Golf for beginners

So, you’ve received an invite for a round of golf with your co-workers or friends, but you’re not quite sure where to start? Perhaps you’ve put it off, coming up with excuses, but now you’ve been persuaded to give it a try. The truth is, the idea of playing your first round can be intimidating, especially if you’re used to more casual golf experiences like Top Golf or Drive Shack. But fear not!

At Ship Sticks, we understand the nerves that come with stepping onto the golf course for the first time. That’s why we’re here to guide you through the basics of golf for beginners. From essential equipment to what to expect during your round, we’ll provide you with some helpful tips to ensure you feel confident and prepared. Trust us, you’ll be teeing off in no time, and who knows, you might just discover a new weekend hobby!

Golf for Beginners: Getting Ready


You’ve agreed to play a round of golf! Get ready for an exciting time cruising in the golf cart, enjoying a few cold drinks, and soaking in the great outdoors. Remember, golf for beginners is all about learning the basics and enjoying the game at your own pace. But to make sure you’re fully prepared for your day on the course, it’s essential to have the right equipment. Here’s our advice on what you’ll need for a successful round of golf.

Best Golf Clubs for Beginners: Rent, Buy or Borrow?

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The decision to rent, buy, or borrow golf clubs is yours to make. Start by asking yourself, “How often will I golf?” This will help you determine if it’s a one-and-done outing or the beginning of a new hobby. Here are some tips on finding the best golf clubs for beginners and whether renting, buying, or borrowing is right for you.

Renting Golf Clubs

  • Great if you plan on playing one time or don’t already have a set.
  • Generally available at public and private courses.
  • It can be costly. They run about $50-$100+ bucks (depending on the course).
  • Sometimes the clubs aren’t in the best condition.

Buying Golf Clubs

  • Nothing quite like playing with a new set of clubs.
  • Can be customized to fit you and your swing.
  • Makes for a great conversation starter when playing.
  • It’s going to be a costly expense.
  • Collects dust in the garage after one use.

Borrow Golf Clubs

  • The most cost-effective decision.
  • Borrowed clubs will generally be in better condition than rented clubs.

If you’re new to golf and just starting out, borrowing clubs is likely your best option. Often, avid golfers have a spare set they don’t use, so don’t hesitate to ask to borrow from a friend. It’s a good idea to practice with borrowed clubs at first. We recommend buying clubs only if you’re certain golf will become a regular hobby. Otherwise, it’s not worth spending your money on a set you’ll only use occasionally. Renting clubs is also a viable option, but remember, you get what you get with a rental set.

Golf for Beginners: Golf Bag Essentials

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Your golf bag isn’t just for clubs – it’s like Mary Poppins’ magical bag, but for golf! Packing it right is key to a stress-free day on the course. So, don’t forget to pack the essentials, like tees, balls, gloves, sunscreen, and a towel. Trust us, a well-packed bag is the secret to a great round.

  • Clubs
  • Balls & Ball Markers
  • Tees
  • Gloves
  • Golf Towel
  • Bug Spray & Sunscreen
  • Cold Refreshments & Snacks


Typically, every bag has 14 clubs in a set. The basics you’ll need are a driver, woods, irons, wedges, and a putter. Depending on the distance from the hole and the strength of your swing, you may need to utilize all of your clubs during the round. Be sure to practice with each club as part of your pre-round warmup.

Balls & Markers:

Is the type of golf balls you buy important? In short, yes. However, if you’re just starting out, a bargain box will do just fine. The truth is, as a beginner, you’ll likely lose a few balls to the drink (water hazard) or out of bounds. That’s why it’s smart to carry extras in your bag. As for ball markers, you can use almost anything small and flat – a quarter or even a cracker (for you Happy Gilmore fans) will work just fine.


You’ll only use tees when hitting on the tee box (not on the fairway). They’ll also come in handy to fix ball marks on the green. Grabbing a bag of regular tees will work. Most clubs will provide complimentary tees before teeing off as well, just in case you forget.


When purchasing golf gloves, remember you’re buying for your non-dominant hand. For instance, if you’re right-handed, you’ll need gloves for your left hand, and vice versa. It’s as simple as that! Having gloves will protect your hands from abrasion, which you’ll be grateful for. It’s also a good idea to have an extra one on hand in case you sweat through it in the first few holes.

Golf Towels:

We recommend having two towels handy on the course. Use one for cleaning debris off your clubs and ball, and the other for drying sweat from your face and arms during the round. Opt for towels with moisture-wicking fabric to keep you comfortable. And look for golf towels with a ring cutout, which allows you to hook them onto your bag for easy access.

Bug Spray & Sunscreen:

Depending on where you are playing, you’ll want to make sure you have a can of bug spray and sunscreen available. The last thing you want is to battle mosquitoes mid-swing or look like a cooked lobster the following day.

Cold Refreshments & Snacks:

A round of golf usually lasts around 5 hours, so it’s smart to pack a snack like an energy or granola bar to keep you fueled up. Hydration is crucial, especially on hot days. Golf might seem leisurely, but it’s surprisingly demanding, so keep a water bottle handy to stay energized and focused!

Golf for beginners can be daunting, but with the right guidance, it can also be incredibly rewarding. So with your gear packed and your golf bag ready to roll, you’re primed for an awesome day on the course! But mastering golf as a beginner involves more than just gear. You’ll want to brush up on golf etiquette, perfect your swing, and dress the part. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with pro tips for everyone. Keep reading advice about golf for beginners from Ship Sticks!

Megan Williams

Meet Megan Williams, a wordsmith with a passion for golf, travel, and the epic combination of the two! Originally from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the Golf Capital of the World, Megan has played golf since she was a child, eventually playing competitively in college. She's since swapped her golf clubs for the keyboard and skillfully translates her on-course experiences into captivating narratives and insightful stories. When she's not crafting engaging content, you can catch her enjoying the company of her energetic golden retriever or trying new culinary delights around Tampa, Florida - her current stomping grounds. Join Megan on her literary journey as she explores golf courses and resorts worldwide, shares travel knowledge and shipping tips, covers industry news, and more - all exclusively on the Ship Sticks blog.