Spring has sprung ... at least it seems to have finally arrived here in the mitten. As we enter the official "golf season" I thought I'd throw out some of the tips I use to drop my scores on the greens.
1. Treat Your Practice Sessions As If You're On The Course
The key to any performance is practice, right? It's no different in golf -- playing well on the golf course means rehearsing the same types of shots on the range. Choose a target, visualize your shot shape, and take a practice swing that emulates the shot you're trying to hit.
Yes, the range is a great place to warmup, but the range is also your best friend, a place to hit shots that don't count toward your score.
2. Alignment, Alignment, Alignment
Alignment on the golf course is the key to hitting the ball where you intend for it to go. For me, I try to find a leaf, mark, divot or marking to line up a few feet in front of my golf ball. (Trust me, it is much easier to get lined up to something three feet in front of you, than it is a 150' stake.) Don't forget this critical piece of your game when you are practicing!
3. Think About The Shot, Not How To Hit It
Wait, what does THAT mean? It's simple: take a look at your lie, find your distance, check the wind, choose a spot if you were to mis-hit. As you're playing this will allow you to hit great golf shots, and keep those pesky swing thoughts away.
4. Have A Plan
There is a time and place to mark all your putts, as well as read the green from all angle. All this allows you to take an extra practice swing. The plan I'm talking about is the one before you head out to play. Set your goals before you step foot on the course.
Here are a few great examples:
- I will hit ________ Fairways out of ________.
- I will hit ________ Greens out of ________.
- I will have ________ Putts.
Here's the kicker: set your goals high. Every golfer wants to play better -- make your goals measurable!
5. Play The Game One Hole At A Time
Four and half hours is a long time to be on the course. As much as the saying "time flies when you are having fun," rings true, we (as players) often forget the amount of time spent on the greens. One bad shot doesn't run the stretch any more than a poor stretch ruins the round, entirely. By setting your goals, you still have some room for achievement. Have a short memory, stay humble, and win one shot at a time.
Want to know more? I'd love to chat! You can find me via email, or online @RyanCErxleben (On Twitter and Instagram.)
Cheers and I hope to see you out on the course.