I absolutely adore this question for a couple of reasons:
- As a new golfer, it takes a lot of courage to get into a Reddit AMA and ask any question.
- It shows a new golfer digging in and wanting to know how to get better. I love that.
So now to the answer, and I’m going to do it as a Top 5 things a new golfer should do to get better…
- Should you get fit? YES, in a general sense, you need clubs that fit your body type and swing speed. Playing with clubs that are the wrong weight or length can lead to bad habits, and if you are a player dedicated to getting better, it’s important to put yourself in a good lane to evolve. Your driver, a fairway wood, hybrid, and short irons must be properly fit at a bare minimum. Even if it’s just tweaking the clubs, you inherited from a friend or family member. A good fitter can dial those in as well. These are your primary scoring clubs. It’s also a good way to start understanding your equipment so as you grow into golf, your knowledge of the WHOLE game grows with you.
- Learn how to love your short game: Own it, live it and get creative. It’s the one area that doesn’t require ball speed, huge body movements, or anything else. The fundamentals are easy enough to absorb, and if you become sound around the greens, it will bleed into the rest of your game. The short game is the first place you learn how to control the clubface, spin, launch, and proper distance control. So in practice, I’d say 75% chipping and putting and 25% the other stuff.
- Play. Play. Play: I’d rather a new golfer play a bunch than just beat balls. Playing engages your brain and asks you to make decisions; just standing on a mat smacking balls for an hour is a mindless activity. For example, If you play once a week, you will start to see patterns in your game, and even more, you will begin to discover where your vulnerabilities are. That’s BIG. Then your practice time can become FOCUSED.
- Find a buddy: Link up with someone that can grow with you in this game. It’s fine to go it alone, but there is strength in numbers; having a wingman who can inspire and push you is valuable.
- ALWAYS keep score: I don’t care if you are shooting 150. Your score always matters; at the end of the day, the whole point of any of this is to lower your scores. You may shoot 130 on Tuesday and 120 on Saturday; it may not be the 65-66 you had in your head, but ten shots is a ton, and watching your scores trend down little by little is one of the things that makes this game so addictive.
Golf is a life long game, there is not shortcut to getting better and thank God for that. To fall in love with golf is to fall in love with the process, the baby steps. There is no finish line in this game BUT early on you CAN create solid habits to make you efficient in your quest to play great golf. The whole reason I do what I do is to help every player get better. I do it through equipment and fitting, that’s my lane but I’m also a golfer that is always looking for simplicity. No matter how good the new technology is or the next HOT “thing” is, the path to getting better remains the same. It’s time management and doin the little things well.
And to the question that sparked this thought?
Getting fit, even simply, is a big step on the path. Do I think you should go “full send” and get fit for 14 brand-new clubs when finding the middle of the face is almost impossible? NO. What good would that do? But you can, at the very least, make sure what you have in the bag won’t hurt you.