The Basic Golf Equipment Every Beginner Must Have
Every year, a whopping 25 million people engage in golf on a golf course in America, according to the National Golf Foundation, and the number is growing. This represents approximately 8% of the U.S. population, which is quite a large percentage. The reason why people find playing golf so enjoyable and relaxing are plenty, from the sport providing good exercise to having the chance to spend time outdoors.
Interestingly, the average age of golf players is 54, so it should not come as a surprise that a lot of people associate this great sport with retirement. On the contrary, golf is for people of all ages, and it can bring amazing benefits to youth as well. However, regardless of your age, if you decided to start playing golf, perhaps one of your main concerns is the equipment you will need.
Golf Requires a Certain Type of Clothing
The clothing you wear while you are playing golf is of utmost importance, as if it is the wrong type, it will get in the way of you winning, let alone enjoying the game. Consequently, it is essential to pick suitable clothing, which might not require you to shop for new pieces. One crucial thing we need to mention before we get into each piece of clothing is that some golf courses have a dress code that you will have to abide by if you want to be let in and make a good impression.
Now, regardless of whether you play on a public or private golf course, the rules are the same, and it would be polite of you to follow them. In terms of clothing and accessories, we highly recommend the following:
- waterproof shoes, maybe with soft spikes that will give you a firmer foundation as you complete your swing, but never with steel spikes, as only professionals are allowed to wear these
- a special glove that is worn on the left hand if you play with the right, which will benefit your grip, although it is optional
- a short-sleeved or long-sleeved polo shirt with a collar
- shorts or slacks with belt loops, never with a drawstring, and never soccer shorts
- do not wear white pants, as these are usually reserved for low handicappers
- avoid three-quarter length shorts, as they scream "beginner", and they might not even be allowed
- for women, they can wear a shirt with a collar with short sleeves or without sleeves and, as for pants, denim is never acceptable, as it is not acceptable for men either, so they can wear shorts with a belt or a skirt that is suitable for golf, on the shorter side
- lastly, when it comes to colors, we suggest you stay away from bright colors and embrace colors such as cream, beige, khaki, gray, and tan
To avoid making a faux pas, it is better to call ahead and ask specifically about the dress code and what is forbidden. You should not feel inferior or embarrassed because you are just a beginner, as everyone has to start somewhere and if you keep on practicing, you will get better and better in no time, and you will also know instinctively what to wear and what not to wear.
The Must-Have Golf Clubs Every Beginner Will Need
The second thing you will want to have prepared for your first game is your clubs. Professional golf players are allowed to have no more than 14 clubs in their bags, but in your case, fewer will be enough. We advise purchasing one of each of the following, either new or used, as these are the most suitable and useful golf clubs for beginners:
- a driver: it belongs to the woods category of golf clubs, is usually referred to as the 1-wood, and is typically the longest club in a golf bag with the biggest head of any club
- a putter: no golf player will be found without a putter, which is a club whose purpose is to make a short and low-speed stroke with the intention of rolling the ball into the hole from a short distance
- a sand wedge: as the name suggests, one of the main functions of a sand wedge is to hit from the sand in bunkers, and to help with this, you can notice that this club has a wider, more rounded sole that allows it to slide under the sand
- a 6-iron: this golf club can help you hit the ball 150 yards away and is quite a challenging club to hit
- an 8-iron: the 8 and 9 irons are often called the "short iron", as they have the highest-mass clubheads and the shortest shafts of the numbered irons and are employed for shots requiring high loft or moderate to short distance
- a pitching wedge: this club is usually the final and most lofted club in most modern iron sets, and pitching wedges are generally in the range of 44 to 48 degrees loft, being used for hitting the longest wedge shots into a green
- a fairway wood: higher-number woods are typically known as fairway woods and, as the name suggests, they are designed for shots from off the turf of the fairway that require long distance
You can find titanium drivers for as little as $75 and putters for much less than that online, which is a very good deal. While a complete set of golf clubs can cost at least $1,000 or even more, depending on the brand, quality, materials, and many other factors, beginners should expect to pay between $250 and $350 for all their golf clubs. They will use these clubs for a while until they reach the intermediate level, so it is a very good investment.
Without Golf Balls, the Game Would Not Make Sense
If you do not know a lot about golf, you might be tempted to believe that all golf balls are the same except for their manufacturer, but this could not be further from the truth. In general, golf balls are classified depending on how many layers they have. Accordingly, they can range from one-piece balls to five-piece balls. Beginners should use a two-piece ball with a solid rubber center and surlyn cover. These drive the furthest at the expense of controllability but are much more durable than the easily damaged three-piece balls used by professionals. As a result, this should ensure that you do not go through dozens of balls during a round of golf.
The following are all types of golf balls explained in brief:
- one-piece balls: they are very rarely played nowadays outside of the isolated revival event or crazy golf courses and, as the name suggests, these balls are made of just one kind of material, namely surlyn
- two-piece balls: these look to pair the hardness of mono-material models with the benefits of a softer cover, as they are made of two different materials, which are typically a stout rubber center that is encapsulated within a shell made of surlyn or softer urethane
- three-piece balls: the most popular ball on the PGA and European Tours, the legendary Titleist Pro V1, is a three-piece ball, and so is the Srixon Z-Star and as the ball of choice of the best players in the world, you could not ask for a better stamp of approval
- four-piece balls: the difference between three-piece and four-piece balls is disputed, and many players are skeptical about whether the extra layer really makes a significant difference, but in theory, four-piece balls should offer something known as "spin separation"
- five-piece balls: the archetypal five-layered ball is the TaylorMade TP5, which was also the first product of this kind to enter the market in 2009, and the science behind the five-part golf ball is pretty much the same as that behind the four
As a beginner, if you are losing balls at a very alarming rate, you might want to consider buying used ones at a fraction of the price. These have mostly been reclaimed on the course from the waters by the course owners and sometimes even by entrepreneurial kids.
Lastly, Make Sure You Pick a Golf Course Suitable for Beginners
We have recently compiled a list of the top 5 golf destinations for beginners, so make sure to check that article out. Nevertheless, even if you know which golf course is right for you, you might still wonder what makes it suitable for beginners. Firstly, we encourage you to find a scorecard online and look at the teeing options. The majority of courses today have 3 or more sets of tees. As a beginner, you should play one of the forward sets which are usually between 4,500 and 5,500 yards. Anything longer than 6,000 yards is starting to get pretty tough.
Furthermore, a slope under 70.0/120 would be a good place to tee up from. If you are really worried about playing a course that is too hard, you could look up the course overhead map to see how wide the playing corridors are, if houses line many fairways, and how many bunkers and forced carries there are. Even better, you can look for a short course or executive course. These courses are awesome for beginners, as you can get in a lot of holes faster, and they are usually more affordable to play. As a beginner, there is no sense in playing a tournament-caliber, $75 to $100 golf course yet.