How Do I Learn to Hit a Golf Ball?

by Sharon Penn

    When you set out to learn to play golf, make sure you learn from a certified PGA teaching professional. Find out how to make a correct golf swing, practice what you learn, and eventually you will hit the ball with the distance and accuracy you want. Hitting a golf ball properly is not easy, but the enjoyment you will get from playing the game outdoors with friends makes the effort worthwhile.

    Items you will need

    • Golf clubs
    • Golf balls
    • Golf clothes

    Step 1

    Sign up for a beginner’s golf clinic to learn how to hold the club, where to place the ball in your stance and how to swing. Most beginner’s clinics start off with a higher number lofted iron such as a 9-iron. At first, you will learn to make contact with the ball with an easy, rhythmical swing.

    Step 2

    Consider buying a set of clubs once you have mastered the interlocking or 10-finger grip and you can hit the ball into the air. Your golf pro can recommend clubs based on your stature, swing speed and level of play. In general, you will want to stick with lofted clubs with a large club face and a flexible shaft. Hybrid clubs and 6- through 9-irons are easy to handle for beginning golfers. Make sure your clubs are the right length.

    Step 3

    Take a series of private lessons to learn the full swing with a hybrid, fairway wood and driver. To hit the ball off the tee with a driver, place your feet as wide as your shoulders for the driver. The ball should be off the inside of your left foot. For other clubs, your feet should be as wide as your hips, and the ball will be more toward the center of your stance.

    Step 4

    Follow a pre-shot routine to focus your mind. Look at the target, and select an intermediary target on the ground a foot or so away from the ball between the target and the club. Square the face of the club to the target. Release the tension in your arms and shoulders, and bend your knees slightly. Lean forward so that your shoulders are above your knees and put your weight toward the back of your arches near your heels.

    Step 5

    Take the club back for the takeaway with a shoulder turn, keeping the left arm straight until it is parallel to the ground. Your arms, shoulders and body should work together smoothly as your weight shifts to the right. Do not sway. Your wrists will be cocked at 90 degrees at the top of your swing. For the downswing, shift your weight to the left as you extend your arms and hit through the ball. Follow through after you impact the ball for the extra power you need to create distance in your shot.


    • If you are having trouble visualizing the golf swing, watch videos of others. You might ask your pro to take a videotape of your golf swing to show you how you match up.
    • Consult a pro, watch videos and read articles to learn how to hit out of the rough and out of a sand trap.


    • If you are struggling with your swing, do not wait to take another lesson. Correcting a problem when it first arises is a lot easier than correcting a bad swing that becomes a habit.

    About the Author

    Sharon Penn is a writer based in South Florida. A professional writer since 1981, she has created numerous materials for a Princeton advertising agency. Her articles have appeared in "Golf Journal" and on industry blogs. Penn has traveled extensively, is an avid golfer and is eager to share her interests with her readers. She holds a Master of Science in Education.

    Photo Credits

    • Siri Stafford/Photodisc/Getty Images

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