Here are 10 of my recommendations for you.
1. Locate a practice facility in your area with a qualified LPGA/PGA teaching professional.
2. Explain your situation (new golfer) and sign up for a couple of lessons. Ask if they have clubs that you can use for lessons.
3. Don't buy clubs yet...borrow or rent.
4. Get the professional to recommend the clubs that would be best for you - it would be helpful if you told them your budget.
5. Clothing..long shorts/slacks, polo shirt (collar and/or sleeves) and jacket.
6. Yes.. sturdy sneakers would be okay to start.
7. Rules? in my book, Feeling Naked on the First Tee, I have simplified 9 basic rules...otherwise check out the internet.
8. Start playing on a small 9 hole course.
9. The etiquette of the game is very important - again check out my book via this website or through amazon.com.
10. Good luck! I hope that you will enjoy this wonderful game!