Golf Basics: Tips on the Fundamentals of the Game

golf swing in the finish position
Leanna Rathkelly/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

These tips on golf basics are great not only for beginners but for golfers of all skill levels who need a refresher on the fundamentals such as the grip and the set-up position.

By the way, don't forget that one of the most basic of golf basics is this: practice! You'd be surprised how many people think they can get better at golf simply by playing every once in a while. You should always keep the focus on enjoying the game, but if you also want to become good at golf, making time to practice is a must.

But before we get to the tips about golf basics that you can read or watch here, you may want to do more offline reading and watching later. So here is a recommendation:

  • Best Golf Instruction Books for Beginners: Seven of our favorite how-to books for absolute beginners.

Now, on to the tips about golf basics ...

The Grip: Holding Onto Your Clubs

So many other problems with a golfer's swing can be helped simply by improving his or her grip. A good swing starts with knowing the proper way to place your hands on the handle of the golf club.

  • 3 most common ways of gripping the club
  • How to place the club in the lead-hand (top hand) grip
  • How to place the club in the trailing-hand (bottom hand) grip
  • How tightly should you hold the club?

The Setup: Taking Your Stance

Along with the grip, the setup position - how you stand as you prepare to swing at the golf ball - is one of the most fundamental of the golf basics.

  • The proper golf setup position, step by step
  • Why the setup is so important

Swing Basics

  • Balance and rhythm in the swing
  • Hit down, dammit! Understanding why hitting down makes the ball go up
  • Drill: How to use a golf bag to work on swing plane

... and More Golf Basics

  • The correct way to warm up before the round, and how it can improve your score
  • Some ball-flight basics
  • Golf etiquette
  • The Rules of Golf

17 Quick Tips for Beginners and High-Handicappers
Here are 17 short, quick tips on subjects such as preparing for the round, hitting it farther, swing faults and fixes, shots around the green and the mental game.

For more golf basics, see our Golf Beginners FAQ, which goes over non-instructional basics of the game such as scorekeeping, on-course expectations, the before-and-after of a round of golf, and more.

  • Yani Tseng of Taiwan (L) walks with her coach Gary Gilchrist during a practice round prior to the start of the 2012 U.S. Women's Open

    17 Quick and Simple Tips for Beginning Golfers and High-Handicappers

  • Amateur golfer gets a lesson

    Here's What to Expect When You Sign Up for Golf Lessons

  • Golf teaching professional giving putting tips to a student golfer

    25+ Tips to Help Golfers Make More Putts

  • Illustrating the pull shot in golf

    Causes and Cures for the Pull Shot in Golf

  • SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 01: Lee Westwood of England (left) is given a lesson by his coach Pete Cowen during practice prior to the start of the WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club on November 1, 2011 in Shanghai, China.

    Tips to Get Better at Golf

  • Male golfer preparing to hit tee shot

    Most Common Questions Beginning Golfers Ask

  • Male golfer preparing to hit tee shot

    Perfecting the Long Game: Iron and Driver Swing Tips for Golfers

  • golfer tees off on a hole

    5 Key Swing Checks When You Need to Fix Your Golf Slice

  • Golfer Sarah Jane Smith hits a long putt during an LPGA Tour tournament

    What Is a Lag Putt In Golf?

  • Step 1 in a great golf stance is understanding how important it is - and proper alignment

    A Step-by-Step Guide to a Great Golf Setup

  • Backlit Golf Course With Golfer Chipping Onto Green

    What Is a Slice in Golf? (And How to Fix It)

  • Senior golfer teeing off on golf course.

    How to Fix Your Golf Hook Once and For All

  • The Golf Handbook front cover

    Need Help Learning Golf? These 7 Books are Great for Beginners

  • Rory McIlroy in his setup position, or address position

    Here's Why a Good Golf Stance Is so Important to Your Swing

  • Golf Mishits: Faults and Fixes for Fat, Thin, Tops, Shanks, Skyballs

  • Vijay Singh points to the right, where he hit his drive

    Faults and Fixes Checklist for Golf Shots Going Right on Straight Line