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What Do I Need For The First Time Golfing?

Published: 2021-12-28
What Do I Need For The First Time Golfing?
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What do I need for the first time golfing?  

Wow!  What a loaded question.  

This is another in the series about top Google-generated search inquiries our digital team reported to the SportsEdTV golf instruction team.

Our simple answer to that inquiry may very well be answered by our contributor Jordan Fuller in his Complete Guide to Beginners Golf.

Or, a personal guide, Golf Is A Ball, written some time ago before internet search became the holy grail of clicks, might respond though a bit esoterically, and I’d like to think vividly to golf newbies.



NEED is the word in that question that leaped from the page and holds so much resonance.

Yes, you need a ball and a stick and a place to whack it to go golfing for the first time.  But in 70 odd years of chasing par the game of golf has flipped the script and filled needs of mine.

What sort?

Here’s my top ten:   Humility.  Trust.  Focus.  Friendship.  Empathy.  Perspective.  Strategy.  Tactics. Competition. Fun.

So, golfing newbie, inherent in your question is a subtext that you may not have asked for, but I am wont to give because the first time you golf, you might not get it all, but I’m betting you’ll get the humility part real fast as well as life nurturing encouragement as a bonus.

How about an uninvited deep dive into golf’s top ten playing and living lessons?


Humility—Over time, it is entertaining to see otherwise talented athletes learn that the vagaries of golf are not gifted but acquired via a process that includes many mini-failures.

  Or as the legendary Ben Hogan advised, “Golf is a game of misses. The guy who misses the best is going to win.”




Trust—The equal to Ben Hogan's ball-striking genius is said to be the acquired savant of the golf stroke, Moe Norman, golf's Rainman, who invariably told his clinic audiences that the two greatest golf mistakes were hope and fear, between which lies trust.  

Focus—Over care and its apathy antonym screams for moderation in golf and again the simple wisdom of Moe Norman to play with an alert attitude of indifference is more than apt.

Friendship—Golf's bonding ability transcends politics, race, religion, gender, and strata, given a pure opportunity.  On green grounds, red, and blue get whitewashed.



Empathy—Knowing how it feels to dump a tee shot in the water when your playing partner does the same is like having training wheels on for real-life instances when you need to react to another person's crisis.

Perspective—Some days in golf the elements like wind, landscape, and hazards influence how you look at a task.  Should you bounce the ball along the ground or fly it over the valley?  Sort of like should I take a long easy way home or the short traffic-filled route?

Strategy—Golf course architects love to tease you into puzzles. Should you conserve and play a short sure shot or reap the reward of a risky tentative one?  It sounds like applying for a fixed or variable-rate mortgage.  

Tactics—Your driver keeps slicing.  There's water there on this hole.  Perhaps a long iron first, then again, gets you on the green in two strokes instead of a penalty invoked four after a ball-bathing first shot.  Hmmm, should I check yes in the box where 10% of my paycheck gets auto-saved?


golf course


Competition—Golf pits people against themselves, others, nature, and even time when playing at dusk.  Setting one's own golf goals is the satisfaction key that competitors come to enjoy.  Scoring a new personal best, stinging a rival, or par works, too.  A favorite is the new-to-golf lady who told me her par on every hole was an eight—after eight minutes. She’d pick up her ball and go to the next hole.




So, if you truly need to ask ‘what do I need for the first time golfing?’ follow the links provided at the top of this blog.

But, afterward, please, please give golf a second, third, and even a thousand tries and your life will be amply gifted.