1 – Slow Down
Isaac Newton calculated that the larger the force, the larger the acceleration of the object being struck, so if you would like your ball to go further, it seems obvious to hit the ball as hard as you can.
However, the best thing to do for your swing is to actually slow yourself down. Make it less speedy, but more controlled and smooth. Rushing your swing is going to cause your grip to shift and your ball will end up swinging far from your desired direction.
2 – Don’t Blame Yourself
Whoever said that a good workman never blames his tools has never played golf. Golf is one of the few games that is more mentally taxing than physically. After two or three bad shots, it’s likely you’ll start getting angry with yourself and regret ever having taken up the sport.
You need to keep your head above it all, and if that means you start blaming the weather, the ground, the way that bird kept looking at you, stay positive. Keep your bad shots behind you and only look ahead.
3 – Play a Club Above Your Shot
You have 150 yards to the green, and you know you can hit that with your pitcher, just about. Take out your 7-iron instead. Play the game safe, and have a more relaxed swing. Your room for error is going to decrease.
4 – Don’t Underestimate the Short Game
Pitching onto the green is just as tricky as any other aspect of the game. Make sure you can judge your swings correctly, as getting the distance exactly right is going to be a big challenge. Your swing is going to vary and the power of the swing will too.
5 – Find Your Own Style
If you watch professional golfers on the TV, you’ll see that each player has their own individual swing. So, do not worry if you find out that you have a better swing with your ball placed slightly more to the front or with a shorter backswing. See what works better for your own game.
6 – Don't Get Comfy
If your grip for the club feels nice and comfortable, you’re doing it wrong. The natural grip for the club requires the wrist twisted in such a way that it really shouldn’t feel comfortable. Just make sure to double check how you’re holding the club.
7 – Exercise
The game is not the most athletic of all the sports, but it’s important to remain in shape. Even if you’re not carrying the clubs, you’ll be doing a lot of walking, and due the number of strokes you’ll take, it’s important to have an active upper half too. Just eat healthy and do lots of cardio and your game will steadily become easier.
8 – Keep Track of Your Scores
Even if you’re not keen on playing competitively, keep track of your scores. As you get better in your game, your confidence will grow exponentially. With more confidence comes more comfort in the game.
9 – Realise You are Going to Have Bad Days
Everyone has their bad days, so don’t worry if this game is not going to be your best. Have a look over the previous scores and just realise the progress you’ve made.
10 – Consistency is the Key
Get to the driving range. Practice on the course is essential, but get to the range. Continued practice is going to help your consistency a huge amount, and with fewer stray strokes on the course, you’ll game will naturally improve.
11 – Get Yourself a Golf Glove
It’s a small thing but swinging those clubs does cause abrasions to your hand, and an added pain is not something you want. A glove makes it a lot more comfortable.
12 – Putting is the Decider
Any golfer with a great swing can put the ball on the green, but the real talent comes from then being able to put it those last few yards into the hole. Spend extra time learning to read greens in terms of any gradients and potential speed changes.
Be light on your putting, as your ball will go a lot further than you think. Create a natural pendulum motion with your arms and the club, so that when you putt, your rise of the club matches the follow-through.
13 – Breathe
It might be a basic human function, but when presented with highly tense situations, we seem to forget what to do. When you’re stepping up to the ball, simply pause and let yourself breathe in and out a few times. It relaxes your muscles and your mind. Breathe in when you lift the club and breathe out as you strike the ball.
14 – Take Care of Your Clubs
Wash them, remove all dirt and clean out the grooves. Even a small bit of dirt could upset the surface in such a way that even a perfect stroke could cause the ball to hook. Which is easier, adjusting your stroke for the next 17 holes or spending ten minutes to clean up your loft wedge?
15 – Play a Little Variety
Try different courses. Challenge yourself and your ability. You’ll be presented with new lies of the land and learning to adapt will really push your game up to a new level. Play with different people. You’ll learn things from them as much as they’ll learn from you.
16 – Get the Music Going
Stick in your headphones and listen to your favourite music, whether it be Eminem, Little Mix or Linkin Park. You’ll find that this does a few things for you. The first is that it keeps you out of your own head, worrying about your game. The next thing it’ll do is keep you optimistic; music you love will put you in a good mood and will then have a positive impact on your stroke.
17 – Strike Down on the Ball
One of the biggest things beginner golfers certainly have a problem is learning to strike down on the ball. When you hit a ball, you want it to fly through the air, so when you swing, you might want to naturally give it a helping hand by leaning back slightly, which then inevitably means you see it rolling along the ground twenty yards from you.
When you are on the downswing, reposition all of your weight onto your front leg, and try and hit the ball as if you are trying to hit it into the ground. The natural motion will then see it lift off.
18 – Always Make Time for the 19th
You’ve just spent the last four hours on your feet, sometimes carrying a huge golf bag along with you. Time to take a seat at the clubhouse, even if it’s just for a single drink. Much like athletes cool down after they run a race, you need to as well. Evaluate your game, look at your scorecard and see where you could have improved. Isolate the exact problems in your game, that way, you’ll know where to practice before your next round.
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