Best Free Beginner Golf Lessons – How I Dropped 40 Strokes
I had never played golf in my life before six months ago, but I have taken up the game in a big way since then. I have improved massively over that time – my first few rounds were 128’s, but my round yesterday I scored an 88! I dropped 40 strokes in just six months.
I am not some gifted athlete; my wife regularly reminds me she is far more athletic than I am. I just used the same approach to building my golf game that I used for building my business.
Below you will see tons of videos and tips I have compiled over time, but first I will give you a prioritized list of principles for improving your golf game:
Take weekly lessons. A lesson will run $30-50 for a half hour. You will spend more than that on greens fees to play a round. A coach can spot issues in your swing that you will never identify alone. Try out a variety of coaches and don’t feel bad when you switch. At the end of every lesson, video tape your coach giving you a one minute summary of the key things he wants you to practice. Rewatch this daily.
Practice every day, even if you only have time to stop at the range for a half hour or hour. Rewatch your coach’s video prior to each session and try to drill in whatever they are teaching you.
Spend as much time on the putting green as you do the driving range – more strokes come from putts than any other area of your game.
Spend about half the time you do putting or driving on chipping practice. Overall time breakdown should be 40% driving, 40% putting, 20% chipping.
Below are a series of videos and notes that I found to be especially helpful for my golf game:
Phil Mickelson made a one hour video on your short game. The techniques here are solid gold and have been very helpful to me. I even bought the Pelz putting tutor device he mentions. So good.
My notes on Phil Mickelson’s video:
Always continue hands down line towards shot. Never break wrists at all.arms and hands travel same speed.
Hit ball with 4 degree loft.
Ball at left rear heel.
Square up putter face. Ask club if I can use Phil’s putting tutor- little black thing with marbles to make sure putts start straight. This is required to retrain yourself for the green that day.
3 foot circle game to get to 100% there, 90% four feet and 70% 5 feet. Short game foundation.
25% back, 75% forward. Don’t be hands.
6 foot drill for learning breaks. 70% is great.
High handicappers underread breaks.
40 foot putt goal is to get in 3 feet not in hole. Practice getting 3 in a row. Use tees or balls to mark circle. Then try 50 and 60 feet. Uphill and downhill.
Long putts swing forward as hard as you can without increasing grip pressure. Follow through with hands as much as you can. Work on backstroke to change this. Phil uses reference for how far back like I did.
Putting most important thing is eyes an inch or two back and underneath ball so you can look down it like a sharp shooter.
Putt with ball forward in stance near left heel.
Try to not hit ball into ground or up in putts. You want 4 degrees of loft.
Hands must continue down putter line.
Never be wristy in putting especially after contact with ball.
Top hand left hand should have stronger grip on club.
Chipping by Phil mickelson. About 25 mins into this video
-be aggressive into ball
-dont lock wrists or do anything like clock method
-hinge and hold. Break wrists immediately going back. Follow through with ball keeping hands going to ball like putting. Don’t break wrists or stop hands on follow through. Keep leading edge and angle same through impact. Accelerate hands through to do hold, don’t slow club.
-aim for three foot circle
-spend tons of time on basic chip shot getting to within three feet.
-phil uses 60 degree wedge with deep sole and good bounce. Likes it for lob shot and bunker shot.
-arm and club make straight line in finish.
Longer chips (30- 60 yards) do the exact same standard chip, just a bit longer backswing. Continue to accelerate into finish and hinge and hold. Hands and club make a straight line in finish (just a little further). Keep trying to get it within 3 feet.
For lob shots, open face (open face then point face at Target, then regrip). Weight and ball position forward. Hinge and hold through shot.
For really soft shots, hit it fat like a bunker shot. Come in steep.
Don’t cut across, this causes us to lead with hozzle.
If your hands stop, you will blade it. Keep hands ahead of the clubhead and continue to accelerate hands forward.
You should putt from off the green if the grass is cut very tight. Don’t look at the green, read the fairway instead!
When hitting out of deep rough, use hinge and hold. Move weight forward. Drive club in behind ball.
When balls is high and soft, level weight, open face but don’t lay flat, use hinge and hold swing to get up high and soft and control it.
To get ball to run out of rough, move it back in stance and deloft club a bit.
Other general golf notes:
Keep your eyes on the ball until second after it’s been hit then look up.
Shorter backswing, load wrists after right hand passed right thigh. When arm is parallel to ground, club at right angle. Angle should not go further than this. Turn your left shoulder down a bit more to ninety degrees with ground then stop. Work on smaller swing. Retain angle in right knee, keep left foot on ground, keep spine angle very stable. Start downswing with weight shift left.
During full swing, start wrists forward of club head and return to the same position.
With the driver teared up step back three paces behind where I want to go step up to the ball and don’t think about anything look up once where I want the ball to go then hit the ball.
Make sure I practice aiming at a specific round Target
Shorter backswing – In backswing have club point at target not across to the right. Limit backswing even further than you think. Do a practice one and look at it to make sure it points downrange.
Station slightly further from ball so hands hang below face.
Start of backswing should come more straight back THEN shallow the club… don’t start with it shallow.
Swing with my abs, arms relax. Don’t start backswing or downswing with arms. At moment of contact, I should see left butt cheekand left shoulder should be hidden from rear view. I am not turning enough with hips to start swing. I think I am starting swing with arms, not hips.
Straighten back in setup and throughout backswing & swing.
-Swing comes too vertical, need to bring hands deep to the right instead of up. This will prevent the overswing. Swing inside to out. Extend out after the ball and finish with left elbow high. Keep the club going out as long as possible. Club face open, ball a bit further away. Keep wrists firmer. Don’t let head move much on ball / come up. Backswing should have club pointing down the line, not across it.
-Retain angle in right knee in backswing. Feels like it presses slightly into ground. Pressure trend towards right heel. Don’t straighten right leg. Keep wrists firmer / less wrist hinge. Give up speed for control. Small backswing.
-Tailbone out, hands higher. Weight on balls of feet. Not too much knee flex. Close your eyes and practice swing sometimes. Keep spine angle. Don’t let head come up.
-Retain right knee without extending, Angle of spine remains the same. Right hand needs to stay higher on grip.
Try body swing no arms to increase distance from 167 to 213. Try to feel zero arms, only body.
5050 weight split at start. More weight pushed into right heel as you start backswing.
Keep body behind golf ball in backswing, rotation of hips and shoulders
In backswing, minimal wrist hinge at first, very wide takeaway. Then rotate around body to coil and wrists move solidly to larger angle. Fully rotate hips.
Downswing needs to maintain right tilt and staying behind ball. Rotate on this tilt. Not doing so is what causes my slice.
Downswing rotates on right heel. Keep body shape and extension of arms and club as you sweep up through ball. Shaft angle is not leaned, it’s pretty level and straight to where you started. Keep body behind ball. Unwind hips and body without moving much left.
Strike location is enormously important. Use foot spray to see where you hit. Best players have a tight grouping.
Driver follow through continue to extend arms and clubs, continue rotate hips and let club go around body (not upwards). Square clubfade through shot (face should horizontally point at Target as it continues through). Need complete balance at finish. Finish full rotation facing target with shoulders.