New Golfers Start Here: How to Hit a Golf Ball For Beginners

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Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.

No matter your age, it is never too late to learn the game of golf. Do not be embarrassed if you do not know the proper technique to nail a straight line shot. With a bit of coaching, you can learn how to hit a golf ball if you are a beginner at the game. 

how to hit a golf ball

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If you are a new golfer, then we want to make sure you feel comfortable in your sport. It’s a learning curve, and it takes patience, perseverance, and teaching. 

We’ll bring you our best tips on how to hit a golf ball for beginners. Stay tuned so you can be off to a good start next time you are on the golf course

What are the Different Ways to Hit a Ball?

There are a few terms to define when we are talking about playing golf. You may remember some of them from playing mini-golf. Others might not be as familiar unless you spent a little time on a golf course. Let’s define common golf terminology:

  • Chip– An abbreviated version of a full swing shot
  • Drive– To hit a driver, also known as a tee shot. Your driver is the longest club, so it will usually travel the furthest
  • Putt– A close shot that is taken on the green, where the grass is very short and smooth
  • Punch– Keeping the golf ball low to the ground to hit a shot below overhanging trees
  • Flop– Usually taken from the rough, goes up high, and travels a short distance

What are the Basics for Beginners Hitting a Golf Ball?


The very first place to start is with your stance. Practice your position before you try to hit a ball. If the stance is off, then the whole swing can be off, and you may miss your shot. 

We suggest that your feet be wider than your shoulders. You will be standing parallel to your “target” of where you are taking your shot. Your lead foot will be closer to the target, with your toes turned slightly outward. It allows for a better hip rotation when you take your shot.

golf stance

The “trail foot” is the foot further from the target. This foot is often placed perpendicular to the target when taking the shot. 


Posture is key to a successful shot for many pro golfers. Start by standing with good posture, then bending your knees slightly to the point that feels comfortable. Shift your weight, so most of it sits in the ball of your foot. 

When you hold the club, bend at the hips until the club reaches the ground in front of you. Your body should feel comfortable as you swing while trying to maintain proper posture throughout the core. 


A neutral grip is ideal for beginners learning how to hit a golf ball. 

To start, put your dominant hand about a ½ inch from the top (skinny end) of the club. Grip the club diagonally across your fingers. 

how to grip a golf club

When you close your hand around the club, your thumb should be on the side facing the sky.  You should be able to see the last knuckle of your pointer and middle fingers from above.

Your other hand should overlap the first so that your fourth and fifth fingers are covered by the trailing hand.

Choosing a Club

Usually, when hitting off a tee, you will be using a driver, the longest club in your golf bag. 

The driver is ideal for that first shot; it is designed to get the most distance from your swing. Keep in mind, the clubface (the part that hits the ball) has almost no loft. Having the ball teed up is important to get this club to work for you.

Next in line for distance would be the woods. They range from 1-wood to 7-wood in a beginner set. There are three reasons why golfers choose these clubs:

  • Difficulty keeping the drivers straight
  • Hitting the ball a shorter distance than a driver
  • Hitting in a fairway

You may also have a hybrid club, which is a mix between woods and long irons. These clubs are ideal for “rougher lies.”

Pitching wedges are used on knock-down shots or for chipping. There are also other forms of wedge clubs, such as sand wedges and approach wedges. 

Finally, the putter is the club used by golfers to get the ball in the hole at the end of the fairway. It also takes skill and patience to master putting as a golfer. 

Hitting the Ball

When it comes to hitting the ball, there are some tips to help you succeed:

  • Practice relaxing your arms first before giving a swing at the ball
  • Give a few practice swings (pendulum swings) in the air before taking a golf swing.
  • Practice hitting a tee placed ½ inch to 1 inch off the ground.
  • Don’t get discouraged if you miss a few shots at first! It happens to the best of us! 

How you hit the ball will also depend on the type of club you are using. Longer clubs cause your body to be farther from the ball than shorter clubs. The arc of your swing will be shallower with the longer club and more vertical with shorter ones.

When you swing, try to keep your arms as straight as possible. Your wrists may hinge slightly. 

Line up the clubhead just behind your ball. Begin your swing by moving your club back, away from the ball, in a line parallel to your stance. 

This motion is known as the takeaway. A good takeaway is essential to hitting the ball and having an accurate shot.

Backswing Golfing Mechanics

The backswing is the backward motion after the takeaway. During the backswing, try to avoid bending your lead arm, which is the left arm for right-handed people. If you play left-handed, it’s your right arm. 

During the backswing, bend your lead knee and turn the hips slightly to follow the motion of your club.

The downswing is where you unravel the backswing in reverse. Shift your weight back toward your front leg and allow your hips and feet to follow the motion.

If all goes well, your clubface will connect with the ball, sending it 200 yards! 

Okay, that might be a little ambitious for a beginner. But your goal is to hit the ball at the bottom of the downswing, sending it forward.

Your motion doesn’t stop when you connect with the ball. During the follow-through, your hips continue to pivot to face the target and the club swings over your shoulder. 

Your weight should go into your lead foot. The tip of the other foot usually rests to keep you balanced. This is where you watch the magic happen. 

Beginners learning how to hit a golf ball shouldn’t get discouraged. It does not matter how far you hit the ball or how many times it takes before you master the swing. With effort and persistence, you will accomplish the goal.

Where Can I Find Out More Essentials for Golf Beginners? 

Are you just starting golfing and not sure where to turn?

OurGolfClubs is your resource for your journey. As you move from beginner to novice to experienced golfer, we’ll provide you with reliable content to enhance your game. Contact us for any feedback or future requests! 

Luke Griffin

Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.

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