Golf can be infuriating. The good news is that the worse you are, the easier it is to improve. If your typical score after 18 holes is upwards of 120, you can shave 20 or more strokes off your round by learning basic concepts for a better golf swing.
Follow these tips for learning how to consistently break 100 and make your round of golf more than just "a good walk spoiled." Try some of these tips suggested techniques and you'll improve your swing in no time, and see your number of strokes on the decline.
- Set Your Mind. Before you can actually play well, you need to commit yourself to the idea of playing well. You have to focus on your golf swing. That doesn't mean be uptight. In fact, you'll play better if you're a little loose. It just means you can't let your playing partners or surroundings distract you. Visualize what you want the ball to do before you hit it. When addressing the ball, think of only one thing. It can be anything, but always keep it the same, and keep thinking it throughout your swing. The mantra I use is "head down," because you should...
- Keep your head down. One of the best golf swing tips is to keep your head down. When playing, many of us lift our head to watch the ball in flight before we've even hit it. If you keep your head down, you force your eyes to stay on the ball, thus dramatically improving your chances of hitting it flush. The impetus from our swing and the urge to see where the ball will go is strong. Overcome the urge by recognizing it prior to every shot. Tell yourself, "Ok, I'm going to want to lift my head. Don't." If you're still raising your head, give your playing partner the assignment of watching your ball. That way you never have to look for it, you can keep your head down, and can watch the clubface striking the ball.
- Shorten your swing. Here is some more golf swing help: the longer your back swing, the more room for error. Minimize the chance of your club straying off a good swing path by shortening the arc from the start of your swing to the moment of impact. A back swing of slightly past perpendicular (when the end of your club shaft is pointed toward the ground) will deliver plenty of momentum while minimizing movement, which makes it easier to remain balanced. Don't worry; shortening your back swing will not cut your distance, and even if it does, 220 yards down the middle is preferable to 250 yards into the woods.
- Chip-and-run. Inside 30 yards, you can pitch or chip. Your aim with a pitch is to fly the ball most of the way and land it soft, with little roll to the hole. Your aim with a chip is to shoot the ball on a low trajectory and land it hard, typically an easier shot to execute. To chip-and-run properly, use a 7-iron and choke down on it. Cock your wrists forward; they should not break from that position and your elbows should not bend. Swing only with your shoulders. Take a short, slow back swing, and bring the club head back through the ball, never decelerating, to a short follow-through. And oh yeah -- keep your head down.
- Lag. Poor golfers putt three or more times per hole. Lagging ensures you get your first putt close enough to the hole to make it a near given that you sink your second. To lag, do not aim directly at the hole, but at an area three feet in diameter around the hole. This approach might preempt you from one-putting, but it also cuts out all of your four-putts and nearly all of your three-putts. Do four things: keep your head down; move your putter with your shoulders, not your wrists; take the putter back a very short distance; and follow through, keeping the stroke speed consistent from start to finish.
If you practice these good habits, you'll find they become instinctual and you can then devote yourself to really fine-tuning your game.