Are you one of those players that can do well on the driving range, practice green, and then when it comes time to play the course, it’s like you didn’t practice at all?
It was for me, but over the years I’ve picked up a few things here and there. So if you’re new to the game and are looking for just a few tips to help you on the course, I’ve got a wide range below.
As a fellow beginner/intermediate golfer myself, I’ve compiled some words of wisdom and tips to share, in hopes it will help you out, as they have for me.
You’ll also notice I didn’t cram a bunch in this post, and I did that on purpose. It can be overwhelming trying to remember tips for every shot, or every possibility. I cover everything from driving to putting, so hopefully, you can start slow, and work your way up.
Tip #1 – Mental Golf Mastery
As you probably know, the mental game is just as important as your skill set on the golf course.
Here’s a simple drill to reduce golf swing tension (so you hit the ball further!)
Does this sound like you?…
You feel a lot of tension in your golf swing and you try to tell yourself to relax but the harder you try to do this the tenser you become.
If this does sounds like you the first piece of advice is to not “try.”
Because trying creates tension in your golf swing so cut that “trying” out first because it’s costing you distance and accuracy.
Next you should go out to your driving range and simply hit balls while humming quietly to yourself. When you’re doing this focus on your humming and notice if it stops or changes pitch at any time during your golf swing.
Just keep hitting balls focusing on your humming with the goal of swinging without the hum changing pitch or volume from the moment you start swinging to the end of your golf swing. But please don’t “try” to achieve this. Simply keep swinging and focusing on your humming, and soon without you noticing the “whys” or “hows” your golf swing will become more rhythmical and less tense.
Once your golf swing is more in tune with your natural rhythm you want to keep it that way. Do this by having a few golf swings each day while quietly humming to yourself. Doing this will help you to have a golf swing with less tension and consequently, you’ll hit the ball further and more consistently.
Tip #2 – How to Drive Farther
Breaking out your driver should be a feeling of comfort, not one of trepidation. Here is a tip on getting the most out of this very important club. To get the most power in your backswing you…
…need to wind your shoulders up as much as possible against your hips, which should be restricted in their turn.
The more torque you create between your shoulders and hips, the more power and distance you’ll get.
Now your backswing should start with your big muscles, namely your shoulders, arms, hands etc. and your hips should not move for as long as possible.
Once your shoulders and arms get to a certain point your hips will have to move, but again this should happen as a result of your shoulder turn and not before.
Your shoulders should always turn more than your hips and for this to happen you must start your backswing first with your shoulders until they pull the hips to a start. This is nothing that you want to consciously do but something, which you can train to happen, and here’s how….
Grip halfway down the shaft of a club with the butt-end resting against your sternum, and move your arms and shoulders as far as you can without turning your hips. That is the point in your golf swing when your hips should start turning, not before.
Another good way to rehearse the correct turning sequence is to sit in a chair and swing your arms and turn your shoulders as far as you can. Eventually there comes a point where your hips won’t let you turn any further – this will vary depending on your flexibility – and again that would be the point in your golf swing when the hips should begin to turn.
Your shoulders must move faster than your hips as you start your backswing because they have further to turn. And for your shoulders and hips to be in sync you must do what has been described because otherwise if you let your hips turn too soon in your backswing you’ll be all out of sync in your backswing and the rest of your swing will be history.
Alignment is also key to driving your ball farther down the fairway. Here’s a simple task to check your alignment…
To do this golf alignment exercise setup to a golf shot as normal and get comfortable. Then just before you’re ready to hit your shot, get two golf balls, and without moving your feet place them directly behind your heels so they’re touching your feet. Now take your feet away and go back behind your ball down the line of your target and see how good your alignment was. At this point, you should be looking down the course towards the flag, with the golf balls.
The beauty of doing this golf alignment exercise is that it shows you exactly where you are aligning your feet and then you can simply change the golf balls so they align correctly and then setup with these balls touching your heels. If your feet have been aligned incorrectly for a while then it will feel quite strange when you align them correctly. But keep practicing and before long, your new feet golf alignment will become second nature.
You’ll hit longer shots…and straighter too!
Tip #3 – How to Improve Your Chipping
A while ago I was reading an article online, which had research that shows the average distance golfers miss the green is 6 to 8 yards from the edge of the green.
Now for most pitch shots you want the ball to land a couple of yards from the edge of the green, and then let the ball run the rest of the way to the hole.
So knowing this can help you tremendously to lower your score… and here’s how:
Find a grassed area where you can practice pitch shots up to 30 yards in distance.
Then get about 50 balls ready to hit. Then place an object 9 yards away from you that you’re going to try to land your ball on.
Now I want you to get out the following clubs:
– 7 iron
– 9 iron
– Pitching Wedge
– Sand Wedge
– 60 Degree Wedge (if you have one)
Then I want you to play each shot with a different club, trying to land the ball on the 9 yard marker.
When you get proficient at doing this, then go to a practice green and find spots about 7 yards from the edge of the green.
Play shots with the appropriate club to land the ball a couple of yards on the green and let it run to the hole.
If you get really good at this ONE length of pitch shot, you’ll save yourself a lot of shots around the greens, AND…
You’ll be using your practice time wisely!
This can only help to lower your scores because when you can hit your chip, pitch and bunker shots close to the hole consistently you’ll save so many shots it’s not funny.
Tip #4 – How to Improve Your Pitching Contact
Everyone knows how important the short game is, but here’s some stats that may surprise you…
From 30 yards pros get up and down about 46% of the time. Whereas a 10 handicap golfer only gets up and down around 11% of the time, and a 30 handicapper only gets up and down about 3% of the time.
That’s not good!
So the moral of the story boys and girls, is… improve your short game and your scores will drop!
But one of the biggest factors that prevents this has to do with contact on the short shots.
Because if you fat or thin your short game shots, then the ball is going to either go too far or too short, leaving you a long putt or, heaven forbid… another chip!
So today I want to give you one simple tip that will help you improve the percentage of contact on your short shots.
What I’m about to share with you is completely contrary to what you’ve heard about the short game.
You see, the common advice with the short game is to put most of the weight on your left side (for right-handers) at address and hit down on the ball.
Think about it… that’s ok for a professional or the golfer who practices a lot because by doing this your contact has to be very precise. If you’re making a short stroke and hitting sharply down on the ball and your contact point is slightly off, then you’ll stub the club in the ground causing a fat shot, or you’ll hit the ball above the middle causing a thin shot.
So for most golfers, I suggest that when they setup to a chip or short pitch, they keep the weight fairly even at address and the ball in the middle of the stance.
Once setup like this, then I get them to make a much shallower backswing and follow-through. So it’s much more of a sweeping motion than an up and down motion.
Imagine a shallow U rather than a sharp V action.
This is a lot different than what is commonly taught, but for most golfers, it gives better consistency and a much higher margin for error. Because the club is moving much lower to the ground, you can miss-hit the ball and it’s still possible to get a good result.
You’ll hit less fats and thins with this approach.
Tip #5 – More Tips in Pitching & Confidence
Many, many golfers have problems with chipping and pitching, and a lot of it comes down to confidence.
So without any further ado, here are some tips and advice to help you get the ball closer with your short game shots…
Pitch shots in the 20 – 50-yard range are tricky.
You need to have a good feel for the distance required before you hit the shot, otherwise, you’ll have a lack of confidence over these shots. And a lack of confidence over a golf shot is a killer.
So here’s a way to improve your feel and confidence on these pitch shots.
Go out to a practice green, or even in your backyard, and spend five minutes or so tossing balls underhand onto the practice green, or to a set target at home.
Doing this will help your rhythm and tempo when you go to pitch a ball, because the tempo and rhythm used to toss a ball should be similar to the tempo and rhythm required to hit good pitch shots.
When you are underhand tossing the balls you should be aware of how your hand adjusts to produce different trajectories and distances.
So, experiment and toss the ball at different trajectories and from different distances away from your target. Feel and notice the difference in your actions. After underhand tossing balls for at least 5 minutes, then hit some pitch shots from the distances you’ve been at.
Tip #6 – How to Putt Better
Below is a very important tip that will help you improve your putting. And as you know, anytime you improve your putting, your scores drop.
There’s times when you’re about to putt and you just feel that you’re going to hole the putt. You can’t describe why you feel that way, but you do. For most of us, that feeling does not come often enough.
But you can make that feeling happen more and more, and I’m going to explain how.
Now if you run across a really good putter you’ll find that they almost hole everything. If the ball doesn’t go in it will be very close to going in.
And if you got in their head you’ll find that they are trying to make everything they look at.
They don’t have thoughts about 3 putting or anything negative like that. Instead, they are focused on doing whatever is necessary to hole the putt.
Great putters believe they can hole every putt.
Do they hole every putt?
But they believe they can.
And just because they miss some putts, it doesn’t stop them from thinking the next one is going in.
However, you just can’t go thinking before every putt…
“I’m going to hole this putt… I’m going to hole this putt…. I’m going to hole this putt.”
Because if you do that and you miss then you’ll quickly lose confidence and belief in your putting. But you can do the same type of thing without negative consequences when you miss it. To do this you simply have to add two words to a positive statement and those two words are…
I don’t know what you say to yourself when you get the feeling you’re going to hole the putt. It might be something like…
I’m going to hole this putt.
This ball is going in the hole.
And like I said… if you were to say that before each putt, you would quickly get discouraged when you miss. But if you add the words ‘it’s possible’ to statements like that, then you can use them before each putt to help you be more confident in your putting. For example, before every putt, you could say…
It’s possible I’m going to hole this putt.
It’s possible this ball is going in the hole.
See, every putt you face has the possibility of going in. So use that possibility to build up your confidence and belief every putt. If you do this and make it a habit then you’ll be a better putter long term.
Final Tip – Swing Speed Challenge
Just found a very interesting golf swing test…
Just found an amazing golf swing discovery…
In my travels across the Internet, I came across a website that has a unique golf swing test. This golf swing test was created to see if us golfers have a single swing fault that is stopping us from hitting the ball further, straighter, and more consistently.
Apparently if you have this one swing fault it could be costing us up to 50 yards in distance.
Anyway, I’ve taken the golf swing test and it was very enlightening. You can do the same by going here or click the button below.
Conclusion of Golf Tips
You’ve heard the saying “drive for show, putt for dough.” The tips above cover a wide range of things but make sure you’re practicing your short game as much as your hitting the driving range. At first, a lot of things will feel mechanical, and you’ll have a ton of tips and tricks going through your head as you start your backswing. But as you continue practicing and playing, they’ll become second nature and that’s when the real improvement begins to take shape. It’s nothing but pars and birdies from there on out!