Are you interested in starting to play golf? Maybe you have been tinkering with the game for a few years, but have struggled to hit the little white ball? Regardless if you are a beginner or have been playing for years, we have 5 golf tips that you need to read. They will help you enjoy your time on the course.
Back to Basics: Grip & Posture
Our first golf tip has nothing to do with your swing. Many amateur golfers make mistakes before they even start to take the club back.
When it comes to gripping the club, you have 3 options. You can use an Overlap Grip, an Interlock Grip, or a 10-finger grip. Most experienced players will use Overlap or Interlock, but choose the one that is most comfortable for you. Do you want to double-check if you are doing it correctly? Ask your local club pro or an experienced friend. They can glance at your grip and quickly tell you if you need to make significant changes.
Your posture is simpler, but equally as critical to your success. Feet should be slightly wider than shoulder-width. Bend slightly from the waist while keeping your spine straight. Your knees should be flexed. Your arms hang down. The next time you hit range balls consider these golf tips related to your posture.
2. Does Your Equipment Match Your Game?
Another golf tip that has nothing to do with your swing. It is important that you choose golf equipment that matches your ability.
The best example is the type of shaft you play. Shafts come in several different flex options: extra stiff, stiff, regular, senior, ladies. It is important that your shaft flex matches your swing speed or your clubs are working against you. The simple rule - the harder you swing, the stiffer your shaft should be. This is just one example of how your equipment needs to match your swing.
One more golf tip would be to purchase a set of clubs that matches your skill level. If you are a beginner or a high-handicapper you should research “game improvement” clubs. They are designed to be more forgiving and easier for you to hit. They will typically include hybrids instead of long irons.
As you probably already know, golf clubs can be expensive. You don’t need to rush out and buy all 14 clubs at once. To be honest, most casual golfers can enjoy the game with a reduced set of 6-8 clubs. We would recommend a driver, fairway wood, 4 hybrid, 6-iron, 8-iron, wedge, and putter.
The final golf tip related to your equipment has to do with carrying your clubs. Do you need a full-size bag for your set of clubs? We recommend you consider a Sunday Golf bag. They have been built for the casual golfer who enjoys the game but doesn’t take it too seriously. They hold 6-8 clubs, all of your golf essentials, and even have a frosted pocket for a couple of cold beverages.
3. Make a Simple Motion to Swing the Club
We don’t think swing tips are the way to go for online articles. They often get complex and hard to follow. The one golf tip about your swing that we think is important is “keep it simple”. At the end of the day, your goal is to hit the ball. No reason to talk about swing planes and shallowing out at the bottom.
Just a few ideas for you to try the next time you visit the driving range. Focus on posture and grip (first item above). While keeping your spine relatively still, rotate your left shoulder under your chin. Take a short pause. Now rotate through the ball by opening your hips and turning your shoulder. Always start your downswing with your lower body, not your arms. As Chubbs says in Happy Gilmore, “it's all in the hips”!
If you are just getting started, it will take some time to perfect this motion, but this is a simple golf swing that will produce quality golf shots. You will find that you do some of this nature and other parts will require your focus and practice. Ultimately, you want to find one swing thought that works for you; that you can rely on while playing on the course. Trust and confidence are key.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
Unfortunately, there are no “naturals” in the game of golf. No one picks up a set of clubs and fires a 72 the first time they play. It does not happen. There are no shortcuts. If you want to improve, shoot lower scores, and watch your handicap drop, you will need to practice.
This is the most critical golf tip on our list. We all have a busy schedule, so we recommend you make a plan. Do you have time to spend 1 or 2 hours a week practising? Make a commitment to improving and stick to the plan.
Don’t forget about your short game. The better you are at chipping and putting, the quicker you will improve. Invest at least 50% of your practice time in your short game. An inconsistent ball striker with a great short game will beat a solid ball striker with a poor short game every time.
Golf practice can be tedious to find a way to stay engaged. Invite a friend to the driving range and enjoy the camaraderie as you both work on your game. Develop putting games or challenges to keep you focused on the process.
5. Enjoy the Ride
Golf is a mental challenge. It can be extremely frustrating in the short-term. In order to be successful, you must remember that it is a marathon, not a sprint. As you start taking the game seriously, make sure you have reasonable expectations for your shots and your scores.
There are so many great quotes about the mental side of golf. Ben Hogan once said, “golf is played on a five and half inch course between your ears”. John Feinstein wrote a famous book about golf called “A Good Walk Spoiled”. PGA tour sports psychologist Bob Rotella has a best-selling book titled “Golf is Not a Game of Perfect”.
What is our point? Our final golf tip is that your mental game may be just as important as your physical swing. Many weekend golfers get frustrated early in the round and make themselves miserable before they even reach the back nine. This is no way to spend your day off.
Keep your perspective. Even when you play terribly, you’re spending 4 hours outdoors, getting exercise, and hanging out with friends. Your enjoyment shouldn’t be only based on what you shoot. Enjoy the experience. Enjoy the ride.
Focus on the next shot. The great thing about the game of golf is that an amazing shot or putt can come at any time. Don’t think about the bad shot you just hit - consider the great shot that may come next. Learn to stay positive on the course and you will get more from the game.
Are you ready to hit the course? Buy a large bucket at the driving range? Challenge a friend to a putting contest on the practise green? Regardless of how you do it, get out there and play the game of golf. Bring a friend. Get your kid started. Help grow the game.
Enjoy your days walking the fairways. Have fun with it. Play well.