So You Want to Play Golf? A Beginner's Guide to the Game
Interested in learning how to play golf? From great exercise to relieving stress and being a great activity on vacation, golfing is something the entire family can enjoy together and, if you’re a businessperson, it is a great networking tool.
We’ve compiled a few tips for those interested in beginning to learn the game of golf, along with several reasons why Northeast Florida is the ideal location to hone your skills.
1. Start on the Driving Range
Start with the basics and learn the feel of holding the clubs and how to hit the ball. Spend time at the course’s driving range or putting green areas to warm up and really take your time to work on your stance, swing and become accustomed to the game. While you’re there, talk to the expert staff for pointers on your game and how to excel along the course’s fairways. Once you feel comfortable enough with your swing, move on over to the course to take your learnings to the next level.
If you’re starting your golf journey while in Northeast Florida, seek out Fernandina Beach Golf Club on Amelia Island, whose Lighthouse Driving Range utilizes Toptracer technology to provide instant shot feedback and insightful analytics that will help you improve your game. For a slightly more entertaining practice session that can get the whole family involved, book a bay at Topgolf in Jacksonville, who utilizes the same cutting-edge technology to deliver a high-tech, competitive driving range experience in a contemporary sports lounge atmosphere.
2. Make Use of Practice Facilities
Beyond driving ranges, many courses also house well-rounded practice facilities that better prepare amateur golfers for the various challenges and hazards that await on the course. Learn how to better control your swing and power to avoid obstacles and test your skills in a range of different course scenarios.
Located on Amelia Island, The Amelia River Club offers practice areas as well as a new Performance Center with private lessons available for beginners, plus an on-site fitting center. Once graduating from the academy, be sure to test your newfound skills on the full par 72, 18-hole course that requires precise accuracy and ball control to truly succeed.
Full service practice areas — complete with a driving range, putting green, chipping green and recently renovated bunker — can be found at the idyllic Palm Harbor Golf Club in Palm Coast. For practice in and around Jacksonville, visit the Arnold Palmer-designed Hidden Hills Golf Club, whose practice area joins an impressive course tucked within a tranquil community and lined with soaring pine trees.
The DWA Practice Grounds at The Golf Club at South Hampton features a double-ended practice area, a multi-purpose short game practice area, a dual-purpose green that is used for putting and chipping, as well as a state-of-the-art teaching facility.
3. Play the Shorter Courses
As you start out, concentrate on playing shorter golf courses to better hone your skills and techniques. Avoid frustration in trying to play the bigger named courses with longer fairways and higher difficulty, they are not typically meant for beginners. Playing on shorter courses can also help you master putting and chipping the ball, plus you’ll gain confidence and have time to get acquainted with your clubs and rules of the game.
One of Northeast Florida’s most unique short course options is The Yards Golf Club, home to North Florida’s only 12-hole course. Recently redesigned in 2020, the Arnold Palmer-designed golf course also features 9-, 6- and 3-hole variations that make it easy to curate the course experience to your skill level and availability. Exclusive to golfers staying at Omni Amelia Island Resort, the Little Sandy course features 10 holes stationed around a picturesque lake, offering a fun golfing experience for all abilities. Nearby, the aforementioned Fernandina Beach Golf Club consists of three 9-hole courses, each with their own distinct layout and challenges.
4. Learn from the Pros
From innovative technology to some of the highest-ranked instructors on the course, Florida’s First Coast is home to some of the highest-rated golf schools in the country. Take time to connect with the pros and learn how to improve your swing and make better contact with the ball and even take part in on-course instruction.
The PGA TOUR Golf Academy at World Golf Village offers a full game experience from club fitting, short game techniques, on-course instruction and more to enhance every aspect of a golfer’s game. From one-day to four-day sessions, their new golfer sessions are popular with guests looking to learn the basics of the game.
Practice beside one of the most renowned courses in the country at the PGA TOUR Performance Center, located adjacent to the PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Here, expert instructors work with golfers of all skill levels to improve all aspects of their game, focused around six principles: Full-Swing, Short Game, Putting, Golf Fitness, Club Fitting, and Playing & Performance Strategies.
For additional lessons, visit the PGA TOUR Superstore in Jacksonville. After stocking up on the latest in golf accessories and apparel, beginner golfers can have their clubs custom fitted and take advantage of the simulators and 1,134 square-foot putting green inside the store. The Superstore hosts a rotation of clinics, fittings and lessons throughout the year, with the ability to schedule a 45-minute private lesson with a PGA TOUR Superstore Certified Golf Instructor.
Let Us Help Plan Your Golf Getaway
Ready to take your golf game to the next level? Learn more about our five distinct destinations, championship golf courses, impressive selection of accommodations, and available golf packages, and start planning your educational — and relaxing — trip to Florida’s First Coast.
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Fernandina Beach Golf Club
2800 Bill Melton Rd Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 Tee Times
Fernandina Beach Golf Club2800 Bill Melton Rd
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
The Amelia River Club
4477 Buccaneer Trail Amelia Island, FL 32034 Tee Times
The Amelia River Club4477 Buccaneer Trail
Amelia Island, FL 32034
Palm Harbor Golf Club
20 Palm Harbor Drive Palm Coast, FL 32137 Tee Times
Palm Harbor Golf Club20 Palm Harbor Drive
Palm Coast, FL 32137
Hidden Hills Golf Club
3901 Monument Road Jacksonville, FL 32225 Tee Times
Hidden Hills Golf Club3901 Monument Road
Jacksonville, FL 32225
Golf Club at South Hampton
315 South Hampton Club Way St. Augustine, FL 32092 Tee Times
Golf Club at South Hampton315 South Hampton Club Way
St. Augustine, FL 32092
Omni Amelia Island Resort
39 Beach Lagoon Road Amelia Island, FL 32034 Book Now
Omni Amelia Island Resort39 Beach Lagoon Road
Amelia Island, FL 32034
Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass
1000 PGA TOUR Blvd Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082 Tee Times
Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass1000 PGA TOUR Blvd
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082