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Play your best round of Golf

Updated on May 26, 2013

Play your best

The game of golf is a growing sport and industry but the game is difficult and costly, so when you endeavor to play, play your best. There are literally hundreds of thousands of self help books, tools and lessons available to burgeoning golfers. To sort through the clutter this hub is being created to give you some tips and a starting point for you golfing introduction.

Whether new to the game or an avid golfer there are ways to maximize your potential. Many golfers languish for years shooting in the high 90's or 100 plus. This can be frustrating and lead to less rounds or even a stoppage in play. To avoid this follow a few simple steps.

Lessons

Before you start or play your next round consider speaking with a professional instructor or at least reading an instructional book. The PGA of America has over 7500 professionals worldwide that manage resorts, courses, and teach the fundamentals of the game. Ad to this thousands more teachers not a part of the PGA of America and you should have no problem finding some help.

For the self starter and even those that may seek out lessons, reading a book on the fundamentals of golf can build a proper foundation for your game. In my humble opinion the tried and true Ben Hogan's Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf is one of the best tools a new or growing golfer can have. Five Lessons covers everything you need to know about the game in order to play well,

  1. The Grip
  2. Stance and Posture
  3. The First Part of the Swing
  4. The Second Part of the Swing

once you understand these fundamentals the sky is the limit.

Practice

With the fundamentals in your mind find a range either at a local course or local driving range business. Once there make sure you practice the fundamentals and don't just bang large bucket after large bucket. Repetitive swinging at balls does not make a better golfer. Hit them with a purpose, the purpose of teaching your mind and body to hit the ball with the proper usage of the fundamentals.

Once you groove a swing using proper grip, stance, posture and swing motion you can start competing with yourself by picking out targets and distances. As an example, basketball players have shooting games like horse and around the world. Every great player competed in these games to improve their actual play. Many ranges have target greens, nets and the like to make practice more fun.

Tempo, Tempo, Tempo. With the fundamentals in place making a well grooved swing the most important additive is tempo. Proper tempo must be in place in order to learn your distances, (how far you hit each club). Without finding your best tempo you will never be able to learn how to control trajectory and distance. Most high handicap golfers swing with too much tempo getting the moving parts, (arms, legs and torso) out of sync thus hitting poor shots and never improving. A good method to learn tempo is to count in your head like a metronome. Swing back with you arms and torso til you reach your maximum turn then back through counting 1, 2, 3,4.

  1. to the top of your backswing
  2. transition down
  3. striking the ball
  4. follow through to a good finish

Once you have this down make sure you practice putting and chipping, most strokes gained or made up occur in the short game and it is the most important aspect of reaching really low scores.

Playing

Once you get to the course for your round remember your fundamentals and if time allows hit a few balls at the range. This will give you the foundation you need to go to the first tee with confidence.

IF you followed through with all of the above hitting fairways and greens should come easy. Their will be an errant shot hear and there, no one, not even Tiger Woods hits every shot flush. Most pro golfers will tell you they hit more shots a little off than they hit flush. When you miss a shot, no matter how bad, stay calm and recover. Anger and frustration can be a golfers worst enemy. When these struggles occur do a mental check of your fundamentals and make sure your Tempo has not changed. Show me a bad golfer and I'll show you someone who over swings trying to do more than they can.

Do these things to start, once you start to improve there will be more in depth learning but for now get the basics and enjoy the game. Golf rewards hard work and dedication and will become a lifelong endeavor. It can teach you patience, good behavior and increase your tolerance for life's little problems. Enjoy the game and swing away.



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