So, you want to start playing golf. Great! Golf is a fantastic game. There’s no sport quite like it; with the feeling of freedom as you play 18 holes, the leisurely rate of play with your best buds, and the huge range of feelings and emotions that come with a round of golf. One minute you’re thrilled about an amazing tee shot, while the next you’re thrashing about in the sand more frustrated than ever! Don’t worry though, it’s mostly good… we promise.
Getting into golf can seem intimidating at first. Should you join a club? What clothes should you wear? Is my beginner play going to annoy those on the course with more experience? How much gear do I need? Well, we’ve got you covered on gear. After years of experience on the course, we’ve compiled this simple gear guide for those of you wanting to take up golf as a new hobby. From clothing to tees, bags to gloves, we’ve got all the info you need. Read on for our golf essentials.
Most of the following items will be carried in your golf bag, so it needs to be a good one. There are different kinds of bags available including carts and hybrids, but as a beginner, we’re going to recommend the Sunday golf bag. It contains just 2-3 pockets and enough space for beginners or smaller sets of clubs. It’s unlikely as a beginner that you’ll need to be carrying around a full set of 14 clubs, so these lightweight and comfortable Sunday bags are a great option for you. The two side pockets can easily hold everything else on this list, too. So, we say go for a Sunday bag. If you feel your game progresses and you want a buggy or cart, you can easily sell your small bag or keep it for travel trips.
You’ll Need Clubs!
It goes without saying, you’ll need to buy yourself some clubs. Some guides will recommend renting clubs when you start out, and while that has merit, we believe your game will improve more quickly if you have a set of clubs you can get used to and practice with. Plus, you’ll be able to head to the driving range or pitch-and-putt whenever you feel like it. Many golf brands sell dedicated beginner’s club sets, and they start at as little as £500 for a full set. This, believe it or not, is a cracking price, as you could easily pay that in just 8-10 rentals.
If you’re new to golf, you may not know about the glove. The glove is worn on the top or ‘lead’ hand holding the club – that being the hand at the top of the grip. The main purpose of the glove is the extra grip. They are made with tacky surfaces, far more grippy than our skin, to aid a nice strong grip without having to choke the club. An added benefit is the reduction of blisters and calluses, which can certainly be prone in the new golfer.
As a newbie, it is fair to know very little about golf balls. And, though many balls claim to be the best, lightest, strongest, or easiest to play with, this really isn’t going to affect you. In fact, as a new player, you’re likely to lose a lot of golf balls in the rough, water, or trees. So, we simply recommend getting your hands on as many second-hand golf balls as possible. Often sold in job-lots at driving ranges or online, this is a great way to carry plenty of balls without the fear of losing something expensive!
Proper Golf Shoes
Almost all golf courses require the wearing of proper golf shoes. This is both for the dress code and to maintain the quality of the course. Someone has put a lot of time into designing this course, while many others have spent hours curating it and looking after it. So, proper shoes are essential. Golf shoes are grippy, with small spikes, which aid your game in many ways. They help keep you anchored and balanced while you swing compared to wearing smoother-soled boots, for example. They also help you navigate the likely hilly, sandy, and wet parts of a golf course. Having those little cleats can make a huge difference on an 18-hole walk.
What About Clothing?
We briefly mentioned the dress code. This has been a feature of traditional golf clubs and courses for generations. Golf has often been viewed as “the gentleman’s game,” prompting images of men in suit trousers, patterned shirts, and old-fashioned caps. Some of this remains today, with many older or more exclusive courses having a very strict dress code. On most courses, you can get away with some straight-legged trousers, polo or other button-down shirt, and, of course, your golf shoes. Avoid other sporting clothing like tracksuits, soccer shirts, or logo tees. On many par 3 or pitch-and-putt courses, this will be far more relaxed, allowing golfers to play in whatever they like.
Other Golf Bag Essentials
Now for the small items, you need to carry in your golf bag or buggy. First, buy a pack of golf tees. By ‘buy a pack,’ we mean ‘buy a lot!’ Just like golf balls, you will lose a lot of tees or simply snap them in half with your new-player swing. This is no issue, as they are quite cheap, so stock up to avoid running out before the 9th hole. Secondly, it’s always advisable to have a cap and some sunscreen in your bag, for obvious reasons. Golf can take a few hours, and a few hours in the sun can be quite painful later on. Finally, you’ll need some pencils for marking your scorecards. Most of these items will be available in the club shop, but you can grab them cheaper online.
These are the top essentials for stocking up before you start regularly playing golf. It’s a simple list really, and once you have everything on it, you’re fully sorted to start becoming an experienced golfer. We hope you love golf and all your new gear.