Absolutely, you can learn to play golf by yourself. Will it be hard?
Oh without a doubt.
Will it be worth all the trouble? You bet your last Pro V1 it will be.
Can you learn golf by yourself?
Most certainly you can learn golf by yourself if you take the right steps to succeed. It’s not going to be easy, but if you stick to some basic fundamentals and use your time wisely it will make things much easier to learn the game.
Is golf easy to learn?
Nothing as hard as learning golf will ever be easy, but if you take the right approach to HOW you learn the game of golf it will speed things up for you significantly.
So, today I’m going to outline the most important things you need to be successful in learning how to play golf by yourself.
And away we go…
How to teach yourself to play golf?
Let’s break it down to 4 key areas:
How to properly hold a golf club
Before we ever hit a shot, the first thing we do is grip the golf club.
There are TWO standard ways to hold a golf club.
- Interlock grip
- Overlap grip
The interlock grip is by far and away the most common way to hold a golf club.
It creates the best connection of your hands to the club.
The overlap grip can also be used if you find yourself just absolutely lost and need a quick change to see if you actually do strike the ball better this way.
How to set up to the golf ball
🚨BREAKING:🚨 Poor set up to the golf ball will lead to poor shot execution.
The two biggest components of a good set up to the golf ball are:
- Spine angle
- Ball position
Proper spine angle for golf
When you address the golf ball, if you stand too straight up you will almost certainly be swinging the club around your body.
This is disastrous for making solid contact while also hitting it relatively straight.
As weird as it may sound to someone brand new to golf—good golf swings aren’t executed via the golf club traveling around towards the back of your body.
Instead, good swings happen when the club travels more up-and-down your swing path.
Proper spine angle(or tilt) is crucial for learning a nice, consistent golf swing.
Once again, here is Porzak Golf crushing it with great teaching with keys on how to set up your spine angle when addressing your shots…
Now, let’s move on to ball positioning.
Correct golf ball position in golf
Proper ball positioning will be much easier to comprehend than the aforementioned spine angle breakdown.
With wedges and shorter irons, it’s good practice to play these shots in the middle of your stance.
Mid-to-long irons move it up in your stance a couple inches or so.
Finally, with your woods move the ball where it lines up with the heel of your front foot.
Caveat to this would be if you are needing to hit a lower shot you need to move the ball back in your stance more, but if you are just not learning golf don’t worry about trying out these types of shots as of yet.
Proper swing plane in golf
Finding, and maintaining, a good golf swing plane could arguably require the most attention than any other piece of information in this entire article.
At a later date, we’ll dive more into swing plane mechanics and ways you can find yours.
Trackman Golf illustrates it pretty well with the “glass plane” analogy, but for simplification purposes we are going to go a different route in explaining this.
Today, we’re just going to touch on a couple key movements to get you started on the right path(golf joke).
- Keeping your back elbow high enough during takeaway
- Keeping the club path slightly lower on downswing
One of the most common mistakes amateur golfers make during the takeaway is letting the club get behind his/her body.
By doing this, you have to overcorrect on the way back to the ball by coming over-the-top.
This makes hitting the golf ball well extremely difficult.
So, we’re going to try and keep this as simple as possible and focus solely on your back elbow.
If you find that the golf club is getting too far back behind your body during your takeaway—most certainly it’s because your back elbow is dropping and the club can only follow suit and steer in a lower direction around your body.
Make sure your back elbow stays above your lead elbow when you start your swing.
TIP: Try and keep your lead arm as straight as you can to minimize how much the club is manipulated on the way back.
If your front elbow breaks too much that will also cause the club to break the proper plane and travel around your body instead of straight back.
How to start golf downswing
Even though we have only been focusing on the arms, I can’t stress enough how important it is to initiate your downswing with your lower body(hips and legs).
The arms are merely the trailing piece of the downswing as your lower body leads the way.
With that said, we still have to think about what the club is doing on the way down.
So, up to this point we’ve taken the club back with a focus on keeping that back elbow high to prevent the club from getting back behind the body.
All we’re going to focus on now is just slightly dropping the club down a little bit to make sure the club swing plane is a little below than what it was doing just earlier in the takeaway.
Develop a smooth golf swing tempo
Naturally, we want to absolutely crush every golf shot we hit.
Also more naturally, that means most golfers want to swing fairly hard to accomplish this.
Poor swing tempo can all but destroy any good swing mechanics.
The most common swing tempo is described as the 3:1 method.
The 3:1 swing tempo method is if it takes you 3 seconds to take the club back—it should only take you 1 second to complete the downswing.
Now, hardly any golfers spend the full seconds taking the club back, but it’s just the idea of only spending ⅓ of the time on your downswing compared to how long it takes during the takeaway.
Where can you learn how to play golf?
Driving range tips for beginners
The driving range is the best way to learn golf by yourself for plenty of reasons.
- Take your time. There’s no need to rush yourself when you are hitting balls at the driving range. Unlike being on the golf course, there is usually a group in front of you to keep pace with.
- No pressure. Also unlike being at the golf course—you don’t have to worry about making a double bogey at the range and completely derailing your mental game.
- Repetition is key. The driving range is the perfect place to be if you are trying to hyper-focus a certain part of your game. If you need to hit 20 wedges in a row then great. You would not be able to get this kind of practice while playing on the course.
How to learn golf by yourself at the golf course
Now, almost every golf course has a driving range.
It’s imperative that you ALWAYS hit the range before teeing off.
However, if you are brand new to golf then I would 100% recommend NOT playing on the weekends.
Golf courses are the most crowded on weekends, but if you are not able to play at all during the week then try and play later in the afternoon if possible.
How to learn golf at home
Learning to play golf at home is mostly centered around your short game.
A cheap putting mat can go a long way when it comes to honing in on your putting stroke and chipping.
Plus, it’s always good to hit the backyard to get some swings in to work on muscle memory you picked while on the range and/or golf course.
Can you get good at golf without lessons?
This depends on what your definition of “good” means.
To be honest, you should keep the bar fairly low in the beginning when just picking up the game of golf.
To answer the question…YES…you can get good at golf without lessons.
Not all golf professionals(certified PGA teachers not actual pro golfers) teach the same way, and the one you potentially decide to work with may not tap into what it takes for you to truly open your swing up for success.
Plus, lessons can get expensive as well…
Are golf lessons worth it for beginners?
I’m not saying it is RECOMMENDED you don’t get lessons.
I’m simply saying you most certainly can learn golf by yourself if you don’t have the money to go get a golf lesson.
Can you start learning golf at any age?
Well, Tiger Woods appeared on The Bob Hope Show at age 2 so yea you can learn golf at any age (shrug emoji).
I started playing golf around age 3 when my Dad would take me to the golf course with him.
I say the earlier the better 🙂
Is golf difficult to learn?
Golf is definitely difficult to learn, but that’s the fun in all of this.
If it was easy, would you really have that much fun digging deep to see if you really have what it takes to become the type of golfer you set out to be from the beginning?
So get out there and start grinding.
Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/wolfitgolf and let me know if you’ve implemented any of these techniques on your way to learning golf by yourself.