So, you want to get into golf?
That’s great, but golf can be very intimidating, especially for beginners.
That’s why many beginner golfers look at lessons as a quick way to improve their game. They can be one of the best ways to reach a reasonable level.
Golf is infamously known as one of the most challenging sports out there.
Some even argue that it is the most difficult one.
Being such a technical sport, we recommend you take lessons. But how many do you need as a beginner?
First, you must be prepared for what’s to come.
Many early-stage golfers think that with a few lessons, they will be playing a flawless golf game with their friends.
But golf is not something you can learn in a day or even a week.
It’s not a sport that comes intuitively. So you need to practice, and you need someone who knows what they are doing to help you.
How many golf lessons should a beginner take?
Well, unfortunately, there isn’t a concrete answer to these questions. As with many complicated things, it depends.
It depends on how quickly you pick up the skills required to play golf well.
It depends on your goal. If you aim to play a casual game with friends, you will be ready much earlier.
However, you can’t just walk onto a golf course having never hit a ball.
As a rule of thumb, when people ask, I tell them they should have done at least five lessons before they are ready to play.
When can I get out on the golf course?
The reason I suggest at least three lessons is because low-level players can cause a lot of issues on the course.
Beginners can significantly slow down golfers behind them as they usually take more shots, which takes more time.
If you are entirely new, you will also have no idea of the tactics involved.
Which club does what? What should I do in this specific situation on the course?
Without lessons, you won’t know this.
Granted, it will still be in theory, and you will learn a lot by getting out there.
But having little knowledge and going out on the course will likely be a terrible experience. Both for you and those around you.
What will I learn in the first lessons?
Of course, the answer to this question will vary depending on your experience.
It will also depend on your age and physical attributes.
If you are young, your first lessons will look different to a 70-year-old who’s never picked up a club.
However, there will always be some explanation and theory before you can hit (or miss) any balls.
How does golf work?
At some point, you will be told the rules of golf, how it works and what the aim is. This general concept will allow you to understand the context of everything else you will learn.
What types of clubs are there, and what do they do?
They will likely tell you the different clubs in a bag and what they do. They may also explain other rules to do with clubs, such as how many you are allowed in a golf bag.
Once these are out of the way, they will usually move on to the fundamentals.
The golf grip
Your golf teacher will usually start by explaining the golf grip.
This is very important as it is where the club connects with your body.
Without a good grip, it will be nearly impossible to get good at golf.
This will take time to master, but in the beginning, the new golf player must understand what it takes to hold a golf club correctly.
You will also learn how your fingers should sit on the club.
Set up and stance
This will be something that takes time. But after the grip, a golf teacher will move on to how you should stand and set up around the golf ball.
This will be most of what you’ll learn in the first lesson. You may be able to take some swings, but some teachers prefer you only to take half swings at the beginning.
There’s a lot of information to be conveyed, which won’t all be taken in immediately.
Packages v one-off lessons?
First, you will benefit if you book a package of lessons as you will often get a discount.
Usually, this is in the form of one free lesson.
So you’ll save money, but the real benefit is that you will have built up a significant amount of experience by completing multiple lessons.
This will make it easier when you hit the course.
It also makes it easy for the teacher/pro to give you a longer plan and understand what to prioritise.
Solo or with a group?
Of course, you can always look to save a bit of money by going with group lessons.
This can have some pros for beginner golfers.
You’ll save money. These group sessions are much cheaper than private one-to-one lessons.
You will also meet other golfers that are at a similar level. This can be great motivation and allow you to meet golfers you can eventually play with.
The downside is that you won’t get as much attention to yourself and your technique.
What do I need to get started?
One of the most common things I hear from beginner golfers is ‘what do I need to bring to my first golf lesson?’
Well, you might think it’s essential to bring golf clubs.
But this is not entirely the case.
Many pros and teachers will have clubs you can use to learn with.
That saves you from splashing out on a whole set before you’ve had a chance to try the sport.
One thing I would recommend taking to your first lesson is a glove.
Without it, you are going to get blisters on your hands.
Ask your teacher, they might have a spare, but otherwise, this is a good addition to bring with you.
In terms of footwear, you will want to wear something that works for golf.
You won’t need fully-fledged golf shoes. But you will want to wear some sports shoes that will keep you balanced when you swing a club.
And as a bonus tip, don’t forget to bring a hat or suncream if you are learning in a range where you are in the sun.
Some beginner golfers like to learn in different ways. So if. you like you can bring a notepad, to jot down advice from your teacher.
Also, some people like to watch their swing, so if you have a camera, you can bring that as well.
What about more advanced golfers?
You might think that pros don’t take lessons. But this isn’t true. The better you are as a golfer, the more lessons you might need!
In fact, pro golfers regularly use other pros to help them identify small mistakes they are making.
What if I took lessons when I was younger?
You will probably pick up some techniques quicker, but it’s still recommended you start from the beginning if your lessons were a long time ago.
As a rule of thumb, you should look to do at least five lessons before heading out onto a golf course.
Some players like to take more than this to be fully ready, but you can gauge this based on how quickly you are at a decent level.
Ask your teacher if they think you are ready. They will be best placed to advise you.