30 Nov 2023
There’s more to golf than just putting the ball in the hole in as few shots as possible. It’s captivating, addictive, and offers a variety of physical, mental, and social benefits. Whether you’re playing a round at an inner-city course or at a picturesque country club venue, you can enjoy the wonderful scenery while spending quality time with friends and colleagues. Then, when you’ve completed your round, you could retreat to the comfort of the clubhouse for some well-earned refreshments.
Ultimately, all golfers have the same modus operandi – how to improve at golf. Whether it’s booking a lesson with a qualified PGA professional coach or spending more time on the driving range, here are five key tips that will help you become a better player and reduce your handicap.
You never stop learning in golf. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, or how long you’ve been playing, there are always new tips and tricks you’ll want to try out in a bid to become a better golfer.
It’s always worth remembering that the quest for golfing greatness is never-ending. With golf, you’re in it for the long haul. Whether you’re a 28 handicapper or playing off scratch, you can always keep improving, regardless of age, sex, or ability.
As Tiger Woods said: ‘No matter how good you get, you can always get better, and that’s the exciting part.’ We’re not promising to turn you into Tiger, but the following hints and advice could help you improve at golf and shoot lower scores.
Many amateurs throw money at new equipment in a bid to improve at golf and lower their handicap. While this tactic may work for some, it doesn’t address the underlying issue of the inherent flaws in their swing that the latest, expensive driver, can’t cure alone.
So, instead of spending a fortune on new golf gear, most amateur players would be better off using the money to book a block of lessons with a qualified coach and then taking those tips onto the practice range. You’ll notice an immediate improvement in your swing and the quality of your ball striking will also get better. If you’re still lacking the confidence to try out your new golf skills on an 18-hole championship course, you could always head to a fun par-three course specifically designed for beginners or golfers looking to sharpen up their short game.
The benefits of booking golf lessons include:
There’s no substitute for a good golf swing. Not even the best clubs money can buy will make up for dodgy posture, a poor grip, or a weak stance.
We’re not saying investing in decent clubs won’t make a difference to your game – it will. But, the only thing guaranteed to make the biggest difference is a reliable, consistent swing. And for that, you’ll need to put in the practice on the range and the course.
If you’re keen to up your golf game, follow these tips so you, too, can swing like a pro.
How you address the ball plays a vital part in a correct golf swing. Before you think about your backswing, you must check your balance – get this part wrong and your swing will fall to pieces.
You’ll need to maintain a steady centre of gravity with a solid base, while remaining flexible enough to move your arms and body through each stage of the swing. So, bend your knees slightly and place your weight on the balls of your feet. Then, point your shoulders and the club face at the target. Finally, begin your swing, remembering to transfer your weight from back to front while keeping your head down for as long as possible. Then practice, practice, and practice some more.
The tighter the grip, the worse the result. Most of the time, gripping the club too tightly ends in disaster. It’s a guaranteed way to fluff your shot.
Whether your ball’s in the fairway, rough, or the bunker, a light and loose grip will produce better outcomes than a tight grip. So, relax, loosen your fingers, swing, and see what happens. You’ll be amazed.
One of the biggest mistakes golfers make is trying to smash the ball out of the park. As tempting as this is, you should refrain from putting every ounce of muscle and energy into your swing. It rarely, if ever, works and you’ll probably miss your target by some distance.
Instead, try and swing with finesse and accuracy, and don’t attempt to hit the ball too hard. A well-timed shot takes less physical effort than your hardest swing, and most of the time the ball will still fly further and straighter.
It seems obvious, but keeping your eye on the ball will greatly improve the quality of the strike. We say this only because it’s so tempting to lift your head and stop looking at the ball during your backswing, resulting in an errant shot.
So, keep your head still and your eyes trained on the ball and you’re much more likely to swing the club smoothly and make cleaner contact.
Setting yourself goals in golf – both short term and long term – is a great way to shoot lower scores. Goalsetting helps you pinpoint the elements of your game you need to focus on and improve to bring your handicap down.
So, think about specific, measurable goals and write them down. Your aim could be to hit all par 3 greens in a round at your local course or find every fairway off the tee. Alternatively, you may have your heart set on another golfing milestone like breaking 90 for the first time. Having already set your goals, you’ll be able to review them every so often and track the progress you’re making to see how far you’ve come.
‘The harder I practice, the luckier I get’. So said legendary golfer Gary Player, and the meaning behind this well-used quote is obvious. If you want to improve at golf, practice, practice, and practice some more.
We’re not saying you need to hit 1,000 balls each day as many tour pros do, but spend as much time on the range as possible and keep working on your swing until everything feels ‘natural’.
When you’re on the range, make sure you mix up your routine, so change your clubs and your targets on a regular basis so you’re prepared for any eventuality when you head out onto the course. And remember that if you do hit a shank, quickly put it behind you and focus on making the next shot a better one.
If you don’t have the chance to practice every day, you may prefer to book a golf break at a luxury country retreat which often boasts several golf courses, driving ranges, and expert coaching. Not only that, but luxury golf venues often have extensive spa and leisure facilities onsite so you can relax and unwind after a hard day’s golf.
Booking lessons with a professional coach combined with lots of practice is the safe route to improving at golf. However, having the right equipment can also significantly improve your game.
It may be that your driver is too whippy and you need a stiffer shaft. Perhaps the loft on your wedges is too high for your type of swing. What if you’re a tall person and your irons are too short for your height, forcing you to stoop over the ball rather than address it naturally? Or it could be that you should be playing with a softer ball to help you hold more greens, especially when they’re firm.
So, if you’re not entirely happy with your clubs and equipment, consider visiting a professional fitter who will measure you up before deciding which clubs are best for you. It could make all the difference and shave a few shots off your next round.
At Foxhills, we offer expert tuition from our team of PGA Professionals for golfers of all ages and abilities. With three golf courses, a covered driving range, and superb facilities, Foxhills is the perfect place to improve your golf game. Book a tee time today.