There are certain golf tips that I picked-up over the years that I would like to offer to beginners and skilled golfers alike. Similar to athletes in other sports, golfers tend to stray away from the fundamentals after achieving some (albeit not necessarily consistent) success on the golf course. With this in mind, I provide what I believe are five tips that, if you master them, will improve your golf game. I offer these not as a panacea to a hacker’s game, but as something to consider when attempting to lower your handicap.
1. Aim Your Shots by Gripping Down on the Club
You can lower the height of your shots by limiting the height of your follow-through. In other words, you can lower the trajectory of the ball flight by simply lowering your hands on the club (also known as “choking-up” or more properly “gripping-down”). Give it a try! After gripping down, hit some balls. Then, pull your hands further out on the end and hit a few more at about the same speed and level of power. You will immediately notice that you are more accurate when gripping down.
2. Play the Course More
Too many golfers (especially beginners) tend to spend the majority of their time at the driving range. I am not sure if this is in direct relation to the “I want to be like Tiger” mentality that led many would-be amateurs to the game in the first place, but it is the wrong move. Instead, it would behoove beginners to play more rounds of golf on an actual golf course. Why? It simply provides them numerous opportunities to experience the intricacies of the game such as playing to a tree-lined fairway, putting from the rough, or tackling an uphill lie.
3. Putt More in Your Warm-up
Your warm-up should start with a visit to the putting green. Practice putting from varying distances towards a tee or a coin as opposed to putting at the cup (if you miss, this can throw-off your entire game later). Many golfers tend to rush to driving range and start pounding balls as far as they can hit them. What they fail to realize is that putting tends to be where they can improve their game faster as achieving more power takes more skill and may or may not be physically possible for a particular player.
4. Gain More Power by Shifting Your Weight
As much as professionals advise beginners to concentrate on putting and the finer points of the game, I know that these same beginners are looking to achieve more power in their swing. While a different choice of driver may help in this area, I tend to rely on one simple concept. Move your club head and your weight away from the target in your back-swing; and move them towards your target in the downswing. That’s it and it works!
5. Control Your Putting Stroke by Changing Your Mindset
Here is a simple guideline to follow when attempting your putter stroke. Picture yourself making contact with the ball using the upper half of your putter face prior to the bottom half making contact. This is not to suggest slamming the ball downward towards the ground. Instead, this method allows you to create (mentally) a minor lag for the leading edge from the top edge of the putter, thus allowing you to avoid unnecessary loft in your stroke.