Golf For Dummies book cover

Golf For Dummies

By: Gary McCord Published: 03-01-2011

The fun and easy way to get a grip on golf

Golf For Dummies, 4th Edition, gives you all the latest information on the game, including updated expert advice on everything from improving fundamentals to mastering the game's mental aspects. With advice from professional Gary McCord, this expert guide gives you easy to follow instructions for hitting the ball farther and straighter, and hints on how to shave strokes off your game.

  • Updated instructions on grips, stances, and swings
  • The most current stars and best courses
  • New tips from top players on how to improve your game
  • Details on the latest golf equipment and technology

Playing golf is fun-playing better is even more fun. With a little help from Golf For Dummies, 4th Edition, you'll have the time of your life whenever you hit the links.

Articles From Golf For Dummies

7 results
7 results
Essential Items You Need in Your Golf Bag

Article / Updated 03-15-2022

Golf bags aren’t just for holding clubs; like any sport, golf requires other essential equipment and helpful items that make your game a little easier. Here are the essentials for stocking your golf bag: At least six balls A few wooden tees A couple of gloves A rain suit A pitch-mark repair tool A few small coins (preferably foreign) to mark your ball on the green Two or three pencils Sunscreen A small pouch for your wallet, money clip, loose change, car keys, rings, and cellphone (which is turned off) A spare towel

View Article
Making Typical Golf Bets

Article / Updated 03-15-2022

Betting is a part of most golfers’ typical outings; the extra competitive spirit of making bets contributes to the game can make golf that much more fun. Here are some bets you typically see on the course. Remember: Never bet more than you can afford to lose. A Nassau is a three-part bet with the same stake wagered on the first nine holes, the second nine, and the total for the round. If you’re playing a $5 Nassau and you win all three parts, you’re up $15. Skins is the format in which each hole is worth a certain amount — but if two players tie, all tie, and the money goes into the pot for the next hole (and sometimes the next and the next). To play wolf, one player takes on everyone else in the group. For a set price, the lone wolf can choose one of the others as his or her partner. Snake is a side bet: The first player to three-putt a hole gets stuck with a “snake” that costs a predetermined sum each hole until someone else three-putts. In Bingo Bango Bongo, the first player on the green earns a point (bingo), as does the one closest to the hole when everybody’s safely on (bango) and the first to hole a putt (bongo).

View Article
Knowing Which Golf Club to Use for Which Golf Shot

Article / Updated 03-15-2022

The sheer variety of golf clubs you need can be overwhelming; after you have all the clubs you need and you hit the golf course, how do you know which club to use for each shot? The following table gives you a quick guide to the kinds of clubs in your bag and the shots you take with them. Club What It’s For Driver Teeing off — and very occasionally hitting from a good lie in the fairway Hybrid club Getting shots of 150+ yards airborne 2- to 9-iron Hitting toward the green, usually from 120–190 yards away — use low-numbered irons for longer shots, high-numbered irons for shorter shots Wedges Hitting short, high shots from near the green or from sand bunkers Putter Rolling the ball into the hole after it’s on the green (or occasionally from just off the green)

View Article
How to Score Golf Penalty Shots

Article / Updated 03-15-2022

Penalty shots (and their effects on the score) are an unfortunate part of golf for most golfers. Scoring golf penalty shots can be confusing, so the following table helps you adjust your score and shoot on. Penalty How to Score and Continue Play Out-of-bounds Two-stroke penalty (the stroke you hit plus one penalty stroke). Drop a ball where you last shot from and continue play. Whiff Count each time you swing in an effort to hit the ball. Unplayable lies One-stroke penalty. Drop the ball (no nearer the hole) within two club lengths of the original spot; drop the ball as far back as you want, keeping the original spot between you and the hole; or return to the point from which you hit the previous shot. Water hazard (yellow stakes) One-stroke penalty. Play a ball from its original position. Play from as close as possible to the spot from which you played the previous shot. Or drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the hazard between the hole and the spot where you drop the ball, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard you drop it. Alternately, play the ball as it lies without grounding the club for no penalty. Lateral water hazard (red stakes) One-stroke penalty. Play a ball from its original position. Drop a ball outside the hazard within two club lengths of where the ball last crossed the margin of the lateral water hazard (but no nearer the hole), or within two club lengths from a point on the opposite edge of the water hazard equidistant from the hole. Alternately, play the ball as it lies without grounding the club for no penalty.

View Article
Golf For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 03-15-2022

Even if you’re new to golf, you can still look and act like you know what you’re doing. Making sure you have the right equipment in your bag and making intelligent decisions about which club to use can get you off to a great start. Offer to keep score and propose a couple of fun bets, and you can really impress your fellow golfers, no matter how long they’ve been playing the game.

View Cheat Sheet
Understanding Golf Scoring Language

Article / Updated 03-15-2022

Golf has its own language, and its scoring lingo can be especially puzzling to understand. If understanding golf scores seems like a foreign language, the following table of golf scoring terms can help you feel right at home on the course. Scoring Term What It Means Ace Hole in one Albatross/double eagle Three strokes under par on a hole Eagle Two strokes under par on a hole Birdie One stroke under par on a hole Par Score a good player would expect to make on a hole or round Bogey One stroke over par on a hole Double bogey Two strokes over par on a hole

View Article
How to Know Which Golf Club to Use

Article / Updated 03-15-2022

The sheer variety of golf clubs you need can be overwhelming. Once you have all the clubs you need and you hit the links, how do you know which club to use for each shot? The following table gives you a quick guide to the kinds of clubs in your bag and the shots you take with them. Club What It’s For Driver Teeing off — and very occasionally hitting from a good lie in the fairway Hybrid club Getting shots of 150+ yards airborne 2- to 9-iron Hitting toward the green, usually from 120–190 yards away — use low-numbered irons for longer shots, high-numbered irons for shorter shots Wedges Hitting short, high shots from near the green or from sand bunkers Putter Rolling the ball into the hole after it’s on the green (or occasionally from just off the green) To figure out which golf club to use for a specific shot, you need to know the average distance you hit a ball with each golf club in your set. Then, you simply choose the golf club that fits the distance you need to hit. The best way to find out is to hit about 50 balls with each club. Eliminate the longest five and the shortest five, and then figure out the middle of the remaining group. That’s your average yardage. This table shows how far the average golfer generally hits with each club when he or she makes solid contact. When you start to play this game, you probably won’t attain these yardages — but while you practice, you can get closer to these numbers. Which Club Should You Use? Club Men’s Average Distance Women’s Average Distance Driver 230 yards 200 yards 3-wood 210 yards 180 yards 2-iron 190 yards Not recommended; 4-wood or hybrid = 170 yards 3-iron 180 yards Not recommended; 5-wood or hybrid = 160 yards 4-iron 170 yards 150 yards (consider a hybrid, instead) 5-iron 160 yards 140 yards 6-iron 150 yards 130 yards 7-iron 140 yards 120 yards 8-iron 130 yards 110 yards 9-iron 120 yards 100 yards Pitching wedge 110 yards 90 yards Sand wedge 90 yards 80 yards Lob wedge 65 yards 60 yards

View Article