How to be better at golf? Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts, but with right practices and drills and you focusing on the right things, you will get the most out of your game. You can watch videos from youtube, and then go to practice range but doing this you will not far, not without focusing on common weak areas of the average golfer.
So, what a typical golfer needs to develop to be a better golfer? In the end, all comes to four things. You need to practice better, you need to handle the mental side of the golf, you need to have a consistent golf swing, and you need to improve your putting skills.
How to practice golf better?
Some of us might have a lot of time to use for golf, but most of us golfers need to go to the work at least 8 hours of the day, and this will highly impact to time you can use for playing and practicing golf. That is why it is crucial when you go to the practice area, your practices are preplanned, and you entirely focus on your practice session. If you are having a bad day, go home do something else and try on the next day again with a better mindset.
You need to understand the importance of the short game and most of your practice time should focus on this. Practice a lot your wedge shots, chipping and putting. If you like more playing golf than practicing golf (like many of us do), include the practicing session into your golf round. Hit two or three times from the tee-box, hit few extra wedge shots after a good drive and when you are close to the green, you can hit few extra chip shots. Of course, you cannot do this practice if you need to get a correct stroke count from your golf round.
Practicing during the golf round is more fun than practicing in driving range or other practice areas. The course conditions around you like slopes, grass length, etc. changes during the practicing while playing. When you are in the driving range, you always hit the same spot, and in the end, this will not develop you as a player as much than practicing during the round hitting three shots only in place.
Mental game in golf
I huge part of the mental game in golf what you do when you have made a mistake. It is the same as in work. When you make a mistake, the most important thing is how you solve the problem and what you learn from it. If you make the same mistake again and again, it is called stupidity, or in golf, an awful score.
Most of the time the mistakes you made in your golf round are psychical, not physical. You know you can trust your golf swing, but something happens during your golf round. The lousy swing or bad contact to ball comes from the idea that you need to try something new or you weren’t fully committed to your swing. This can even happen for tour players.
Golf mental toughness is something you can train, but you need to put yourself in situations which will increase your mental strength. A good meter for measuring mental toughness is to follow how the golfer finishes his or her golf swing under pressure. A good thought for me under pressure has been only thinking about the finishing position, everything else should be in muscle memory, and then I swing away.
So, an excellent mental exercise for your next golf round could be this finishing position drill. Before every full golf swing think about your perfect finishing position and then swing away and try to stay in finishing position five seconds after the golf shot. Also, focus on the positive sides of your game and if you hit a terrible shot, analyze it, learn it and forget it.
Many pro golfers also hire a mental coach, but you can find some ideas from golf mental game books, and probably one of the best is Fore the Mind – The Mental Program for Golf by Troy Bassham. You can find his Fore the Mind book on Amazon (link).
If you are more interested in the mental side of the golf, please check Dr. Bob Rotella’s ten great tips in his blog post (link to Golf Digest).
Build a consistent golf swing
Consistency is a key to low numbers. Your golf swing might have a draw or fade bias, but it does not matter. What matters is your golf swing always has the same bias. When you know your natural ball trajectory and shape, which most of the time is fade (like it is for most of the average and beginner golfers) you can trust your golf swing during your golf round.
You can build consistency to your golf swing by always using the same pre-shot routine, set-up, backswing, downswing and finishing position. If you are not happy with some of these golf swing parts, please practice every fundamental one by one, not everything at same time. If you are trying to focus everything at the same time, nothing will improve. So, stay patient and give yourself time.
You can find more swing tips from these posts:
Improve your putting
If your scorecard shows after the golf round a total of 72 strokes in a PAR-72 course, you have played an ideal round. In theory, this means 50% of your shots have been putts, but in real life, around 40% to 45% have been putts, because there typically are few chip shots and birdies. But anyway, the putter is the most used golf club in your bag. And if you want to make better results on the golf course, an excellent place to start is to increase your putting skills.
To get better with putting needs practicing, a lot of it. You need to build a putting practice routine for yourself and go to the practice are before every round or during your practice session. Also, you need to have a good putting fundamentals; your left eye is always on top of the ball (btw. You can check this by using a mirror), you have a great putting grip and posture, and when putting you always accelerate thru the golf ball during the impact moment.
Focus on the putts which length is more than 10 feet and pay particular attention to putting speed control. Because many of us are average golfers, we found ourselves often in distances like this. If you train over 10 feet putts and you start to sink those, your score will improve a lot, and if it does not sink, you have an easy short putt, and you can continue your golf round without a bogie in your scorecard.