5 Sure-Fire Ways to Improve Your Golf Game this Summer
You can find 101 articles online filled with suggestions on how to improve your put or your drive, but have you ever noticed that the information they provide is continuously differing? One will suggest altering your swing while the next suggests you should practice a complicated trick shot to land an otherwise simple drive on the green. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a handful of practical tips that guaranteed a better game?
What if there were five sure-fire ways to improve your game this summer? Well, there are. Check out these straightforward tips guaranteed to bring out you’re A game.
1. Control Your Breathing
The key to a perfect game of 18 holes is staying calm, cool, and collected. Everyone gets nervous before making a shot, even the pros, but learning to control your breath can be the difference between your ball landing in the rough and on the fairway.
If you’re wondering why a perfectly aligned shot isn’t heading straight for the target, chances are there’s too much tension in your swing. Try taking a slow, deep breath the next time you’re set up over the ball, calming your nerves and alleviating any stress. Then, exhale as you follow through with the swing.
It might not sound like much, but this simple step is crucial to sending the golf ball flying in a straight path. If you want to work on precision and aerial shots, then this tip is a game changer.
2. Stop Changing Your Swing
Dozens of articles will try to convince you to incorporate something different into your swing, but constantly changing things up is throwing your game off. Maybe you had a few bad shots and thought that fiddling with your swing is the answer. Well, think again.
The same swing that leads to a killer drive on the first few holes is what you want to stick with. Any pro will tell you that changing your drive after a botched hole isn’t the answer to perfecting your game. You should always strive to perfect your swing, but there’s a world of difference between perfecting and making major changes.
Everyone has a different swing, and hammering out the finer details of yours is one of the many keys to a staying under par. If you find something that delivers results, stick with it through the good and the bad. Don’t throw in a change of stance or try to imitate something you saw on the PGA Tour, just continue to work with your own brand of swinging.
3. Put More Often
It’s a cliché, but true nonetheless. The vast majority of golfers can improve their par simply by perfecting their putting technique. Sure, working on your swing is important, but those final few hits can make all the difference in the world.
The average 95 golfer putts 41 times during a round, but you could easily break 90 by dropping that number to 35 putts. Training on that final stretch can help you recover from a bad drive and even beat out those who are better off the tee. Think about it. Improving your drive to hit four more fairways only helps you improve by four shots, but bringing your putting technique down to just one or two strokes can seal a victory.
Now, practicing your putt technique is something that most golfers consider tedious and boring. That’s why you need to add in a game or drill to keep things exciting. If you have the determination to use one of those in-home putting aids, go for it. If not, find a way to work on your putt during the game that adds a little extra challenge or excitement.
4. Studying the Pros
Tiger Woods has been called the Babe Ruth of his generation of golfers. Just like you, though, Woods is never wholly satisfied with his game. He isn’t the longest hitter, the most accurate driver, or the best putter out there by a long shot, but his drive to continually improve is something that everyone can learn from.
Tiger was once ranked 47th in greens and 137th in putting. Each consecutive year, he has come back to forge his way to the top of the charts, gaining ground by the twenties. The man continually works on his weaknesses, but not at the driving range or putting green. Instead, he comes up with practice plan.
While there’s nothing wrong with following the crowd and working on your swings the old-fashioned way, having a plan in place gives you a route to success you can stick to. Start by writing down your weaknesses, then write down your end goals next to them. For instance, maybe it normally takes you four puts to sink the ball, but you would like to do so in two or less.
Next, plan out a series of practices that will improve your technique. Create a series of drills for putting, continually recording any repeated improvements. For driving, write down every aspect of your swing and see which specific parts can be tweaked without completely changing your go-to.
It’s tedious, yes, but this is how the pros become pro players in the first place as well as continue to top the charts. Whether you plan on teeing up against greats like Tiger or just want to show off to your friends, a solid plan is the only way to see continual, lasting improvement.
5. Break the Mold
You were taught how to golf a certain way, everyone was. You’ve read all of the golfing magazines, watched hours of live events, and even take the advice of your better golfer friends. Has any of that actually improved your game, though?
While all of that advice might be good, it may not be the right advice for your game. If you’re left wondering why your scores haven’t improved over the years, then it might be time to break the mold by setting aside your theories and assumptions.
The majority of golfers are told to keep their heads down, their left arms straight, shift their weight, so on and so forth. You’ve heard it all before, but none of it means a thing if it hasn’t improved your game. All that really matters are positive results.
With that in mind, move away from practicing the same old-same old and start implementing a results-based approach. Take everything you’ve heard over the years and start picking it apart by doing something different. Find out what works for your swing, your putt, and your game.
Your buddy might keep their left arm straight, but maybe you would benefit from bending just a little. Your father might have always turned his shoulders and hips a certain way, but that doesn’t mean the same approach is going to improve your drive. Run everything you know through the ringer with a long process of trial and error until you find which aspects are holding you back or helping you out.
Putting It All Together
The next time you head out on the green, run through the following steps on each and every hole to start improving your game. Make the adjustments you see fit, and don’t be afraid to experiment a little.
- Make a solid practice plan before ever heading to the course.
- Take a deep breath before each and every drive.
- Make the minor adjustments to your swing, tracking your progress as you go along.
- Take another deep breath for good measure, then swing.
- Continue making minor changes to your swing at each hole.
- Challenge yourself to sink the ball during your putt.
- After the game, write down anything that brought a continual improvement to your game.
- Keep working on your putting game at home.
If you keep up this routine for a few months, continually tweaking the finer aspects of your putt and swing, you will see incredible improvements in your game before the end of summer. Remember, make changes based on YOUR game, not someone else’s.
Secrets of Success
You’ve read a million articles on improving your game, but each one has more than likely tried to take your game and turn it into something it’s not. Instead of testing out a bunch of theories and assumptions, stick with these five sure-fire ways to actually improve your skills if you want to become the golfer you know you can be.
It isn’t about what so-and-so did on last week’s PGA opener. All it takes to improve your game is a change in your mindset, a proactive attitude to practice, and a little trial and error based on your current swing.