Whether you play golf as a fun way of catching up with friends at the weekend or you play a serious game in the hope of qualifying for the Masters, you will at some stage come to the realisation that your game is stuck, that you need to improve but don’t know how.
Let us take you through a few of those niggling things that can affect your game and maybe give you some hints about how you can improve.
You never get further than the driving range
Now, whilst driving ranges are undoubtedly a good thing for time-pressed golfers, if you spend all your golfing time on one you are never going to improve your overall game. A driving range is great for practising your swing and, if you’re lucky, for getting help or tuition from any passing pro. But the main problem is that you will be doing the same thing every time with no variation. Not only will it become boring but you won’t get to practise those shorter master shots which are the ones you win games with.
You’re not wearing the right clothes
By this we are not talking about wearing the latest labels although if you want to kit yourself out in head-to-toe Versace that’s entirely up to you. What we mean is this – wearing the correct clothing that’s specially designed for the game of golf can make a great deal of difference in how you play. Proper gear is essential for any activity; you wouldn’t go hiking in dress shoes and a dinner jacket would you? Wearing proper, non-restrictive gear can affect how you feel and greatly improve your comfort. Not only will you look smart in some Galvin Green clothing but wearing something like a Galvin Green waterproof jacket will keep you dry and comfortable when it’s pouring down so that you can keep your mind on the game.
Your eyesight may be under par
This may seem like a fairly trivial point especially to those who don’t wear spectacles but bear with us. Many people, particularly as they’re getting older, neglect their eyesight and don’t notice things becoming a little blurry or more difficult. So it goes without saying that a check-up at the optician’s could help to pinpoint any discrepancies in your eyesight. Let’s face it, 20/20 vision is a pretty big plus point when it comes to improving your golf game.
Get the stance right
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, everyone is capable of falling into lazy habits when it comes to their golf stance. The most basic thing any golfer learns is the ‘foot anchor’. The way you place your driving foot is the key to how much power you can get into your swing. So make sure your foot is firmly anchored behind the ball while you make your shot. At the same time keep your leading elbow close to your hip to increase the drive. Most importantly, whilst you’re doing all this, relax and breathe evenly. If you’re too tense your swing will be uneven so relax the shoulders, arms and hands, balance the body, pause slightly at the top of your backswing and if you do all this you will create a faster swing and a longer, more accurate drive.
Be in the right state of mind
People retreat to the golf course for lots of reasons, relaxation, getting away from family or work concerns or simply to spend time networking. Your reasons for being there and your state of mind can have a big impact on the quality of your game. It goes without saying that if you’re stressed out, or feeling less than chipper, then your golf game is going to suffer. We’re not saying that you should spend time with a Zen master before hitting the green but leaving your stresses behind in the office where they belong goes a long way to increasing your enjoyment of the game.
Having previously mentioned about getting your stance right, it has to be said that over-thinking things can be just as detrimental as not taking care of how you take your swing. So once you’re confident you have the basics right then trust in yourself. Over-thinking and over-analysing can just lead to tension and insecurity. Quietening the mind and relaxing the body will give you more control, not less, over your game.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
If you’re one of those ultra-competitive types who beats themselves up before, during and after a game then you’re never going to improve. It’s easy to keep berating yourself after every bad shot but this can become perpetually self-defeating. Praise yourself for the good shots and don’t be afraid to learn from others.
The right club helps
The term ‘golf club’ has two separate meanings. One of course refers to the equipment you use on the golf course and the other to the place you retire to after the game to celebrate, drown your sorrows or commiserate with your buddies. In both instances though the clubs you choose can influence your enjoyment of the great game of golf.
Buy the best clubs you can afford and before you do so take as much professional advice as you can. The best clubs are what’s known in the trade as ‘forgiving’. This means that these clubs are designed and made in such precise way that they can reduce the effects of a poor swing and can lessen some of the most common mistakes made by amateur and pro golfers alike. That’s why modern golf clubs are designed with, for example, larger club-heads, greater weight set deeper in the club-heads and thicker top-lines.
Finally, with reference to the other type of club, the nineteenth hole, choosing the right one is essential. If you join a club where you are made to feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in any way this will negatively affect your game. Don’t just plough on in the hope that things will get better. Instead, join a club you can feel at home in and you’ll soon start to see improvements.