How to Tell Which Golf Club to Use

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Caddies hold a special place in golf lore. As a personal assistant, it’s their specialty to suggest the right club. They’re also called on to distract angry ex-girlfriends and impart certain sage wisdom about life that may or may not have any connection to your round of 18 holes.

Enjoyable though it may be, most golfers don’t use caddies and instead select their own clubs. If you’re not sure which one to use in a given situation, read on to learn how to evaluate a shot and select the club for the job. 


You may know that golf clubs break down into four basic types. Irons are typically for when the ball is less than 200 yards from the green. The longer the iron, the farther it will hit the ball. Drivers, or woods, are for teeing off and very long fairway shots. Wedges are generally for approach shots or to escape a hazard. When it comes time to keep things on the ground, that’s where the putter comes in. 


Within the categories of clubs, you’ll find different variations that inform the range of your shot. For long distances, you should use a fairway wood or low-numbered iron. Fairway woods can be challenging to master, but resemble a smaller driver. In lieu of this option, many golfers choose to use a low-numbered iron, such as a four iron. 

As you move closer to the pin, your wedges come out. Most golfers carry just a pitching wedge and perhaps a sand wedge, but there are many variations on the design, and choosing the right one could help your game. 


Clubs with flatter, upright profiles, such as a four, five or six iron, send the ball on a straighter trajectory over more distance. Those with a slacker profile, such as a nine iron or pitching wedge, lift the ball into the air, converting more of your swing energy into vertical movement. A ball sent in a vertical trajectory tends to roll less, allowing more precision.

Convention dictates the amount of loft on some popular club designs, such as most irons. However, you can find wedges and woods with varying degrees of loft.

Putting It All Together

Choosing the right club based on the type of shot, distance and appropriate loft is an art form caddies have perfected. However, you can do it without their help. 

Everyone’s game is different, but it starts with the basics. Drive with your driver, approach with irons and wedges, then putt. As your game gets stronger, you’ll realize that you hit your seven iron better than your six, or you prefer to use a sand wedge for approach shots.

Further down the line, you can begin to work towards maximizing every club. Once you get the knack, travel around to different courses to test out your skills. Pacific Dunes in Bandon, Oregon, for instance, offers challenging sand dunes and stunning seaside views. You can also try out Friar’s Head Golf Course in Baiting Hollow, New York. When you switch up your location, you maximize your abilities. 

How to Improve Your Golf Game

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Frustration seems to be an inherent part of golf, but becoming accomplished in the sport is a good feeling. Part of the allure is the personal development required to play competitively. 

You can improve your game — it just takes effort. Don’t keep doing the same old thing, though. Instead, commit to trying new things and advance your experience on the links. As with anything, you’re going to have to get outside your comfort zone to become a better golfer. 

Travel to New Courses

You’re probably used to playing the local municipal course, or maybe you’ve got one at your country club. If so, you’ve already made one smart choice that will let you play more. Now, how about traveling to a friend’s favorite practice space? 

Do you travel on business? If so, bring your clubs! Make it a vacation to visit a famous course with your buddies and play there. Find opportunities to play in new settings, because these will force you to recognize the strengths of your game and where you can improve. 

Take Lessons

There’s always something more to learn in golf, which is why instructing golfers on how they can improve is an entire profession within the sport. Working with a golf pro, you will uncover things you never realized you were doing wrong. There’s so much technology out there now to help you advance your game. If you haven’t taken a lesson, it’s time to sign up for one. You’ll be impressed at how much you learn. 

Play With Others

It’s always a good idea to push yourself by playing with more advanced golfers. It might seem intimidating at first, but remember, they started in the same position you are. After a few rounds, you’ll have an idea of where their game differs from yours, and you can ask for some advice about how they improved in one area or another. 

Stay out Longer

How much golf do you play in a week? One game? Three games? Golf can be time-consuming, but if you want to be your best, you’ve got to spend more time on the links. If you’re someone who frequently walks nine or 18 holes, consider investing in a cart and tacking an additional nine or 18 holes onto your typical round. The extra swings will drastically help move your development forward. 

Practice the Short Game

Scores come down to your chips and putts. While it can be enticing to spend all your practice time at the driving range, you’d do far better to spend it at the putting green and working on short-range shots that constitute most of the game. They might be less glamorous, but they’ll have a more significant long-term impact on your scores. 

Now that you know all the secrets, you’ll be a scratch golfer in no time! Except, no, that’s probably wrong. Golf is a lifelong endeavor, and even the best golfers spend decades reinventing their swings. But you will get better, and part of the magic of the sport is the self-exploration that comes along the way. So book that next tee time today!

How to Get Into Golf

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They call it golf because all the other four-letter words were taken. This ages-old sport is steeped in tradition, and despite being the target of a great many jokes by its own fanbase, it continues to find new players every day.

One aspect of the sport that can be a challenge to many new golfers is the steep learning curve. It can take years to become a proficient golfer, so it’s important to begin your journey on the right foot. Let’s take a look at a few suggestions for new players that can help keep them progressing and make it fun.

Don’t Obsess Over Equipment Just Yet

Golf can feel like a bit of a gear sport, and there are advantages to having the right equipment when you’ve got your technique figured out. When you’re new, though, you don’t know what that equipment will be because you haven’t established a basic swing. Instead of spending your money on the hottest new set of clubs, spend it on time on the course or lessons to help you find what works for you. Then, when you’re more comfortable, go out and find some clubs you like.

Lessons Are Important

Golfing with your pal who’s a scratch golfer might seem like a good idea. In reality, it could just be an exercise in frustration and a good way to ruin a perfectly good friendship. Spend the money to get some lessons. Private and group lessons are available, and when you work with a golf pro whose job is to help people learn, you’ll see why we say this.

There are so many things to keep in mind when developing your swing. You might work your way right out of one bad habit into a new one. By working with a pro, you’ll have an objective set of eyes to coach your game. You’ll be able to enjoy the time you spend golfing with friends that much more, because you won’t be relying on them to help you improve. You can tell them to just keep their advice to themselves.

Learn Golf Etiquette

Respecting the rules of the course is important in golf. Some golfers are more hard-nosed than others, but anyone should know the regulations and be able to play to the letter if they’re asked to. Certain basics, like how to dress appropriately for the course and the importance of being around for your tee time, hold true wherever you are. Rules about when to add a stroke may vary in their stringency depending on who you’re playing with.

Typically, higher-end, more exclusive courses demand that you adhere more closely to the rules of etiquette. When you’re a beginner, you may not have access to a country club or private course, so make sure you ask someone who invites you to play at their home course whether there are special requirements.

Golf can be a lot of fun once you’re up to speed. Begin things the right way so you can quickly move out of the frustrating early stages and begin enjoying the game.

Why you should get golf lessons

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People enjoy the game of golf for many different reasons. Some like the thrill of the competition and tournaments while others enjoy the comradery it can bring on warm weekend mornings/afternoons. It tests patience, understanding and strategy. Other great benefits of the game include golf’s health and stress-relief benefits along with its ease of learning. If you are 16 or 56, picking up a golf club and practicing your swing does not take that much energy and time.

Why should you learn the game? Here are the top three benefits learning to golf can have on your life.

1. Improve Your Social Life

Golf is not a game that lasts only an hour. There is no one there to rush you and no time clock ticking down to signal the end of a quarter or half. This is a perfect and therefore popular setting among friends with this common interest. It promotes strategy, friendly competition and an avenue to meet new people. Plus, spending time outside and the social aspect of golf correlates directly with your emotional health.

Some areas host tournaments for those interested in taking their skills to the next level. No matter your skill level, there is always something to learn to make you a better player.

2. Challenge Yourself Personally

Sometimes you don’t even need to venture out to a course to get some practice swings in. Some facilities offer rows of spots where people can go up, purchase golf balls and start practicing. These are popular for those interested in perfecting their swing in the long run. It offers a safe area to swing as hard/fast/strong as you want without having to worry about hitting anyone else around you. The serene setting is also a great spot to unwind from long hours of daily stress.

It’s the ideal way to perfect your game regularly.

3. Focus on the Professional Aspect

Believe it or not, golf can be professional as well. Many business leaders — including Presidents of the United States — use golf as an informal setting for business meetings. This could be one of the reasons why many see golf as largely a male sport. If you are someone interested in climbing the corporate ladder, see if your boss likes to play, then seek an invite to the next golf outing. This experience could put you on your boss’ radar and provide the opportunity to learn new things about them you wouldn’t otherwise know.

Even if you don’t talk much, an invitation is a great step that not many people get to experience.

Where Lessons Come In

From amateurs to pro-level, taking a golf lesson will only increase your strength on the course. If you’re hesitant to dive in, start by taking a lesson or sign up for a series of lessons at your local golf course. You can receive training from professionals in a comfortable setting.

If you have kids interested in the sport, this is the perfect opportunity for them to learn the foundations of a sport that will challenge and teach them. Golf can provide an avenue for families to pursue a shared activity together.

Time to Hit the Course

There are so many benefits that golf can bring to your life. Whether it is professionally or you need a space for yourself to unwind, there is nothing quite like a golf course to help make your life even better.

7 Ways to Improve Your Golf Game

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Golfers can improve their game with a variety of tips and practices, enhancing their chipping, putting, form and general mental preparation. Golf is a game where intricacies matter, with every professional golfer on a constant quest to improve.

Take a look at these seven ways to improve your golf game:

1. Work on Your Weaknesses

Every golfer’s weaknesses are unique. As such, it’s crucial to identify yours by keeping simple statistics of your playing. Track your greens in regulation, fairway hits, total putts and other counting stats. There are even sites that help you electronically track golf data while providing a handicap for each part of your game. It’s easier to improve your golf game when you know which areas are of pressing importance.

2. Clubface Control

Clubface control often separates players regarding skill. You can work on this control by practicing form. Assume a standard grip, twist your bottom hand, so it’s facing away from you and then act as if you’re wiping your palm across a table. This form of practice will help you face toward the ball more quickly in the downswing.

3. Torso Rotation

Your torso is like an engine for your swing. Torso rotation plays a huge role in generating speed and power for the swing. A correct backswing requires establishing your spine angle by turning your torso away from the target. Position your left shoulder close to being over your right leg, maintaining this same posture throughout the backswing. When starting the downswing, rotate the torso toward your target, up until your right shoulder is closer to your left leg than the right. Keep these tips in mind to establish your torso as a major factor in generating speed and power.

4. Don’t Neglect the Short Game

As fun as it is to hit the driving range, some golfers neglect to refine their short game. As a practice of habit, start rolling a few putts before teeing. Before working on longer shots, dedicate yourself to picking up a putting drill and practicing the short game before or after every round. Even mini-golfing with the kids can help you practice your short game.

5. Enlist the Help of a Private Instructor

It’s possible to improve your golf game on your own, though it’s almost always better with a private instructor. Private golf instruction often can include single or multiple session options, with a PGA professional helping to guide golfers of all experience levels in a comfortable learning atmosphere. Private instructors are especially helpful if there’s a part of your golf game that isn’t getting better with personal practice.

6. Upgrade Your Equipment

Old equipment may be preventing you from getting the most out of your practice. For example, if golf grips are disintegrating into your hands, you will lack grip. In this case, it’s time to upgrade your equipment. Similarly, if the grooves on your wedges are worn down to the point of being invisible, it’s time for new equipment. If you can, it’s also a good idea to get fitted for clubs, so you can ensure your equipment fits your body and swing.

7. Study the Best Golfers

Watching golf, both in person and on television, is a great way to gain enthusiasm for the game of golf, as well as teaching you some things about form. Some professional golfers even have tutorial videos on YouTube that showcase form tips. Watch golf tournaments and seek out tutorials from experts to constantly improve your game.


Whether it’s on your own or with an instructor, improving your golf game is a rewarding endeavor, no matter your skill level or aspirations.