How To Get Better at Golf
You’ve probably asked yourself is it even possible, or should I just try and figure this golf thing out all by myself? The truth is it’s not possible to play better golf or perform a consistent golf swing without some form of lessons.
However, you can make significant improvements just by understanding some proven golf swing basics and fundamentals that any golfer can learn and implement.
But it is not compulsory for any golfer to take lessons and indeed only 15% of golfers seeks professional instruction. There are also a number of examples, including two-time Masters Champion Bubba Watson, of players who have never had a lesson and clearly have done just fine.
We have put together a list of 5 of the best ways to get better at golf without taking lessons.
Tip #1: Spend 80% of your practice time on short game
I know it probably doesn’t sound very appealing, but you need to find a chipping motion that is repeatable and dependable. We need to eliminate the big numbers and save pars by chipping every short game shot within 10 feet. So how do you do this? We would recommend spending just 30 minutes a day practicing chipping.
Whether this is at the practicing putting green at your local course, chipping balls towards a bucket in your backyard or chipping ping pong balls around your house – we need to find a way to help you get comfortable with the wedge in your hand.
Tip #2: Expect the Unexpected. Work on Changing Your Mental Approach
You do not need to tell any golfer who has played the game for any length of time that it can play havoc with the mind. Golf is hard and arguably the hardest sport mentally for players to play.
Not only does every shot count without exception but the scoring system, which sets a ‘scoring par’ on each hole, means that the average golfer has to face up to having ‘failed’ on almost every hole.
“Golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half inch course … the space between your ears … No-one ever had golf under his thumb. No round will ever be so good it could not have been better. Perhaps this is why golf is the greatest of games. “Bobby Jones”, 7 Time Major Champion.
Aim to get better at accepting that you will hit bad shots every round and you can improve simply by getting better at not beating yourself up over a bad shot.
Tip #3: Train for Speed to hit the ball further
The reality is that the closer your approach shot, the closer you will hit it to the pin. The analytics do not lie, the shorter the approach close, the closer you will be to the pin on average. What if you could gain 20-30 yards of distance from training 10 minutes every other day. Let’s do some simple math. Let’s assume your current swing speed is around 100 miles per hour. If you now increase that by 6% and are swinging a driver at 106 miles per hour. You will about a 15 yard increase in driver distance. Those 15 yards made a major difference. Now add this up over the round and you are hitting the greens more often and having shorter putts for birdie. It is truly a game changer.
Tip #4: Have a Course Strategy
As you arrive at each hole, have a game plan to keep the ball in play and to be around the green in regulation. Depending on your current ability level you strategy will vary.
If you are a 90s golfer, the goal should be just to be around the green in regulation. Keep the ball in play off the tee, get the ball around the green and try to save par 40% of the time. We know you are going to hit at least 4 greens in regulation and this leaves about 14 greens where you have a chance to get up and down for par.
If you can do this 6 out of 14 times, and you two putt when you hit the green in regulation, you should found a way to make 10 pars. Let’s assume two double bogeys somewhere in there and we have you at around 82 for your score. If you played with that formula, do you think you might be able to make this happen? Sounds pretty reasonable to me.
Tip #5: Be Exact with Your Own Golf Stats
If you are keen to improve your game you need to know what the weaker areas of your game are so that you can quickly focus on addressing them.
To do that a rough recollection of how you think you played during your last round and a general idea of how far you hit each club is not good enough. You need to be clear on what you need to focus any practice sessions on and know how far you hit every club in your bag to help you decide on the right club on the course.
Thankfully technology again makes these things easier now. There are lots of golfing apps, many of them free, which will let you simply track your high-level stats and quickly identify what are the weakest parts of your game that you need to work on.
Always remember the main goal is always to enjoy the game and have some fun and just because you are potentially putting in some extra practice doesn’t mean you can’t add a bit of fun to that as well.