Golf is a game of good misses. Most professional golfers know this and only hit a handful of good shots during a round. The important thing to remember is that their bad shots usually are playable. And what I mean by that is that they rarely incur a penalty shot, or leave themselves in a position to make worse then a bogey.
How professionals achieve this is a good understanding of golf fundamentals.
They know that if they make a fluid relaxed golf swing and keep their head steady, they can keep the ball out in front of them. Straightness of ball flight, not distance, is king in golf.
Also, maintaining patience through the round is critical. Unlike most other sports where if you lack skill you can make it up in extra hustle, golf requires you to keep an even keel and relaxation. Extra pressures put on yourself to birdie the next hole, or shoot a certain score never helps. Only a focus on fundamentals and a focus on what is required for the next shot is all you can do and should do.
Lastly, be target oriented. There is no one certain technique or golf swing that is right for everybody, but all good players have their eyes on the prize. Each time you hit a shot, focus on where exactly you want to hit the ball. Not only will you be able to see and be able to make adjustments with your line up, but more importantly you will keep your mind focused on producing positive results. This is critical when there are a number of hazards on a hole that try to distract you and make you loose your focus.
Don't Cheat Yourself
Have you ever played Scrabble or Yatzee and not keep score? Horseshoes, darts, and bowling are other recreational games that involve keeping score. Shooting a low score is why I practice, why I take my time over putts, and why I tee it up in the first place. Sure, I also get enjoyment out of hitting good shots, and being on the golf course with friends, but I like to think the four hours spent playing golf deserves at least a real score too. Keeping the real, actual score as you play is as much part of the game as the long drive or 5 foot putt. It is also one of the best learning tools you can have in order to play better.
So if you take mulligan’s, gimmies, or give yourself preferable lies, why don’t you just write a 69 on your scorecard and call it good. Or you can take that 9 on the par 3 you fouled up on and vow to never let that happen again. I have destroyed many a good round by a triple boogie or a missed 3 footer. Sure it not fun putting that score down, but that is what I did, and the pain of having to score that shows me were I need to improve. It also makes the pars and birdies much more satisfying.
Now, when that special day comes around where you are actually hitting the ball well and putting well and you manage to play your best game, you can rightfully feel a since of accomplishment knowing that you actually did shoot the score you said you did. You also have a new best score to beat and you can make honest assessments of what and where in your golf game you need to improve. Besides, if golf is just a game, and if the score doesn’t really matter, at least keep the right one.
Quick Golf Tips…
Topping the ball = Swaying too much.
Slicing the Ball = Too quick with the hips.
Hooking = Too quick with the hands.
Chunking the ball = Head too far down.
Shank = Too much weight in the toes.
Not enough distance = Misuse of leverage.
No distance control = Not enough practice.
Always short of the green = Take one more club.
Stuck in a sand trap = Not following through.
Putting poorly = Poor grip.
Don't Waste Your Money on Equiptment
The 2012 season is on the way, and I would like to help you have your best golfing year ever. First of all, before you invest hundreds of dollars upgrading your equipment to play better, invest less money to play better by receiving some golf instruction. You will have money left over to play more golf and play better as well.
My teaching style is simple, and informative. First, I would work on getting you hitting the ball straight. I feel most amateurs have too many moving parts in their swing and it is my job to eliminate those excess motions that cause errors. Next, I would focus on developing your swing speed. Most people feel that the harder they swing their arms at the ball the further it should go. This is simply not true, I have been able to teach people from all ages and abilities the true source of power and have increased their distance dramatically.
For more helpful ideas, schedule a lesson with Doug.