Once you’ve been hooked by the golf bug, the next thing you’ll want to do is look at ways of improving your golf game…
We spoke to our friends at Bird Golf Academy in Arizona and asked them for their advice…
Improving your golf game – Where to Begin
Even Tiger Woods started practising his golfing technique with the basics.
He wasn’t born an expert, so you shouldn’t expect yourself to be a pro after a few swings.
To become good at any sport, not just golf, you have to learn the game from scratch and practice the fundamentals before rising to the expert level.
To start, you should take some time at the golf course nearest to your home and rent some gear.
You’ll only play around with it at first, getting a feel for the different clubs.
There are five major types:
- Woods have large heads and are used for long shots.
- Irons are thin and angled and are used for tee shots on short holes or for shots on the fairway.
- Hybrids, a newer type that are a little easier to use than irons.
- Wedges are even more angular and which are used for short approach shots and for shooting out of a sand bunker.
- Putters are specialized for putting.
Choosing the right golf club for a shot takes time and experience but is integral to playing a great game.
Improving your golf game – Practice, Practice, Practice
There are no two ways around it, if you want to improve at golf, you are going to have to commit time and effort.
Improving your golf game to a more professional level involves a lot of preparation – just ask Tiger, who practice fora solid 2 hours before EVER round.
But you can’t just practice swinging the club over and over.
It’s important to identify the fundamental movements and ideas behind each aspect of golf and to spend time perfecting those techniques.
Masters can only move onto expert technique once they’ve got the basics.
Improving your golf game – The Fundamentals
The basics of gripping a golf club are intuitive, to say the least.
Make sure that you find a comfortable way to grip the club with your hands connecting.
The left-hand (or right-hand if you’re are a leftie) matters a great deal for swing strength and performance.
You should also focus on grip pressure and avoid holding the club too tightly.
Your right hand should match your left.
Finally, make sure your club grip is in good condition.
Measure the width of your shoulders using your club.
Have the insides of your feet at least this far apart for full shots, but widen your stance for longer clubs like drivers.
Don’t point your toes out too much at an angle. Your knees need to be slightly flexed but not fully bent.
Finally, keep your bodyweight spread between your toes and heels at about a 50/50 ratio.
To achieve an optimal “square stance”, you should place your club along the line of your toes.
This club should point parallel left of your target in the distance.
Make sure to hold your club with your arms and legs straight, with your shoulders pulled back and chest out.
Tilt forward with your club using just your hips. Keep your back flat. As you lower the club, flex your knees.
This is the optimal golfing posture for making a shot.
After achieving perfect posture and alignment, begin your swing by bringing your club back and transferring weight to your right foot.
When your club is at a 90-degree angle, you can begin to make your swing.
Your hips and chest should do most of the movement.
When you strike the ball, your right shoulder and knee should have transitioned, with your right toes out and your left foot taking most of your weight.
While these are just the basics of what the experts can teach you, many other things will affect your game, the weather, the wind, the temperature, your clothing, to name a few.
You will also need to adjust your thinking when playing golf in the winter months
AND you will need focus and patience, if you want to keep improving your golf game.
By Ian Mullins