Prioritize your Putting
Putting can be low on your list of priorities, but you’ll benefit if you bump it up the list. Yes, it’s good to get the ball to the green in as little shots as possible – but once it’s on the green, putting is the most important part.
You can be great at golf, but if you’re bad at putting, the points will tally up. The last thing you want is to be on track for an eagle but finish with a bogey at the very end.
PGA Tour pro’s make around 96% of putts from inside 5 feet, and if you want figures like that, then you need to make putting a priority.
A great way to perfect your putting technique is by practicing. There are countless drills you can do to knock points off your game, all of which focus on accuracy. Practice makes perfect, and doing these drills on a regular basis will soon shave points off your game.
1-2-3 Putting Drill
Place 3 Balls in a row all along the same line. The best spacing is 3, 6, and 9 feet apart. Begin by putting the first ball (closest to the hole), and make your way to the final (furthest away ball).
This will help you find your rhythm on the course – which is one of the most important aspects of putting. Perfecting your rhythm will boost your confidence – you’ll be making birdies in no time!
Clock Putting Drill
This drill is perfect for improving your putting game.
On a practice green, build a clock-face around the hole at four stations – 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00.
Put three tee begs set out three feet, four feet, and five feet.
Then, go through your putting routine and hole each putt from the tee peg. The catch is- if you miss, you start all over again!
This is a great way to get rid of the pressure that falls on you in the game, and doing this on a regular basis will noticeably improve your accuracy.
100 Straight Putts Drill
This drill is all about repetition. The more you do something, the better you get at it!
First, you find a spot on the green and stick a tee around two feet away from the cup (or whatever distance you feel like you need practice on).
Line up your putt and knock it in, and repeat 99 more times.
Seeing the ball drop in the hole 100 times will boost your confidence, and will hugely improve your technique.
Additional Reading: Putting Tips to Improve Your Handicap
Amend your Grip
Grip is one of the most underrated aspects of golf – if your grip is off, your whole game will be affected. Ask any professional – they will have spent time working on their grip.
A steady, consistent grip will improve your swing, slice, and give you an all-round better game.
Assess your Current Grip
It’s possible that you may have picked up some bad habits. Does your grip work for you? Or can it be improved?
Next time you’re on the course, take a mental note of the way you hold your club – the pressure, position, comfort-level are all things you should be considering when holding your club.
If you think your grip can be improved, then great! Keep reading for more information. If you think you’ve got your grip perfected, then skip to Chapter 3: Warm Up.
Firstly, it’s important to always pick the club up with your weaker hand first. So if you’re right-handed, pick it up with your left hand, and vice versa. We’ll talk as if you’re right-handed, so if your dominant hand is your left hand, then switch it round!
Turn your hand over so you’re able to see two knuckles of your left hand, then create that ‘V’ shape with your finger and thumb towards your right shoulder.
Around half an inch of the club should be poking out the top of your grip.
So, your left thumb should be pointed down on the right side of the club shaft. Grip the club with your right hand, with the right thumb sat comfortably on top of your left thumb.
If you’re still not sure, there are countless video tutorials available on the internet.
When gripping your club, make sure pressure is applied in the right places.
First of all, you don’t want to be gripping it too hard – your accuracy may be affected due to your arms being too tense.
It’s all about balance – as if you grip it too lightly, you lose control of your club.
Keep your hands gripping firmly, yet softly. Make sure your arms are relaxed and give your arms a shake – it may relieve any tension in the arms or wrists.
It can be difficult finding the time for a pre-game warm up, but if you want to knock some points off your golf game, then it’s a necessity.
It’s not just important to warm up physically – you must also prepare your mind for the game ahead.
Even ten minutes of stretching can prepare your body for the game ahead. Lots of muscles are used when playing golf, and if your body isn’t prepared, it could get injured.
The last thing you need when you’re about to swing is cramp, or aches and pains.
Something as simple as leaning against a tree or wall with your hands, and stretching out your legs behind you can wake up your muscles.
While doing this, hold your club behind your back, and make movements as if you were slowly swinging. This will awaken your back muscles, ready for the game.
A quick stroll will get your legs ready for the game – especially if you’re walking an 18-hole course!
Waking up your legs will help prevent them from getting tired halfway through, or getting “dead leg” mid-game. While you’re walking, check out the greens.
Get to know the course, from the bunkers to the texture of the grass. This will give you an insight as to how you should play.
Fuel your Body
Although golf isn’t considered a high-intensity workout, it’s still important that your body is prepared for the game.
Proper nutrition and hydration is imperative for a perfect golf game.
Around half of your diet should be coming from whole-grain carbohydrates – things like oatmeal, sweet potato, and brown rice are perfect for fuelling your body for a game.
Protein is also a necessity – it rebuilds muscle tissue and regulates your body’s chemical processes. Fish and poultry are great sources of protein, as are beans, nuts, and some dairy products. Bear in mind that dairy products can be fatty!
If you’re playing an early game of golf, make sure your breakfast is nutritional. A high fiber cereal will give you energy without leaving you feeling sluggish. A light yogurt and fruit will also give you the right fuel.
Scrambled egg on toast is also a great option – the balance protein and carbs will ensure your body and mind are well prepared.
The important thing is to eat SOMETHING – playing on an empty stomach can leave you feeling weak and drained, mentally and physically.
Golfer or not, your body can’t survive without water. Especially on a hot day, your body needs to stay hydrated.
You’ll be losing water if you sweat on the course, so make sure you always carry a bottle of water with you around the course to top up your body’s water supply.
When you’re even slightly dehydrated, you can become tired and confused – which is not only bad for your golf game but it’s bad for your whole body. Severe dehydration can be fatal.
It’s recommended you consume around a liter of water two hours before playing a round of golf – this will ensure your body is hydrated enough to play, and it also gives you time to get rid of any excess water in your body before you play. The last thing you need is an accident when you’re about to score a birdie!
Honing your Swing
For every golfer, finding the perfect swing for you and your game is the holy grail of golf. Practice makes perfect, and it will take practice to find the perfect swing for you.
The perfect swing comes from the body, not the arms. Learn how to power the club with your body, not just your arms and hands. The way you stand and balance can have a huge effect on your swing.
There are a few things that can alter the flight of the ball, and all of these must be considered before you swing.
- How central the strike is
- The angle of the clubface on impact
- The path of the swing through impact
- The angle of the attack at impact
- The velocity of the clubhead at impact
Understanding these factors as well as knowing how your clubs work will help you identify where you can improve, or where you are going wrong.
The way you stand can make or break your swing. If your stance is too wide, then you may find it difficult to distribute your weight correctly during your swing.
Your stance also affects your balance – and the last thing you need while swinging your club is a wobble!
For longer clubs, like fairways and drivers, your stance should be wider. Your feet should be two to three inches wider than shoulder-width for the optimal stance.
With shorter clubs, such as short irons and wedges, your stance doesn’t need to be as wide. Reduce your stance by a couple of inches, and find what works for you.
Make sure your knees aren’t too bent – they should be slightly flexed but not completely bent.
Spread your body weight evenly between your toes and heels, and also 50/50 between your two feet for most shots.
Golf is about practice – what works for one may not work for another. Be sure to practice until you find the perfect stance for your swinging method.
There are plenty of ways you can improve your golf game, but these five hacks are what we deem the most effective ways you can shave points off your score.
Whether you play for fun or play professionally, there’s always room for improvement. After some practice, hopefully, next time you’re playing a round, your score will be a little lower.
Golf isn’t just about the body – it’s also about the mind. Your body should be equipped to deal with a game of golf, but to be a true pro, your head needs to be in the game.
Looking for even more ways to improve your game and lower your score? Our buying guides will help you find the right gear for your game:
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