In today’s guide we will highlight 12 beginner golf lessons below to follow if you want to improve your golf practice and get better at playing golf without spending lots of money on professional golf lessons.
Every golf season brings new excitement. It’s a fresh start and new year to see how low you can get your golf scores. However, the first few months of golf season can be a let down if you’re not mentally prepared for the challenge.
“Winter rust” takes time to shake off which is why we recommend putting in heavy practice hours initially in the early months of the golf season. You can get back to your performance level you ended off last season quite quickly with this approach to golf practice.
Getting back the feel of your golf swing, the control over your wedge when chipping, and the speed control on your putting takes some work.
Below are 12 golf lessons that you can use to speed up your improvement and make new strides into territory you haven’t been before.
I can remember scoring in the 70’s after being stuck in the 80’s for awhile and reaching this new level of progress in my game motivated me to work even harder! I’d love that same feeling to come to you as well as you improve week by week, month by month.
12 Golf Lessons for Beginners
Lesson #1: Take an Initial Skills Test
Every year, I like to start off a new golf season with a skills test. I want you to find out where your skills currently stand and have it logged on your phone or computer so you can compare over time and see growth.
I created a detailed skills test you can download here.
It will have you hit lots of shots from different distances with your wedges and putter to test your short game. Plus, you’ll get detailed instructions on how to test your irons, woods, and driver skills.
Lesson #2: Pick Out Your 3 Weaknesses & 3 Strengths
After spending the first week analyzing the current state of your golf game, it should become more clear what your current strengths and weaknesses are.
For most beginners, a weakness is likely going to be your golf swing (31 Swing Tips to Read) if you’re hitting chunks, skulls, and slices.
Pick one weakness in your golf swing, one weakness in your chipping, and one weakness in your putting.
Now you know what to work on in each of these 3 skill categories and how to design your practices to add extra reps that will work on these weaknesses until you improve at them.
Repeat this for your strengths and continue building upon your strengths to get them to that next level.
Lesson #3: Set Up a Practice Schedule
The next best tip for improving your golf game is to build yourself a schedule you can attempt to stick to. Life gets in the way but having a schedule on hand will motivate you more to get to the golf course to practice!
We created 12 week golf practice schedule templates you can follow step by step if you’re looking for structure and proven success from golfers who have followed them.
There are 3 options to choose from or you can grab them all as a bundle:
We recommend at least 3 days of golf practice a week to help you shake off the winter rust and move forward to new all-time bests. Younger golfers in high school golf or college golf will be more likely to hit the course 5-7 times per week if it fits their schedule.
Lesson #4: Focus on Golf Drills
One tip that might seem obvious is to use golf drills during your practice time. Golf drills are designed to improve certain skills and mixing several drills together during your practice session can help you work on multiple areas of your golf game.
Using golf drills is important and we’re calling this out as a tip because we understand most golfers like to just do what we call “random practice” where you hit putts and chips on the practice green randomly with no focus.
Golf drills will give you focus so you can track performance and assess weakness/strength.
Lesson #5: Add Pressure Golf Drills
In order to be ready for the real pressure you’ll face out on the golf course, you should start with simulated pressure on the practice green and driving range.
You can add pressure by setting performance goals you have to hit to pass the golf drill.
For example, if you have 10 putts from 6 feet, pressure yourself to make 6 out of 10 to pass the drill. Repeat the drill until you are able to make 6 out of 10 if you fail.
Another type of pressure is successes in a row. This means making 6 putts in a row instead of just 6 putts total overall. A good example of this is the circle putting drill you’ve probably read about before.
It requires you to set up 5 tees around a hole in a circle and you must make all 5 putts in a row going around the circle to pass this putting drill.
On the driving range you can add pressure by trying to hit 3 draws in a row or 3 fades in a row if you’re working on shot shaping.
For distance control, pressure yourself to land the ball within a few yards of your target 3 times in a row to pass, then change up the distance target and go again.
RESOURCE: How to Break 80 Practice Plan
Lesson #6: Make Injury Prevention and Recovery a Priority
An area golfer’s commonly neglect is their golf fitness. This isn’t just about lifting weights and getting stronger.
It also includes stretching before you practice or play a round of golf. Going through warm up exercises to get the blood flowing and muscles loosened up, especially your back muscles where injury is common.
After your golf round or golf practice, doing a wind-down routine such as stretching or icing different muscles to help them recover faster.
Older golfers will understand this, but the next day your body will be sore and tight after a long day on the golf course so take your post workout wind-down seriously with stretching, ice packs, and hot showers or other muscle relaxation techniques.
Lesson #7: Follow a Golf Specific Fitness Plan
During golf season, you don’t need to lift lots of heavy weights and worry about bulking up. Instead focus on golf specific exercises that will add power and increase your range of motion in your golf swing.
This can be as simple as flexibility exercises or get more complex by adding in light weight training that simulates golf movements.
Here’s a list of 6 strength training exercises you can download free or if you’d like to join one of our paid fitness programs for golfers then check this fitness program out here.
Lesson #8: Driving Range Practice Tips
When practicing on the driving range you’ll have 50-70 range balls to use effectively. Rather than hit them randomly, try to create a driving range routine you follow consistently.
On the golf course, you’ll never hit the same club multiple times in a row ideally. You may tee off with driver then move to an iron for the approach shot to the green and then maybe a wedge if you miss the green.
Take this same style to the driving range and switch your golf club after every shot. This also adds pressure as you know mentally you only have one chance to hit a good shot with that club.
Hitting 10 shots in a row with your driver has its place and time however. Find our next tip below called volume practice.
Lesson #9: Use Volume Practice Strategically
A good analogy I use for volume golf practice is to think of it like an NBA player’s approach such as Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant.
These guys would be in the gym repeating the same move, the same jump shot over and over a hundred times. Each practice may include a total of 500-1,000 jump shots.
This style of practice builds muscle memory from the high repetition of doing it over and over correctly. Take this same approach to your golf practice.
I like to use it more on the practice green for short game practice, but you can do it on the driving range as well hitting the same shot in a row several times to develop feel for the proper way to hit the club.
On the practice green, I’ll putt 100 times from a distance like 35 feet to get familiar with speed control. Or I’ll putt 50 times from a certain side of the hole to work on mastering breaking putts.
High volume is an important part of a successful golf practice and it’s a feature we use in our golf practice plans you can learn about here.
Lesson #10: Find the Motivation
Some days you’ll feel less motivated to practice your golf game. You may decide to skip the golf course all together or you may decide to deviate from the usually practice routine and revert back to a random, lazy style of practice.
Fight this urge by figuring out how to mentally motivate yourself.
We want golf practice to be fun so if it starts feeling like a job or a burden then maybe you need to switch up the routine by adding in some fun games or new golf drills to change it up slightly.
But still make an effort to put in productive work that will push your golf game forward. Be careful about getting lazy and letting the unmotivated days throw you off your game.
Find what motivates you.
Watch some Tiger Woods highlights or other videos on YouTube to get re-energized if that helps. Or re-read your goals you set for the golf season and think about how far you’ve come.
Lesson #11: Play New Golf Courses
Here’s an unusual practice tip, play different golf courses.
You may get used to playing the same course over and over which could make you think you’re getting better at golf but in reality, the best way to test your progress is to play a new course.
This will put your driving skills, chipping, and putting to the test as you’ll face a new course layout with new hazards and challenges to navigate around. The green speeds will also vary which can test your distance control ability with the wedge and putter.
Lesson #12: Be Patient
Lastly, our final golf tip today is patience. Improving your golf skills and breaking 90, breaking 80, breaking 70, etc. takes time.
Your golf score is a reflection of consistent golf practice over several weeks, months, and years.
I always like to believe the practice you put in today will show up two weeks from now. Muscle memory takes time.
If you have a good practice week and then have a bad day on the golf course, don’t think into it much. In a few weeks see where your game and skills are at.
The biggest thing is not to give up. If you don’t feel like you’re making much progress despite all the golf practice, the solution is to ramp it up even higher.
Break through that plateau with volume practice. Add extra golf drills to your practice routine and extra practice days to your golf schedule.
Thanks for reading today’s 12 golf practice lessons for beginners. I hope you learned some new insights into what it takes to improve and I hope I created new ideas in your mind and new motivations.
If you’d like to follow golf practice plans we’ve designed and created for different skill levels, check out our list below.