Learning how to swing your clubs in golf is pretty complicated, isn’t it? You end up so preoccupied with trying to remember the various swinging protocols, angles, and how straight you should be keeping your body that each game ends up different from the last. That would be great if your scores didn’t end up just as varied.
So, in this article, we’ll lay down the steps you need to know in order to consistently break 100 in your golf games, even if you are a beginner. These tips can even work for you if you’re having wrist or arm pain but still want to play.
Don’t Stand Too Close to the Ball
As in most sports, the secret to perfect shots lies in your form. The problem with golf instruction is that there seems to be a mess of forms to choose from, so how are you supposed to know which is right?
So long as you have a solid foundation for your stance you should be able to modify it according to your intended shot. The founding form you have shouldn’t have you too close to the ball. You can work out a good distance for your body from the ball by placing the top of the golf club grip on your front leg just above the kneecap. Where the head of the club is resting is where the ball should be.
This position should work regardless of what club you use. You might even find the pain you usually get from swinging disappears (depending on its cause) because you’re at the proper distance now.
Avoid the Obstacles
This sounds incredibly obvious, but many golf balls end up in the water or the sand traps because the golfer is focused on sending the ball as far as they can. Rather than trying that, focus on hitting shorter, but straighter tee shots to stay in bounds and out of unwanted hazards. Short irons and wedges are the best clubs to use when on these holes because they are easier to control.
This is also true regarding saving your shots around the green. Safe shots are better than trick shots and between the two are guaranteed to keep your score low. It will take practice to know which clubs should be used when.
One example to help you get started is to use your pitching wedge instead of a 60-degree club when you are just off the green and only 4 yards or so away from the hole. That will provide the lift you need at a short swing.
Finally, an area of avoiding troubles on the golf course that few golfers consider is sometimes choosing to try to land their ball beyond the flag.
Imagine a par 3 course where you have some sand traps or a pond in front and on either side of the green, but the area behind the flag is clear. The safest thing to do at that point is to aim the ball to land behind the flag where you know you’ll be safe.
Practice Sticking Your Finish
One of the greatest challenges for a golfer is to get the ball in the air to begin with because they tend to hit the ground first or send the ball up too high. This usually happens because the golfer is putting their weight on their back foot and leaning back to try to get a better angle on the ball.
However, by leaning on your back foot you lower the low point of your swing and end up hitting the turf and also open the angle of your club, sending the ball to high.
Instead of hitting off your back foot, try shifting your weight from your starting position to your front foot as you swing, while your back leg twists with your body. This is known as “sticking the finish,” and it tells your body to shift the pressure and weight of your body to your front foot for a better angle, better momentum, and better hit on the ball.
Aim According to Your Ball’s Flight Pattern
Each time you decide to use a driver, pay attention to where the ball goes as you make your shots consistent with your clubs, namely the driver. Aim for where your ball flight tends to go. If you aim straight, but the ball keeps veering from the left to the right, you should adjust your body in to account for it.
So if your ball veers to the right, adjust by moving your body over to the right and positioning yourself right on the tee. This will open the left side up for you and make the ball land closer to the middle of the fairway.
Aim Low on the Green
A lot of new players, when they reach the green, will often automatically reach for the pitching wedge and set their sights on the flag. While using pitching wedges on the green can produce great shots (we praised it in an earlier tip after all) it’s very hard to make consistent shots on it, and the green is really where you want to be able to predict where the ball will go. So if the pitching wedge isn’t working for you, try a 7-iron.
With your new club, you need to set your sights low. Meaning, don’t focus on the flag, because you’ll risk overshooting the ball. Instead, focus on landing the ball closer to you on the green. This tricks your body into making a shorter swing and will lead your ball to the flag, so long as the flag is downhill from you.
Inspect the Hole on the Green
When you make it to the green, one thing that many golf players fail to do is check to see if the green leading up to the hole from where their ball is, is uphill or downhill. This is important because it gives you a sense of how hard you need to putt the ball to get it closer to the flag. I know at this point you just want to sink the ball, but try to manage your expectations.
If you are facing a long putt, doing three putts is okay to do, not always, but in cases like these, absolutely. In an 18-hole round, 36 putts and under would be ideal. When you know whether the hole is uphill or downhill from you, let yourself do some practice putts without the ball to get the speed and stroke right.
Treat Par 4 Holes as Par 6 Holes
As you can see, a big part of golf involves having mind games with yourself. Never is that more true than this last tip. When you are faced with a long stretch with trees or hazards on either side of you, using a driver isn’t recommended, especially if your driver shots tend to lean to the left or right.
For these holes, you need a club that you can full shots at approximately 130 yards with. That might be a 7-iron or 8-iron for you. Then just pick your way down the course.
The worst-case scenario in being successful here is that you have a double bogey. Since par 4 holes are often the hardest holes on the course, that isn’t a bad score to end with.
There you have it! Now you can stop picking up your ball on holes. Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t quite break 100 after trying these steps for the first time. Like all things, it just takes a little practice, but you may find you break 100 much sooner than you would just by trying to copy the professionals.