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Chapter 3 Tips for Beginners
As we have discussed throughout prior sections, with proper practice and understanding of key elements, golf is an easy game to play. This is true because the club actually does the work. When golf clubs were first introduced there were only four clubs. They were:
1. The driver-used for the long distance shots from the tee
2. The brassie-a protective brass plate covered the bottom of the club to use for distance shots from the fairway
3. The baffie-a club with quite a bit of loft on the face so that it would raise the ball high into the air. This club was used for approach shots to the green
4. The putter-a club designed to roll the ball on the ground and into the cup
Interestingly, these first golf clubs were all made of wood and looked somewhat like a hockey stick. As the game of golf developed and evolved over the years, the idea of a splice model club with a head and shaft glued together at an angle and joined together with a strong waxed cord was conceived of.
Further innovations resulted in a myriad of developments of the golf club. Over the years three different types of clubs have developed; drivers, putters and irons. These three types of clubs actually represent the three different areas of golf. Nevertheless, for quite some time golfers went to extreme lengths in preparing for their games. In some instances, it was noted that golfers were bringing as many as two dozen different golf clubs with them out onto the course. The United States Golf Association, which felt that this wide array of equipment could possibly discourage those who were interested in taking up the game, passed a rule that a player could not have more than 14 clubs in his golf bag. That remains the rule today.
Today, a standard set of clubs consists of four drivers, which are numbered 1-4; eight irons numbered 2-9; a heavy weight club known as the sand wedge and a putter. Basically the only difference between the four woods is the degree of loft on the face of the club; which will tend to elevate the ball on a higher angle of trajectory.
This is also true of the irons. Each iron will introduce a somewhat different angle of trajectory.
As a result each driver in a set of woods and a set of irons are designed to produce a certain angle of flight. This serves to emphasize the important fact that clubs do not actually produce the effect for which they were designed unless they are all swung and applied to the ball in the same manner.
When a golfer uses the same swing on all of his clubs the game can be quite easy.
Clubs for Beginners
If you are a beginner to the game of golf you can obtain golf clubs which are uniform in terms of grip, weight, balance and shaft tension. These clubs are made available in various price ranges and are also available in sets consisting of number which are less than the maximum of 14 permitted by the rules.
Ideally, it is best to avoid clubs which are too heavy. Likewise, it is important to avoid clubs with shafts which seem to be too stiff. The ideal balanced club is a D2 swing shaft with a shaft of medium tension.
The same is not true for women golfers; however. The average woman golfer would do far better with a C7 with the shaft having a flex tension.
An abbreviated set will allow even beginners to operate quite capably. This set would consist of two drivers; usually a #2 and #4 wood. Four irons would also be included; typically #3, 5, 7, 9, a sand wedge and a putter. This half set of clubs will provide a nice complete range of shots. If one wishes, one can add the clubs which have been omitted from the set at a later time.
Tips and Techniques for Approaching, Driving and Putting
As you may have noted, the ideas behind the tips presented thus far have been to establish that the swing is the element which will produce consistent results in every shot. The technique and the procedure should remain the same in every shot with the goal established as propelling the ball to a certain spot.
The golfer must be able to control two things in order to accomplish this goal:
1. He must be able to control the direction of the shot
2. He must be able to control the distance it travels
As we have previously discussed, the only way to accomplish this is through practice. It is imperative that the form be practiced until the swing can be expanded to provide the power along with the drive necessary to achieve the goal. Once this has been accomplished, it is necessary to continue practicing until the form has been finely honed to the delicate touch which is required to achieve the desired outcome while actually on the green.
While nothing can be substituted for practice; a few suggestion and tips can assist in the development of various shots.
Distance may always be required on tee shots; however, it is necessary to train yourself not to press. Keep in mind that the additional length of the shaft will automatically develop additional power through the increased leverage provided by the extra length. You will need additional time for the extra length of the driver to reach the top of the swing as well as to get back to the ball.
To compensate for this, you will need to develop a somewhat languid sort of rhythm when using your driver.
Using the #2 driver for your tee shots can help you gain the practice you need for this rhythm. The added loft on the #2 will help to absorb any slight errors that can occur from mistiming that might occur if you are using your #1 driver.
The more lofted drivers should ideally be used first by beginners. You can move on to using the less lofted clubs as your swing improves.
It is also important to take care not to grip the club too tightly when you are striving for distance. This will only serve to destroy the required hand action. In addition, avoid spreading your feet and staking too wide a stance. Doing so will obliterate your footwork and as we now know, without footwork there can be no balance and consequently no power.