October 24, 2011

Keep It Simple

Six Habits That Will Help Your Handicap
Sometimes the simplest advice pays the greatest dividends. That`s been my experience during 13 years as a professional. Usually people come to me 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: My 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. (And I work for a golf company!) 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?

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.

Good luck!

This article was reprinted with permission from www.learnaboutgolf.com



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