The game of golf is continuing to grow and the industry as a whole is booming. According to, 441 million rounds of golf were played in 2019.  In 2020, golf has continued to grow despite the pandemic.  Golf courses feature an outdoor, open area which allows for social distancing, making golf a safe activity.  Golf proved to be a great way to safely get outside and enjoy some fresh air.  In general, golf is also a fantastic source of exercise and has many health benefits.  The last few weeks in our blogs, we talked about how golf is a great social activity enjoyed amongst friends and family.  While many new players began playing in 2020, many others wanted to, but did not know where to start.  It can be overwhelming getting into golf for those who have never played before, and it can be especially difficult knowing what clubs to purchase and what is all needed to play.  In this blog, we will discuss golf club basics, and talk about what clubs you will need to get started.   Hopefully, you will have a better understanding of golf clubs after reading this, and will be one step closer to getting out to the course!

 Golf clubs include: woods/hybrids, irons/wedges and putters. While the rules of golf allow you to carry up to 14 clubs in your bag, you do not necessarily need to have that many clubs to start. I recommend getting a driver and some other woods, a few irons, and a putter when you are first starting out.  The driver is considered a wood, and woods feature a large head and less loft.  The less loft on a club, the further the ball will go, so woods are more effective on longer shots.  Drivers feature the biggest head and the least amount of loft. They should only be used on your first shot of the hole with the ball on a tee.  The other woods, including a 3-wood or a 5-wood, can be effectively used off the fairway when longer shots are needed to reach the green. The irons are numbered, and a good starting set of clubs can include a 6iron, 7iron, 8iron, and 9iron.  In general, a 9iron features about 41 degrees of loft, while a 6iron features 30 degrees of loft.  The less loft on a club will make the ball travel further, so hypothetically a 6iron will go further than a 9iron. In addition to that, it can be good to get an iron that has a “P” or an “S” on it instead of a number.  These clubs are called wedges and feature even more loft than the other irons. The Pitching and Sand wedges can be effective for shorter and higher shots, and are very beneficial around the greens.

You certainly do not need to spend hundreds of dollars (or even thousands) to get started.  Golf companies sell individual clubs, but many golf club makers also sell very affordable clubs in full sets. I recommend buying a new or used full set of golf clubs.  There are many full starter sets available online that are affordable and perfect to start out with. Full sets will typically include a driver, 3 wood, 5 wood, 6-9irons, a pitching wedge, and a putter.  This starter set only features 9 clubs, and since you can carry 14 clubs in your bag this can also give you the option to purchase additional wedges or hybrids if you are enjoying the game and want to expand your bag.  These starter sets can cost anywhere from $75-$500, so this is an affordable and easy way to get started.  

-Sam Cresta, Assistant Golf Professional at American Classic Golf Club

For those of you looking for some inspiration to get into the game of golf, or just looking for an excuse to play more golf, here is a blog for you. There are many benefits of playing the game of golf, and hopefully you may be inspired by this post to get out there and play. 

Last week, we discussed why you should play 9, and talked about how golf is a great social event that can be enjoyed amongst friends and family. In my opinion, that is the greatest aspect of the game of golf and is one of the many reasons it is so great.  Golf can be enjoyed at any age, and it is one of the few sports in which you can play with people of varying ages, so that is a huge benefit to me.  In my life, I am still able to play and compete with my father in golf. While he is as healthy as most people in their 60s, let’s just say we are not getting out and running up and down the basketball court on the weekends.  This is why I feel that one of the biggest benefits of getting into the game of golf is because it is one of the only sports you can play for your entire life, and it’s a fun social activity which can be enjoyed for a lifetime.  

On top of being able to play golf for your entire life, it is also a great source of exercise!  Walking on the golf course is a great way to get your steps in and stay active and is great for you.  Many golf courses are on beautiful pieces of land surrounded by nature, so a round of golf can be a relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors and stay active.  Even if you choose to ride in a golf cart, you are still getting great exercise in!  The golf swing itself is also good for you, and you will also take many steps in between shots and throughout your round.  For those of you looking for a creative way to exercise and stay in shape, pick up the game of golf!  This can also have many positive effects on your mental health and wellbeing, as you are constantly using your brain to strategize and plan your next shots.

Another benefit of playing golf is meeting new friends to play golf with. In many cases, golf courses will need to pair people up to fit the scheduling needs of the course.  This can be especially beneficial for those looking to meet new people and find golfing partners.  If you are someone looking to meet new people, playing golf is a great way to do it.  And what is great about golf is the fact that anyone can play together regardless of skill level or age, so regardless of who you get paired with at the course it can always be enjoyable. 

Between the fun social atmosphere and health benefits of golf, there is definitely incentive to give it a try.  Golf also allows for social distancing and can be played safely even during a pandemic. If you were looking for one final reason to get out onto the golf course, a study highlighted by explains that golfers are likely to live longer than non-golfers.   So, the next time a non-golfer friend questions why you have been at the course all day, share this blog with them and consider inviting them out onto the course!

-Sam Cresta, Assistant Golf Professional at American Classic GC

As our lives continue to become more and more busy, many of us find ourselves moving away from the game of golf.  Work schedules, family commitments, and other activities constantly keep us busy, and often times it can be difficult finding time to get out and golf.  Golf is very commonly associated with 18-hole rounds, and while most golf courses do offer 9-hole options, most golf groups and golfers will choose to play 18 and dedicate an entire day or afternoon to their round.  I love doing that with my friends and family, and I think days like that are a big reason golf is so great.  I thoroughly enjoy these golf days, playing 18-holes alongside friends and family for hours, and I always look to get my golfing groups together when I can.  Playing golf with your companions is a fun social activity and is arguably the greatest thing about golf.  Unfortunately, as my life and the lives of my friends and family continue to get busier and busier, it can be extremely difficult to find 4-5 hours where we are all available.  Because of that, playing 9 holes can be an amazing alternative. 

One of the biggest benefits of 9-hole rounds is the time factor. 9 holes can be quickly played in less than two hours.  This means that you can squeeze in a late twilight round with your friends after work or get in 9 holes in the morning before your workday starts.  A quick 9-hole round with your buddies can replace meeting at a bar or restaurant after work. Getting a full 18 holes in is not feasible in this scenario but playing 9 can be a fantastic alternative.  For those working 9-5 type jobs, an after work 9-hole round can be an amazing activity. I think many busy golfers do not think of playing 9, and a common misconception is that golf has to be played in 18-hole rounds, or 9 holes is not an “official” round.  9-hole rounds are legitimate, and the USGA’s Golf Handicap Information Network (GHIN) allows you to post 9-hole scores to maintain your handicap index.  Because of this misconception, many golfers likely miss out on potential golf outings.

This can also greatly benefit early risers, who are able to squeeze in 9 holes before work in the morning. Many of us do not have 4-5 hours to spare in the morning before they start their days, but 9 holes is achievable. I believe this can also be a great alternative for those who like to walk in the morning to start their day. Walking 9 holes can be done under 2 hours, and you will likely get 1-3 miles in. For those who love golf, early morning 9-hole rounds can be a fantastic way to start your day. 9-hole rounds are also perfect for beginner golfers and children. As a beginner, it can be frustrating (and not fun) suffering through an 18 holes. In many cases, it can be beneficial to start with 9 holes when you are learning, and progress from there. For parents who are looking to get their children involved with golf, 9-hole rounds are the perfect place to start.

So, whether you are a beginner looking to get into the game, or an experienced golfer, 9-hole rounds can be very beneficial and fun.  Hopefully, this blog post inspires you to re-think the common misconception that golf always has to be played in 18-hole increments. After all, golf is all about fun and the social interactions with those close to you, so 9-holes are a perfect way to cater to our busy schedules.  Want to capture the magic of golfing with your friends and family? Play 9 holes!

 – Sam Cresta, Assistant Golf Professional at American Classic GC

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