Top 16 Pointers on How to Play Better Golf

While you can find hours long video series and entire books on how to play better golf, the reality is that most of us only need a few pointers in order to significantly improve our game play. Here are 16 pointers on how to play better golf in short order.

Content:

01. Practice Your Putting
02. Practice on Different Types of Surfaces
03. Practice at the Driving Range
04. Call In a Pro When You Need Help
05. Learn How to Choose the Right Club
06. Play with the Wind
07. Play for More Break
08. Learn How to Make a Full Finish
09. Look for Free or Cheap Ways to Play
10. Shake Up Your Routine
11. Stock Up on Balls
12. Stretch before You Play
13. Protect Your Hands
14. Decide Which Clubs Are Worth Carrying
15. Stay Hydrated
16. Know the Basic Rules of Golf

01. Practice Your Putting

Many people practice their long drives and the swings to maximize distance. However, it is the last few strokes to get the ball into the cup that tend to drive up your score. This is why you need to practice putting at distances of one meter, five meters, ten meters and twenty meters.

A simple do it yourself practice is to put a circle of balls around the hole and walk around the hole, practicing hitting each one in. If you over-do it, many of the balls end up on the other side of the hole and you can just finish the loop, knocking those back in the cup. The side benefit of this approach is that you only have to retrieve the balls once (or as the hole fills up) instead of putt, retrieve, putt, retrieve.

If you’re good with a short distance like two foot putts, then create the ring of balls at three feet (one meter) and repeat the process. In short, practice putting and you’ll have half the secret of how to play better golf.

02. Practice on Different Types of Surfaces

Many beginners have practiced hitting balls off the tee, launching it far into the air. It is the next swing, getting the ball out of the grass, dirt or mud, that tends to make multiple tries. The solution is intentionally practicing hitting the ball up and out of sand traps and tall grass when it doesn’t matter. For example, when the ball is in sand, practice a slow, long swing to get it up and out of the sand trap.

You can graduate up to practicing specific swings based on how the ball lies on the ground. If you aren’t sure how to hit the ball, take a few practice swings in the grass while letting your friends know these strokes shouldn’t count against you.

03. Practice at the Driving Range

Too many people think that a few practice swings in the backyard prepare them for the golf course. Let’s be honest – playing a full golf game of eighteen holes takes three hours if you have a cart, four if you are walking. If you’re taking longer because you aren’t experienced, you’re slowing everyone down.

The solution is to go to the range and practice various swings and driving the ball a variety of set distances. Get your practice in well away from the golf course. Or play on the driving range near the golf course while your friends play a round. After you have gotten good at getting the ball to go roughly where you want it to go, compromise and try a par 3 course. Get your practice on a course that isn’t designed to be challenging. You’ll save everyone time, and you won’t get so frustrated or embarrassed you want to quit the game.

04. Call In a Pro When You Need Help

There are several variations of this advice. One would be paying for formal lessons when you need to focus on a particular area, whether it is distance driving or short distance putting. Then there’s the value of consulting with a professional when your stance is off rather than having a friend try to manipulate your body into position and potentially being reluctant to give honest advice about your back and hips.

Another reason to ask a pro for help is that they can give you advice on a stance or swing if your back pain or arthritis in the hips precludes you from following the exact motions you saw in an online video.

There’s a benefit that you may not get if you consult with your friends, and that’s perspective. For example, you may need a professional’s advice on how to properly align the clubface so you can hit the target at your feet, since your friends may be focused on the swing, the gear you use or their private conversations. A professional, too, could help you develop a fundamentally solid grip. Compare this to the mistake that many make of thinking the solution is gloves, powders or new titanium clubs.

05.Learn How to Choose the Right Club

Too many new players choose a club based on length. For example, they select short clubs for shorter holes. There are more factors to consider in club selection such as wind, hazards, and natural shot tendencies. Learn how to choose the right club for the particular shot. In contrast, you should avoid making mistakes like changing your stance as you change clubs. You will change stances when you switch from full shots to putts but not for the same type of ball strike.

06. Play with the Wind

Playing with the wind, not against it. Instead of trying to hit a shot against the wind, learn how to make the wind work with you. For example, hit a tee shot into the wind to move the ball in the direction you want. (Consider this a practical application of trigonometry.) Avoid shots that require hitting harder than normal or radically altering your game play.

07. Play for More Break

If you’re constantly coming up short on the hole, you’ll never get a surprise ball in the hole. If you’re always playing for more break, once in a while, the ball will end up in the hole though you expected it to go past it. This is especially true when you’re playing up hills. Try to miss on the higher side of the hold than the low side.

08. Learn How to Make a Full Finish

A full finish makes it more likely that you’ll drive the ball out of the sand and be even less likely to leave the club stuck in the sand. A side benefit of focusing on a full finish is that it prevents you from changing your hand position and trying to putt the ball, something that will never get it out of the sand trap.

09. Look for Free or Cheap Ways to Play

Don’t pay for costly golf club memberships thinking that the price tag will guilt you into playing often and, therefore, get better. There are many jokes about the exercise equipment bought as part of a New Year’s resolution to exercise more turning into expensive clothing racks over a few weeks, and that’s typically sitting in your bedroom or living room.

So how do you motivate yourself to get the practice you need to play better golf? Schedule lessons on the fancy golf courses, but do it without investing in a long term relationship. This gives you access to the best teachers without paying for an expensive membership, and a side benefit is that you can take the facilities for a test drive before you pay for a membership.

Another option is buying one time passes to various golf courses. These often come up in charity auctions, and you may be able to get a charitable tax write off, too. There are web-based networks that can get you into private golf courses on a case by case basis. If you travel a lot, ask the hotel concierge service to get you onto a local course.

You can also benefit from playing golf with the right people. If you want to lose weight, take advice from your somewhat overweight friends who lost 50 pounds. If you want to become wealthy, take advice from friends who have a significant net worth or successfully paid off a large debt, not a broke friend who is parroting general misconceptions. And if you want to get better at golf, go golfing with people who are somewhat better than you but not too far ahead of you.

If you’re trying to accompany people who are several levels above you in skill, they may have some advice for you but they’ll tire of being used as a free golf teacher. They may also decide to leave you behind as they play the course. Choose friends who are somewhat better than you but not too much better so that you can get casual advice from someone who is better without feeling like a burden.

10. Shake Up Your Routine

We addressed the benefits of golfing with people who are a little better than you. Consider taking it to the next level and golfing with a variety of groups. Then you can get pointers from a variety of people without being a burden on anyone. You could also end up playing on a variety of courses at different times of day, gaining invaluable experience. In a best case scenario, you play two or three courses plus the driving range in one weekend.

If you’re playing with friends, you should still shake up the routine. For example, you could invite them to join you on the driving range instead of simply meeting to play a round of golf. Or ask them to play par 3 golf instead of a full golf course. Don’t forget the benefits of taking the family to the local games and golf and practicing putting and the proper stance.
We’re not going to tell you to go on a golf vacation, since these can be insanely expensive and bore the rest of the family.

However, if you’re traveling, you could take the opportunity to play golf one day and learn from a new set of instructors. The benefits are amplified if you’re able to play on a weekday morning, when the course is nearly empty and the instructors are eager for business.

11. Stock Up on Balls

Buy cheap golf balls, and just play. You need the practice in order to get better. Wasting time hunting for lost balls cuts into your play time or consumes the remaining time in your time slot. Spending time buying new balls or washing what you already own takes away time you could be practicing on the driving range before the formal game.

12.Stretch before You Play

Most people know that you need to stretch before you start a hard workout like aerobics, jogging or volleyball. Yet they ignore the benefits of stretching before you start playing golf. Stretch your legs, your back and the rest of your body before you start to play. This reduces the odds that playing golf will strain your back.

If your back starts to hurt, touch your toes or squat down and hug your knees toward your chest. However, if the pain is severe, stop playing and ride a cart, watching others play. After you’ve recovered, ask someone more experienced than yourself whether or not your stance or swing was aggravating your back.

13. Protect Your Hands

Top notch gloves will not necessarily improve your game, but you aren’t going to play well if blisters make it hard to grip the golf club the right way. Maybe the solution is protective gloves, but it may be athletic tape, too. Take the time to replace the grips on your golf clubs as they wear down.

If you develop blisters, put vasline on them before covering them up with athletic tape. Do not remove the skin flaps. If you’re constantly getting blisters, either you’re holding the golf clubs too tight or the grip is worn down.

14. Decide Which Clubs Are Worth Carrying

Most golf courses allow you to carry up to 14 golf clubs. However, most people only need six to nine clubs to handle nearly every conceivable situation. You could improve your game play by identifying those essential clubs and leaving the rest in your car. The less weight you lug around as you walk the course, the more energy and strength you’ll have toward the end of the game. Conversely, if you’re carrying a full bag, your game will deteriorate due to physical and emotional fatigue.

You could try hiring a caddy, but then you aren’t building up your endurance and strength, physical traits that improve your game over the long run.

15. Stay Hydrated

Your game play will depend on your health. If you’re dehydrated, your mental and physical performance deteriorates. The solution is to take care to stay hydrated as you play. Remember to drink extra water as the afternoon sets in or when you’re playing in a desert climate instead of your local suburban golf course.

A variation of this mistake people make on weekend mornings or when traveling is playing while hung over. If you have a hangover from the prior night’s activities, take extra care to get and then stay hydrated. Electrolyte laden sports drinks are a close second. Stay away from the caffeinated soda or coffee.

16. Know the Basic Rules of Golf

The most important thing is that you should know the basic rules of golf  before start.If you know the basics first that will help you to learn fast.You will get so many books and resources in the internet.Read them attentively.

Summary

Whether it is staying hydrated, stretching in advance or working on the particular trouble spots that cause people’s score to skyrocket, we’ve given you a few tips that will truly improve how you play golf.

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