It is hard not to notice that most golf advice centres around the swing. I am not about to say that the swing isn’t essential. But it is, after all, only a part of the game. Many factors are involved in a round of golf, and many of them can affect you on the scorecard. One of the best non-swing-related ways to improve your game is to develop good habits and strategies. Golf is played in the mind, and many of your choices affect your mental performance. If you are second-guessing your choice of clubs, or you are tired from hauling a bag around, you are going to be a little less sharp. There are several things you can do to eliminate doubt and preserve your mental game.
- Golf Cart: There is no better way to preserve your energy than riding in a cart while on the links. You might be playing the game for exercise, and if so, maybe your score is less important. But otherwise, if you are rested when you walk up for your next shot, you will likely do better. For younger players, this might be as essential. Carts also speed up the game. So other golfers will be doing better too. A quick search on the Internet will show you several options for personal golf carts for rent. Having your own cart will help your overall routine by starting each round with the same setup.
- Consistency: Poor golfers are erratic; they fail to commit to a routine. If you ever hear a guy say something like, ‘I am going to try such and such a club for this shot.’ You can be sure that the following shot will be less than impressive. You are much better off overusing a club than using every stick in the bag. It would help if you also walked up to every shot, put the ball on the tee, and prepared to swing the same way, every time. You should also wear the same type of clothes and try to play the same course as much as possible. When you can control as many variables as possible, you will free your mind for visualization. And in golf, visualization is magic.
- Defence: High scores come from taking chances. Defensive golf is playing it safe, it’s not glamorous, but an extra shot now and again beats going out of bounds or in the water.
- Keep it Low: Whatever it is that makes you hit your ball sky high, stop it. You can’t control those high loping shots unless it’s a chip. And when you are near the green, do everything you can to keep the ball low. Opt to putt whenever possible and learn to putt with a three-iron when the fringe is troublesome.
A lot of getting good at golf is just getting to know yourself and mastering your tools. Every time you step up to the ball, you have a lot of options. But it would help if you made the same choices over and over. At least until you know, that isn’t working. Protect your mind so you can visualise, and then let the muscle memory take it from there.
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