseball but in golf, if you are not set up correctly it almost doesn't matter how well you swing. Spend a lot of time understanding this and the "why" behind it