Ten Top Golf Tips For Low Scores

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Ten Top Golf Tips For Low Scores

For many people, golf remains the hardest game in the world to master. Just when you think you've found the answers the game will turn on you. Whether you're a complete novice, the next Rory Mcilroy, or a club player who spends more time in the sand than David Hasselhoff, the following pointers are sure to help you shoot lower golf scores.

1. Take A Lesson

This is most important if you're a beginner. Even if it's one lesson, the quickest and most effective way to learn a golf swing is under the instruction of a Golf Professional. Usually your local Golf Pro is the best bet and will help you get the fundamentals right including grip, posture, swing plane, ball striking and other basics. Experienced golfers having swing problems can address issues they have by seeking the help of a good instructor.

2. Buy The Right Equipment For You

Unlike in other sports where everyone can easily be on a level playing field, golfing success can, to a certain extent, be affected by the quality and the suitability of the equipment you use. Nowadays, it's possible to get good quality clubs from leading makers like Callaway, Taylor Made, Titleist, Nike, Cleveland, Mizuno, Odyssey and Ping at reasonable prices but your budget will dictate whether you can afford the latest golf accessories. You also need to be comfortable with the clubs you're using so testing out different club lengths, shaft flex, grips and swingweight before you buy is essential.

3. Course Management

Thinking your way around the golf course is vital if you're going to turn bogies into birdies. Course management involves knowing how far you can hit each club in your bag and using the yardages on your score card to determine which shots to play.

Example 1: You stand on the first hole par 4. There's a large bunker 250 yards onto the fairway. You know that on average you can only hit your driver 250 yards so it's wise to take an iron off the tee or a 5 wood to avoid going into the trap because you're unlikely to be able to clear it.

Example 2: On a par 5 your tee shot ends up in the rough. Instead of going for the green on your second shot and compounding the error you decide to lay up and get in good position to chip onto the green with your third shot and still have the chance to make birdie. Going for the one in a million Seve Ballesteros trick shot is fun on a practice round but in most instances it's much safer to take your medicine and lay up.

4. Beware Of Bunkers

Bunkers strike fear into the hearts of many amateur golfers so it's best to steer clear of them if possible. However, although bunkers are a trap that are intended to penalise you for being inaccurate, it's still possible to play bunker shots well by hitting into the sand before the ball to take it cleanly out on a cushion of sand. The biggest mistake that many amateurs are guilty of is quitting on their bunkers shots which inevitably leads to large numbers. Like every other golf shot, bunker shots require that you follow through the ball cleanly and in doing so you won't be left flogging snakes.

5. Use The Weather

The conditions on the day you play will affect scoring and the type of shots you choose to play. On a windy day you should aim to hit the ball low to minimise the impact of the wind on your shots. If there's rain and the course is wet you'll get less run on the fairways and can use this to your advantage on the greens to stop the ball quicker on approach shots. Wet greens will also have less break on puts.

6. Pre-Shot Routine

By having a pre-shot routine you can develop consistency in the golf swing. This should involve standing behind the ball and visualising the shot you want to make. Find a target such as a tree line or a spot on the fairway and align yourself in the correct manner to the target, Grip the club firmly enough to keep control of the club but not so tightly that it will restrict a free-flowing swing. A good pre-shot routine also gives you something to fall back on when you are struggling, under pressure or simply having a bad round.

7. Swing Don't Hit

Time and time again you'll see amateur golfers and beginners tying to knock the spots off their golf ball or hitting fresh air shots in which they lose control of their balance because they're trying to hit the ball too hard. Power in the golf swing is generated by the body and shoulder turn, comparable to the coiling of a spring. By adopting the mentality to think of swinging the club and unwinding through the ball with the right momentum, as opposed to hitting with the arms, you'll get much better results.

8. Focus On Putting

Considering that more than 40% of the shots you play in a round of golf are likely to be puts it makes sense to develop a way of sinking them. As a beginner you should focus on getting the length or distance of your puts right. Then, even if you get the line slightly wrong you will still only leave yourself a gimme or an easier put than if you sail one through the green. The putting stroke should be like a pendulum in which you deliver the putter head through the ball squarely with a smooth and even back and through motion. As you become more advanced you can plumb line puts and learn to read the greens better but this will only come with experience.

9. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like with any sport, practice is critical for improvement and success, even more so in golf perhaps. A good place to start would be your local driving range and then to join a nearby club. Take every chance you can to practice with better players and your game should improve ten-fold if they can offer you some of their advice.

10. Play Within Yourself

The greatest golfer of all time Jack Nicklaus says, "Golf is a game where you have to understand yourself. You have to understand what your abilities are and you have to play within your own abilities. And if you get outside of that, that's when you get beat". Enough said.

The copyright of this article belongs to Martin Sleigh

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