2/ Go buy Harvey Penick's Little Red Book. Keep it with you
and red it a lot. It's short and sweet and will give you good
insight and positive thoughts as well as teach you things. It's a book I keep with me.
I own this book too. If your even remotely interested in the game, its a fun book to have.
I started out with a set of MacGregor oversized offset irons. Played from the time I was 15 til about 21 with those. Upgraded to Taylor Made RACs and still have those today. There was a time before I graduated when I was playing once or twice a week that I thought about buying blades, but thankfully did not as real life has really cut into my golf game.
My advice to you would be to hit up Ebay and see if you can find a quality set of clubs (game improvement irons, google it)for a low price, or check Edwin Watts for some specials on some of their lower end clubs, especially going into this spring. Dont go out and drop $700 on a set of irons, especially until you decide you even want to continue playing the game.
I would stay away from the "set in a box" clubs, just my opinion. And unless you are an extreme in height, there is no need to get fitted for a set of clubs. You should be able to find a nice forgiving set of irons for between $150-$200 dollars that will give you a little help while learning the game. Springtime is a great time to buy clubs, FWIW. Lots of sales as the new years clubs come available.
As others have said, take a few lessons. Taking lessons at the beginning of your entry into the game will provide you with habits that will stick with you for life.