Anyone can learn how to improve their golf game. This sport is far more challenging than it actually looks and many people find themselves growing frustrated throughout the formative stages of learning.
With deliberate and focused practiced, however, it is possible to develop and hone the skills that are necessary for playing a good long and short game. Here are three things you need to know to play better golf.
Foremost among these skills is the fact that it is important to stay focused all throughout your practice time. It has been said that the most important distance in golf is the six inches between the ears.
Being able to play “one shot at a time” is something that separates better golfers from those who perform at a lower level – particularly in highly competitive, and other high-pressure situations. Being able to let go of previous bad shots and not stray to worrying about your score will allow you to stay present.
Courses offering meditation for golfers are becoming increasingly popular as the benefits of “staying in the moment” are more widely reported and discussed by leading players.
Many people think that simply playing more will allow them to become more proficient and successful in this game. The best form of practice, however, is goal oriented. At the start of each session, you need to have clear and well-defined goals that are focused on a single and very complex skill or on just a few, simple skills.
Specific practice will allow you to gain mastery over specific techniques, rather than wasting your time and never achieving any measurable improvement. Your goals should be both challenging and practical so that you stay motivated, but do not become overwhelmed.
This is often referred to as deliberate practice and it is designed to push players just beyond on their abilities. This allows people to strive for goals that they are actually capable of attaining while preventing stagnancy at any point in the growth process.
Know you strengths. It is important to note that while anyone can improve their game, some people are simply more skilled in certain areas than in others. Knowing your strengths in this game will help you keep your scores low by showing you which circumstances and activities to avoid.
Identifying your strengths and weaknesses will also give you a better ability to fine-tune your practice so that you are getting optimal benefits from the time that you spend out on the green.
Whilst it is important to play a strategic and well-planned game with a strong defense, you should also hone the skills that will allow you to retain a low score, even when you find yourself in challenging and unpredictable situations.
It is additionally important to practice often. Repetition can play a major role in building your game. Not only will making the right movements quickly become second nature, but you will also become more adept in choosing the right clubs, using the right positioning and controlling your movements during intense situations.
Chipping and putting are two aspects of golf that rely on finesse and feel, rather than brute force, and this is best developed by consistent practice. Finding your “touch” around the greens is vital if you are to play to your potential and shoot lower scores.
With practice, you can remain calm and centered even though the pressure is on. You should note, however, that repetition should not hurt. This is a surprisingly physical game and thus, you want to avoid placing an undue amount of stress on any joint, particularly the shoulders. When using repetition to build skills, you want to add plenty of rest periods to your workout and make sure to stretch any muscles that are being placed under extreme demand. Although golfing doesn’t entail intense, cardiovascular activity, it is a good workout.
One of the best ways to make repetition a part of your deliberate practice is by rotating your way through a variety of different skills. For instance, you can start with three or four skills that you wish to perfect. Over the course of a corresponding number of practice sessions, you can drive your way through each skill with an emphasis on repeating specific, necessary movements during each training. It is important to have a coach or instructor who is supportive and in line with your deliberate training strategy.
In fact, finding the right instructor is one of the most critical aspects of building your game, especially if you are still in the formative stages of learning. Working with the wrong people is often why players find themselves failing to progress like they should.
A good instructor will help you define your goals while giving you effective tips for doggedly pursuing them. If your instructor is not willing to implement a structured training plan and does not focus on key aspects of training such as focus, moderate challenges and repetition, now is the time to start shopping around for a new provider.
There are even times when it may be best to pursue your learning on your own, absent of a professional trainer. A few top players, such as Bubba Watson, are self-taught and with dedication you can develop a golf game that is expressive and fun.