by Frank Peter
The following Golf Lesson is reprinted with permission from the "Golf Beginner Guide", a full 272 page resource for Golf Beginners. For only $29.50 you get an incredible amount of invaluable tips, lessons and advice - great value for money. Click the above link to find out more!
Sometimes the simplest advice pays the greatest dividends. Usually people see a pro hoping for a magic tip, or to be enlightened on the intricacies of grip, stance, and posture-when all they really need are some good golf habits!
So here it is: Our list of the six top ways to lower your scores and your handicap.
1. Move Up
Having trouble achieving a mental breakthrough? Try playing from the forward tees, in order to alter your comfort zone and lower your scores. Playing a shorter course will instill a "go-for-par" or birdie mindset that will stick with you when you return to your accustomed tees. If you can't score any better from the forward tees, consider it a message that you need extra work on your short game!
2. Do it Daily
Ben Hogan once said he hated to miss a day of practice because this meant it was one more day before he could get better. While you may not be able to keep this regimen, you should keep in mind that you get out what you put into the game. Time pressed? No problem. Just taking a club out in the backyard and swinging for 15 minutes will aid the cause.
3. When You Play Golf, Play Golf
If you're going to take the time to play, do it seriously and focus on each shot. Never make a careless swing during a serious round! Of course, this doesn't mean you can't have fun - it just means you should turn up the focus a notch. Use the driving range for working on technical skills, and the golf course for focusing on the real target: lowering your score.
4. Get Better Gear
I'm not saying you should spend thousands of dollars
on equipment. But if
you're using an older set that isn't fitted properly, you
may be needlessly holding yourself back. Many
recent technical advances such as perimeter
weighting to produce a larger sweet spot and larger clubhead volumes
- will make a difference in the
consistency and distance of your shots. Why not
take advantage of them?
Getting custom fitted is easy and painless with free, web-based fitting tools like the 'club fitting wizard' at Pinemeadow Golf (click here to find out more).
5. Don't Shortchange Your Short Game
Chipping and putting account for more than half the strokes in a typical golfer's game. Consequently, you should devote most of your practice to your short game. I like to use a football analogy here: It's great to be able to advance to the two-yard line, but it won't mean a thing if you can't make it into the end zone!
6. Write it Down!
It's easier to improve if you can document your hits and misses. Where do you hit good shots, and where do you hit poor ones? Did you hit right, left, or on top? How many putts of less than five feet do you miss? Keep a journal and consult it periodically to unearth patterns and discover areas that need work.
NOTE: If you have trouble hitting your clubs correctly there is a good chance that your clubs don't suit you properly.
The reason for not improving your game may well be is due to badly fitted clubs. Think about it: people come in all different shapes and sizes, but most golfers simply buy their clubs off the rack in the golf shop.
Unless you are completely 'standard' and 'average' you should consider custom fitting for your next clubs. This can be done online, and it is free, quick and easy (and doesn't hurt a bit). Visit these two sites for free online club fitting, just follow the instructions given there:
'e-fit System' at GigaGolf
'Club Fitting Wizard' at Pinemeadow Golf