Below you’ll find 22 of the best golf tips for beginners to use at the golf course. Everything from short game tips to mental game tips to golf swing tips and more.
To download the list of golf tips in PDF format, click the link below.
Tip #1: When to Leave the Flag in the Hole
Unless the flag is leaning towards you, when you are on the fringe, I’d advise you to putt or chip with the flag in the hole. Dave Pelz has done testing in regards to this and has determined that statistically more shots will end up going in with the flag in the hole.
Tip #2: What to Look at When Hitting the Golf Ball
Sometimes people ask me what I look at when I’m hitting the ball. I’ve looked at the back of the ball to focus in on where I want to hit it, the inside rear part of the ball to help me swing from the inside, and the ground on the target side of the ball to help me drive through the ball to the point where I want my club to hit the ground.
I’ve also maintained a soft general focus on the ball area (such that I could use my peripheral vision) and instead sensed my swing path away and back in to the ball and where I want my ball to end up. In the end, though, I found it’s best to have my eyes looking towards the ball but have my mind’s eye on the target.
Tip #3: Par 4 Club Selection
Many people come up to a par-4 and automatically grab the driver. Before doing that, consider the layout of the hole and whether it’s actually necessary, because it may not be the smartest choice.
In fact by automatically grabbing driver, you may be bringing the trouble in to play. In some cases it might be better to hit 5-iron of the tee and then 5-iron to the green.
I’ve played par golf only using my irons before, and Tiger has won the British Open only hitting a few drivers during the whole tournament. Key message: think before you drive.
Tip #4: Don’t Force the Wrong Club Choice
I once saw a guy only take the one club he thought he’d need. After getting to his shot, he realized he needed the next longer club. Instead of going back to the bag, he went and ahead and tried to muscle the shorter iron to the green.
As expected the ball ended up short and, worse yet, in a horrible position. As a result he made double bogey.
Had he brought the whole bag or at least taken a few extra clubs to have more options, he would’ve likely landed on the green and made par.
Tip #5: Hit Drives with Higher Loft If Your Accuracy is Struggling
More loft on your driver means more accuracy. The extra loft puts more direct backspin on the ball making it more difficult to put sidespin on the ball.
Tip #6: Focus Only on Where You Want the Ball to Go
When you are about to hit a shot, your brain doesn’t know what ‘don’t’ or ‘not’ means. If you think, ‘don’t’ go in the bunker or ‘don’t’ go in the water, guess what?
Your ball will often end up in the bunker or water even if it’s only a small percentage of the possible physical space you could hit your ball. Instead, do your best to focus solely on where you want the ball to go.
Tip #7: Play a Round of Golf with 3 Clubs
Sometime try and play a round of golf with only a mid-iron, wedge, and putter. You might actually surprise yourself with how well you score. Doing so helped me become a smarter player and realize that distance isn’t always as important as it might seem for scoring.
Tip #8: Set Bigger Goals that Push You Out of Your Comfort Zone
Stretch yourself and live a little bit by setting goals that make you feel a little nervous when you state them or think about achieving them. Sometimes its good to venture outside of your comfort zone.
Tip #9: Start a Round Off by Playing Conservative Initially
When you first begin the round, especially when you are starting off without any warm-up, play safe and conservative shots. Once you get the feel of the round and have some confidence that you can hit the ball where you want that day, you can start picking your opportunities to be more aggressive.
Tip #10: Use Extra Club on Colder Days
For those morning rounds when it’s a bit colder and/or you aren’t loosened up, don’t try to muscle a club the distance you normally hit when you are loose. Take an extra club and use your same normal tempo until your body wakes up and/or it warms up.
Tip #11: Play with Strategy, Don’t Gamble
Golf is like playing blackjack at the casino. You can take emotional risks and gambles and occasionally win one or two big ones, but in the long run you’ll probably lose money.
For overall scoring, you’re likely better off understanding the strategy, managing yourself, and simply playing to the numbers.
Tip #12: Adjust the Length of Your Golf Swing
For any shots that are less than full swings (including pitches, chips, and putts) vary the distance of your shots by changing the length of your swing rather than trying to ‘hit’ harder and/or jerking at the ball.
Tension and rigidity in your swing make good contact more difficult and you can cause you to lose control and direction. Working with a smooth gravity based pendulum type swing generally works much better for consistent distance control.
Tip #13: Adjust to the Course Conditions
Over the course of the day, the grass conditions on the green can change. The grass grows; the dew dries and/or ground firms up, etc. Pay attention to the changing conditions during the round so you can continue to get your putts close.
Tip #14: Practice with Instinct for a Change
Try playing a few rounds of golf without getting the distances. This can be useful to get more in touch with your instinct and what feels right rather than trying to force a club to go a certain distance.
Tip #15: Clean Your Grooves on the Golf Club’s Face
Padraig Harrington has his caddie clean the grooves on his irons after every practice shot on the driving range.
It takes longer to hit each ball, but this is a good idea if you are looking to build consistency in your game because the club will look and respond more similar for each shot.
Plus, with the bit of extra time between practice shots, it will better mimic what happens on the course.
Tip #16: Control the Ego
The ego can really get you in trouble on the golf course. Swinging too hard, hitting a risky shot, etc can kill your shots and scores. Get control of your ego and you’ll probably have a better golf game.
Tip #17: Play the Most Confident Shot Selection
If a shot makes you nervous about pulling it off, go with a different club or try a different shot. Confidence is very important when hitting shots and it’s difficult to hit good shots if you have even the slightest bit of doubt in your system.
Tip #18: Don’t Over-Train and Risk Injury
Use common sense when it comes to your training and practice. A little muscle soreness is fine, but I’d advise you to take a day or two off if you experience joint pain. Missing a day to rest and recover is much better than missing weeks or even months because you over-trained and caused a chronic injury. Be smart. Rest is important too.
Tip #19: Commit to the Golf Shot with 150%
Be decisive and commit to confidently hitting the shot you pick. If you aren’t sure, the hesitation in your body will likely prevent you from hitting your best shot.
Tip #20: Stay Down on Shots Below Your Feet
If the ball is sitting below your feet, remember to stay down through the shot. I’ve topped or hit thin more than one or two of these shots by forgetting this simple point.
Tip #21: Pay Attention to Pin Locations of Upcoming Holes
As you are playing the course and going from hole-to-hole, take a look at the upcoming greens as you pass them to check where the pin position is located. Different pin positions could mean making different choices from the tee and on your approach shot.
Tip #22: Be Selective of Tee Location
Avoid getting into the habit of walking up to the tee area and randomly placing your ball on the tee. Rather, think about which side of the tee box will be best suited for the shot you are about to hit. You are allowed to tee the ball up to two club lengths back from the tee markers. Use that space wisely.
Golf Practice System for Lower Scores
Learn the exact golf practice routines thousands of students at Foy Golf Academy are using to lower their golf scores.
Follow these step by step practice plans and watch video lessons to learn how to improve your golf swing, chipping, and putting fundamentals.
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Nick Foy, Instructor