Golf is a highly simplistic sport to learn. In fact, I would argue that it is the easiest sport, ever, to get into. You really only need to learn how to swing and you are golden. The rules are simple as well. So if you are completely new to the sport of golf, I am here to help you out. Many guides out there focus on all the complexities of the game, when you really only need the basics. Then once you get to the basics and start playing a few games with some buddies, that is when you start learning all the ins and outs that make this game so exciting.
Some things to get started
If you are looking to play right away, there are some things you are going to need to learn first. One of them is what gear you are going to use! There are a few things to get started:
This game is not easy. I know I mentioned at the start that it is an easy game to get into, and while that is true, it is incredibly hard to master. There are so many mechanics the game involves and so many factors that determine your skill, that it could take years before you can consider yourself "decent" at golf.
USGA rule book
I am not kidding when I mention this as a thing to get started. The official USGA rule book has almost everything you need to know about the game. From how many shots you could take, to what all the little terms mean, the rule book has everything.
I used it when I first started. It did take a week or so to really digest it and understand it, but I applied it to my golf game so I knew what to do and not embarrass myself in front of my friends, who were already years experienced in golf. It is also helpful to be ethical in the game. You need to be respectful and really understand the game. After all, it is one of the most social game out there.
You need to get your own golf clubs. I highly recommend getting them brand new since the sticks you use are going to be extremely personal to your body build and power. Talk to an expert in a golf store about what you need or so some quick research online about your height, your weight, etc. All of these are taken into account when it comes to golf clubs. A short guy cannot be using a tall guy's club because it will feel off balance, which then affects your shot.
The only time you should be taking hand-me-down golf clubs is if the person giving them to you is the same body build or similar to you. This is because of all the factors I mentioned above. Besides, from wear and tear, the golf clubs could perform very poorly for you where as they were completely used to the swing of each stick.
Now, do you need all these golf clubs? Why do people have up to 14 clubs? Do I need that much?
The answer to that question is absolutely not. That could take hundreds of your dollars, and for a beginner, you don't need to spend that much right away. You do need a variety of them, though. Again, talk to a professional or do some more research for the absolute basic clubs you need. Before purchasing at a store, make sure you do practice swings as well, to get the feel of the club and see if it will work for you. Do not by any means, purchase clubs right off the rack unless you know it is right for you.
Keep in mind that with golf clubs, you need to make the right choice the first time around. They are not cheap. They cost a lot of money, and thus are an investment. Think of them like one, because just one club can last you years. They are extremely durable and worth the time and money of researching the right ones for you. Get a high-quality one and you won't be disappointed years down the road.
The below is a solid resource if you're just starting to build your collection of golf clubs:
These are going to be necessary once you get close to exiting the beginner stage. I would even argue that golfing shoes are worth purchasing right away, whether you have played your first match of golf or not.
The reason you need some is because it makes the entire swing feel more natural. With other athletic shoes, you just do not get the same range of motion on your feet, which have to move a lot during a long game of golf.
I would only recommend getting shoes from Adidas, as their products, at least for golf, have been at the top of the game for several years now, and are highly affordable. Another brand is Callaway. Their shoes are relatively affordable as well and offer different benefits. I especially like the brand because they make my favorite golf ball, the Callaway Supersoft.