First thing: head to a shop with a test range and try out both righty and lefty clubs. Ask to test out some of the clubs to see what feels natural to you. If you have a Dick's sporting goods in your area that's one thing they're actually quite good for.
Second: get a good set of clubs. It will run you $800+ but believe me when I say it's worth it. Constantly readjusting to new sets of rental clubs each time you play will hurt your development as a golfer and probably take a good bit of enjoyment out of the game for you.
Third: Practice before you think about playing a round. Hit the driving range and use primarily irons off the grass. A lot of people seemingly go just to swing away with these drivers but my take is that is the last club you should be working on. As Bleedgreen pointed out you can very often get solid distance off the tee with a good 3, 4 or even 5 iron shot. If you hit the high irons well you can often get it just as far as these guys that just try and rip it with their driver with better accuracy. As for putting and your short game, you can NEVER have enough practice here since on and around the green is where about half your shots will be taken. Even a game of minigolf can help out your accuracy here. Personally I try to tak about 15 minutes before I play a round to work on my putting on one of the practice greens there. If it's a slow day on the course and there's nobody imediately behind me I'll take out a couple sleves of balls and just practice my chip shots on a difficult green for a bit before continuing on.
Anyway, key is it's mostly about your short game. You can have a huge drive but if you have no short game it's going to be very frustrating to play, it's not very often that it's the other way around. If you can hit your irons and put then you're in prety good shape.
Fourth: Have fun with it and simply relax. You're going to play a much better game if you're just having fun with it rather then stressing about the small things you don't do well in your game, especially when you just start playing.
I agree with everything you say except the bolded part. New to the game you don't need expensive equipment. I agree you don't want different rentals but cheap clubs are fine for beginners. It's like someone new to hockey buying a $300 stick, when a $10 will do the job.
ok so i hit the range last night- and ive never hit the ball better. i mainly hit the mid irons. 75 percent of my shots were dead straight. went with a very consistent hitting friend whos been playing for several years.
i used his nike cpr iron set and i LOVE them.
right now my main problem was that im not bringing my clubhead high enough on my backswing.
a slow backswing with very light grip REALLY helped me out.
one of the things that really helped my golf game was, i rock a little bit fowards before i start my backswing, and comtinue back as i start my swing, i feel like it gives me the proper motion. i have a friend who shoots lefty for hockey but righty for golf, i never got how that worked
Here's what you do. Say, hey instead of golf, do you play hockey? Get them to the rink. Most often when you find someone who does in fact play hockey you become better friends with them than over a game of golf . Other than that I stink at golf so I can't help.
BTW, I'm looking into investment banking (getting a finance degree), how's it working for those big companies?