Golf is one of the more technical sports around. Sometimes golfers are guilty of making things a little more complicated than they need to. Between MOI, Pull Draws, and Snowmen, you can understand why non-golfers could think we’re speaking a different language at times. It’s easy to forget that golfers share a common yet relatively simple goal; getting the ball into the hole in the least shots possible. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at a few simple but effective quick fixes that you can add to your game to help bring your score down.
Tee shots: Stop Overthinking
The first tee shot might be what’s on your mind while lying in bed the night before your morning round. Golf is a game you should play shot by shot, aiming to focus on the task at hand and forgetting the bad shots you’ve made. That’s easier said than done, and the psychological impact of a poor tee shot can set the tone for the entire round.
So what’s the best way to improve your chances of a making good tee shot? One of the easiest tricks to implement is to try and keep things as simple as possible. This means putting less technical thought behind the shot and focusing more on practical thoughts.
If this is something you struggle with, try to get all your technical thinking done on the range or during your pre-round warm-up. When you stand over the ball for your tee shot, you should be thinking about where you want to ball the end up, not worrying about swinging it correctly.
The same applies to how you’re getting the ball up on the tee. If you’re unsure about the correct height to tee the ball, it’s worth investing in some tees with pre-set heights for driver and irons. There’s plenty of great golf tees around for a reasonable price, and you’d be surprised by the confidence you’ll gain knowing that you’ve teed the ball correctly.
Poor Ball Striking? Slow it Down
This point is targeted at those of you who feel like you lack consistency in the quality, distance, and direction of your strike. There’s no doubt that swing speed directly correlates with distance, but if you can’t strike the ball with consistency, you might be in trouble. Swinging like you want to kill the ball could be what’s killing your scorecard.
Slowing your swing down allows you to reset and focus on striking the ball consistently. Although a slower swing may feel like your sacrificing distance, over the course of a round, you’ll reap the benefits. What’s great about this tip is that it’s easy to go out and try and implement it. If you find it makes a difference, then great; if not you can go back to your faster swing tempo nice and easily.
Leave the Maths for the Clubhouse
Putting too much focus on your scorecard can actually damage it, especially If you’re a player with high expectations. If you’re chasing a personal best, sometimes it’s easy to keep a live scorecard in your head. Everyone knows a golfer who announces they only need a bogey on the last hole to get a personal best. This is often followed by a triple bogey and a sour handshake at the end of the round. This is a recipe for disaster and one that will end up with you leaving the course bitterly frustrated at how close you came to a new best score.
Golf is a game that should be enjoyed, having a fixation with your score, especially during play, can only lower the mood. This will probably make it unenjoyable for you and anyone that’s playing with you. Playing stress-free golf is key to ensuring that you enjoy your round and focus on the game shot by shot. Adding your score up after the round is finished will help reduce nerves during play, drop your scores, and probably be way more tolerable for your playing partners.
Don’t be a Hero
This is a tip related to course management, in particular limiting the negative impact a single shot can have on your scorecard. Let’s say you’re not having a great day with your driver and have just hit a drive off the tee, and you’re deep in the rough. You’ve got two choices, chip out or play a difficult shot that probably has less than a five percent chance of coming off. Which option do you choose?
If you’re the player that tries to rescue every bad shot with a hero shot, you’re probably not doing yourself any favors. In the scenario above, statistically, you’re much better off taking your medicine and chipping out to the fairway. This would leave you with a clear shot, maybe even at the green. If you’ve taken the difficult option and played another bad shot, chances are you’re in an even worse position or maybe even taking a drop.
It takes a split second to make a bad decision, but a few bad decisions across eighteen holes could create a painful four hours you’ll never get back. Despite what your buddies might say, playing the simple shot is often the best option and the one that sets you up with the best chance of saving your scorecard.
Golf is a game that requires lots of discipline and practice. Making vast improvements such as swing changes can take months or even years before you fully see the benefits. That’s why it’s important that you try to address the issues with your game that could have quick fixes.
Implementing some of the points we’ve mentioned above won’t take you long. Most golfers could go out and play a round tomorrow and give them a try. What’s the worst that could happen? You have to chip out in front of your buddies and get a hard time. You never know, you might knock a few shots off your scorecard with very little effort.