Golfing can be a wonderful and fun way to spend the morning. It can also be frustrating when you feel like you’re holding everyone up, and you can’t, for the life of you, get the ball to go where you want. Whatever reason you have for getting interested in improving your golf game, there are simple things you can do to get better faster and ensure that you are setting up good golf habits that will keep you improving for years to come.
Golf is a precision-based sport, and so practice is an important part of gaining golf skills. It is important as you practice that you do not put too much pressure on yourself to improve too quickly. Things like this take time. If you feel like you’ve gained nothing at all in a practice session, remind yourself of all the studies that explain how beneficial playing golf is for both your mental and physical health. Even if you feel like you didn’t get any better this time, you are still reaping the benefits of your time on the course or at the driving range.
Types of Practice
Before we get into the things you should be practicing as a newcomer to the sport of golf, we first need to highlight that there are actually two forms of practice. You will need both to feel yourself improving. The first form of practice is called focused practice. This type of practice involves repetition, the completion of the same shot, again and again, to build muscle memory and improve your consistency. This type of practice will increase the chances that you pull off what you practice when you’re playing.
The second form of practice is all-around practice. This is where you get a little experimental, trying out all the different clubs in your bag and all of the different types of shots. This form of practice is going to help you figure out where your strengths are and what type of shots apply to different scenarios. This practice will likely be highly informative of what you should be doing in your focused practices.
Everyone naturally has some flaws in the form of their swing. Some people put weight in the wrong places or don’t follow through enough. Whatever your swing flaw is, you can use some focused practice to work on correcting these habits before they’re too deeply ingrained.
If you are unsure of what your swing flaws are, do not assume you don’t have them. Ask an experienced player or a golf instructor for advice. You can also watch videos online of proper swings and compare what you see in a phone video of your own swing.
As a side note, stretching before playing golf is just as important as stretching for other physical activities. Especially when it comes to precision sports, you might find yourself unusually using a specific muscle while you practice. Besides this, stretching will help loosen up your muscles which will, in turn, affect your shot. It is because tight muscles limit your range of motion.
A common form of practice for beginners is to set yourself on hitting a specific distance consistently. Many driving ranges have markers in place to notify those practicing of the distances. As a general rule, the majority of golf shots fall somewhere between fifty and one hundred and fifty yards, so somewhere in this range is a good place to start.
Practice With Your Driver
The longest club in your arsenal is called the driver. This is the club that is going to let you hit the furthest, and because of this, can be especially difficult to hit with, consistently. Practicing hitting your driver better can have a huge impact on your overall game. In addition to helping you navigate through some tougher courses with a good score, developing consistency with your driver can result in some of the most satisfying hits.
Don’t Neglect the Psychological Aspects of Practice
Studies consistently show that one of the things that separate great athletes from mediocre ones is their mental states. Staying present and forgiving yourself for your mistakes are two of the most crucial elements in a successful athletic mindset. Without considering your mindset, you run the risk of burning out or developing negative feelings towards practice, resulting in less practice, and therefore, less improvement over time.
By focusing on the above things when you’re practicing golf, you can be sure that you will improve steadily. As with any skill, there will be days where you feel the improvement and days where you don’t. This is part of the process and it’s best not to beat yourself up about it.