The Collegiette’s Guide to Beginning Golf: Five Things You Need to Know!

My first time hitting a golf ball was in the late summer before my freshman year of high school. The driving range was forty minutes away; the club house filled with identical, overpriced golf clubs. But after that experience, I was hooked, and I learned a lot about the game. Starting out can be difficult, but HC is prepared to help!

Here are five things you need to know about beginning golf:

1. Know Your Golf Clubs. They Matter.

Having a nice set of golf clubs is important, and knowing what they are is a must. Golf clubs are expensive, but you don’t need to splurge for the latest technology. It’s about what you can use, because you are the one using them. There are multiple clubs you need, starting with a driver (it’s supposed to go the farthest), 3-wood, 3-4 hybrid (crossover between a wood and an iron), 5-9 iron, a pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge. Higher numbers go shorter distances. Oh, and don’t forget there are multiple brands of them too!

Getting a nice starter set is ideal, but don’t think you need to spend tons of money starting out. Plus, there are multiple ways to get discounted golf gear! Just look online and do your research!

2. Yep: There's a Dress Code.

It’s an unspoken rule. Pretty much every golf course you go, men and women alike are wearing collared shirts all the way down to cleated shoes. Clothes can be expensive as well, and golf shoes are trickier to find cheap in stores. There are specialty clothes, but you can also buy cheap khakis and collared shirts from Walmart. Nobody truly cares; just look nice and try to color coordinate. Get creative with it! Generally, you need: a polo, black or khaki shorts/skirts/pants, a belt, golf shoes, a hat and a golf glove. Remember, rain gear is a totally different set of clothes. HC whole-heartedly recommends it if you are going to play in foul weather!

3. Learn the lingo.

There are many words to know, and knowing the basic golf lingo is essential to knowing general rules and etiquette. Being aware of what “walking on someone’s line” means can help you avoid a stern golfer, or when your ball goes into the bunker, you’ll recognize that you're in for a lot of sand and a bit of a hassle. There are hazards (avoid those at all costs), and hitting the pin can be a blessing or a curse. You always want to land on the green, but the fairway is a safe place to be!

4. Be Aware of Etiquette and Rules.

Rules differ slightly with the group you play with and in the tournaments you play, but there are some that are generally unspoken. Remember “walking on somebody’s line?” That means stepping into someone’s putting space, and it’s a big no-no. On the Tee Box (another bit of lingo), it's important to know that when you tee-up your ball, keep it behind the ball markers, which are clearly indicated. Things like this are important to know so that you keep your cool and others do, too. Know the people you play with, and in tournaments, tread lightly!

5. Practice Makes (Almost) Perfect

Becoming a decent golfer won’t happen overnight. Time varies for many, but like most, practice is the best way to keep up with your skills. Learning to keep a clear mind is key. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with techniques! Just make sure it’s working for you! Hit the ball and breathe. Play with people you can laugh with and remember not the let the game get you down. You can only get better!


Happy Golfing!