Golf Essentials: A Beginner’s Guide to Golfing Equipments
“But I don’t know a damn thing about golf!” people would tell me, “nothing.
I don’t even know what the golf sticks are called! Or which stick does what. I know it’s expensive and that rich people play it.
How can I even get into it without spending tons of money? And who has time to learn all the rules and whatnot?”
Of course, not all reactions end up like this. But, more often than not, a person wouldn’t take up golf even if they wanted to, just because they don’t know enough about it.
They don’t know what equipment to buy, how to use it, where to get it, etc. These are the reasons why I wanted to share a few pieces of info about golfing items.
Every beginner should start off something smart rather than start it big. In other words, this guide will help you with both your skills, equipping, and budget.
How Do I Find Good Golf Equipment and Where?
The first few steps are simple – talk to golfers. Nearly every professional putter will, of course, have his or her preferred brand.
However, that shouldn’t discourage a potential future golfer. When I was starting out, I wrote down everything I could about specific products, items, etc.
Then I went shopping. I covered everything from retail stores to online dealers before I found what I needed.
What I didn’t do is go after the best product on the market, but more on that later.
So, where to find high-grade golf equipment? Specialized golf stores, both small and big retail shops, online shops, and online auctions, both for new and used stuff.
Must-Have Golf Equipments
This is an important step – how can I buy something if I don’t know what it is or what it does?
Luckily, researching golf is easy today, and with a few clicks, I can get all the info I need on any piece of equipment.
Still, I’d like to share some basics about each item, for the folks who don’t have the time to surf the web too much.
Indeed, those would be the most significant items a golfer needs. Golf clubs are the curved “sticks” a golfer hits the ball with.
And of course, they aren’t all the same. Different shapes and types of clubs perform different things on the course.
All of the clubs listed below are a must-have in your golf bag.
The driver is the longest, lightest club that you use to launch the ball the furthest. It’s usually a wood club.
Another club you absolutely must have. A putter is a club a player uses to sink the ball into the hole. It’s very flat, small in size, and different than literally any other club out there.
This club is used to hit the ball from nearly off-bounds back to the fairway. Every golfer has at least one Fairway wood in their bag.
Yes, irons. Several. Seven, in fact, numbered 3 to 9. As their name suggests, they have an iron or steel clubhead.
The player can use irons for a different variety of situations, both on the rough and on the fairway.
Sometimes an iron can even pull out the ball from shallow waters.
The sand wedge is a type of iron club specifically designed to get balls out of sand bunkers. Considering how often balls end up in the sand, it is of vital importance to own one during a game.
There are, of course, other types of clubs golfers use (lob wedges, gap wedges, chippers, hybrids, etc.), but the ones above are a must-have.
When buying golf clubs, the best thing for a beginner to do is to find a used set with all the basic clubs in it.
Used sets are cheaper than new ones, and they can get new players used to the game. Renting clubs is also an option, but experience has taught me that owning a set works AND feels better.
Recognizing golf balls is easy. They have little grooves all over their surface and are rather hard.
Unlike clubs, you cannot rent balls. And, an average game of golf goes through dozens per game!
Therefore, the best thing to do as a beginner is to buy plenty of used balls. I always buy more used than new balls, mostly for practice, but also to save some money.
Golf Push Carts
The image of a golfer most commonly seen on the television has him or her pulling a cart with clubs.
But, pulling can be strenuous on the shoulder. Push carts are the way to go, and beginners can get cheap ones on Amazon or eBay for a reasonable price.
In fact, some push carts have an added “folding seat” where golfers can sit down and rest during long, intense games.
Ah, the ever-popular “whatever shall I wear?” question. Luckily, modern golf has the attire question answered.
Gentlemen ought to wear tucked-in collared shirts on their upper torso. Next, the legs – think knee-length tailored shorts or long trousers.
Finally, the golfer’s feet require high ankle trainer socks. Naturally, there are also the golf shoes, but more on that later.
Ladies also have a prescribed golf wardrobe. Shirts for women must also have collars, but they can still wear them outside of the shorts.
In other words, no tucking in is necessary. Both the trousers and the socks are the same as with men.
Some tips for both genders – match the colors and make them bright, but not splashy or in any way rude-looking.
The rule of thumb with golf is “don’t look like a slob, but don’t be too formal.” Golfers can purchase nearly everything from above in any retail clothing store.
Golf shoes usually look like soccer shoes, to some extent. They can (but don’t have to) come with spikes, which can be removed and reattached easily.
Most sporting goods stores carry golf shoes, so they’re easy to purchase. Used shoes can also work, as long as they don’t have too much wear and tear on them.
It might sound contrary to all logic, but golfers usually only wear one glove. Right-handed people wear it on the left hand, and vice versa.
It helps with the grip and club handling, which is why it’s important to have more than one in the bag.
These gloves tear, rip, get lost during games or otherwise get damaged.
Typically, I carry three gloves, just in case. On top of that, it’s important to know that there are both summer and winter gloves.
Popular brands such as Callaway, Asher, and FootJoy sell their products at most retailers, and a potential golfer can buy a glove for under $20.
It’s hard to believe, but golf towels are more critical to the game than, say, a push cart. With a towel, I can wipe off excess sweat, clean my clubs or balls, or wipe the dirt off my non-gloved hand.
A minimum of two towels is usually enough to take, but I usually go with three. Most of the ones on the market are microfiber, so there’s no question about their quality.
Miscellaneous Golf-Related Odds and Ends
What follows is a list of items that greatly help an everyday golfer, including pros.
These items include writing utensils (paper, pencils, sharpies), tees, divot tools, rangefinders, official golf rulebooks, ball markers (or regular coins), ball retrievers, snacks, water, sunscreen or rain gear, and even portable radios.
Writing utensils are there to either jot down points or mark balls. A tee is where golfers place the ball before putting, but they can also serve as divot tools or ball markers.
Speaking of, divot tools or pitch mark repairers even out the grass where a dent or “divot” appears, and ball markers mark the place where the ball was.
If, for instance, I want to clean up a dirty ball, I pick it up and place a marker in its place, just to know where it’s been.
But instead of buying those, golfers can use tees or regular coins. A rangefinder is an excellent tool for spotting runaway balls, whereas the ball retriever is excellent for… well, retrieving them.
Carrying an official rulebook is essential since it’s never too late to consult it mid-game. Portable radios, rain gear, the sunscreen, snacks, and water are self-explanatory.
Thanks to @Cheyenne_Woods for helping us spread the word that major championship golf is returning to Hazeltine!
— KPMGWomensPGA (@KPMGWomensPGA) July 10, 2018
I know, golf looks and sounds expensive, as well as complicated.
But with the right knowledge and the right shopping mindset, anyone can be a well-equipped golfer today.
Knowing that; an average person interested in golf has all the more reason to try the sport out and enjoy it as much as the rich folks do.