How to “Play” Better Golf!

by Max on Sunday, November 13th, 2011

One of the secrets to “playing” better golf is simply playing more golf. As simple as that sounds, playing golf more, plain simply playing more golf rounds can due some good for your golf scores.

Lately, I have been playing more golf and my golf scores have gotten better every round, I finally getting those par-runs back and some few birdies here and there.

One of the best ways to get better playing golf is to really focus during your round of golf. Notice what you are doing wrong and have some quick sense to fix it during the round of golf.

This doesn’t mean trying that swing tip your buddy gave you last night but fixing things on your own.

As a good example, here’s what went through my rounds in last couple days.

Yesterday, I was literally 3-putting every green, missing very short 5-foot putts and costing me the whole round. But by 9th green I figured out that I wasn’t opening my clubface on my putts as I usually do. After that, I putted really good the rest of the round, sinking many putts more including some birdie putts. On the 17th hole, I banana-sliced my 2-iron into the hazard way short, hit a 3 wood over some hazard, hit a pretty good 60 yard sandwedge that hit pin-high but hop and spun like 18 feet too much, then made a 3-foot right-to-left 18-footer for a 5, bogey, but that’s a really good way to make a bogey.

Interestingly, I felt really comfortable on holes where I played well, didn’t really think much that I was doing well but it was the really, out-of-this-world bad holes where I had trouble. Damn.

Instead of getting mad at yourself, if you really think about you are doing wrong and do something to make it better, you will play better golf.

More thoughts:

- When putting, think open and close, your putting stroke naturally opens and closes, don’t try to fight it straight, let it open and close. Also make sure to let your arms hang fully extended naturally at address, putting is like a pendulum, you should make your putting like a pendulum and control distance with the length of your putts.

- Swinging, think of swinging back in one-motion using your whole body, keep it together and the downswing is easy, otherwise… Also make your swing thoughts simple, mine is “turn my whole body back, turn my legs through the target”, that’s it. Do your swing mechanics on the range not on the course.

- Chipping, let it swing on its own, its like your arms do all the work.

- Short Sand shots – Keep weight on the heels of your feet, really exaggerating this motion (it’s like sitting-down to take a dump in the sand like a dog seriously) and when you hit your sand shot keep clubface 30 degrees open from target line and keep the feet 30 degrees open from target line and make sure to swing through, your follow-thru determines how long your golf ball travels.

- Knock down short/med irons – Swing to half-way, then immediately swing through. Knock down is basically a really long chip with the short/med irons, this should be your bread and butter. I can hit many green from 100-150 yards no problem, this is my “go to” shot. And always play your drives to your best “go to” shot, mine is a 9-iron knockdown from 110-125 yards.

- Watch golf – Watching pros play on TV really helps you to get a good idea how to play a hole, really pay attention to how pros play on TV and watch their strategy on a hole, copy it and you’ve got a successful par/birdie run. Also helps you subsconsciously repeat their rhythm.

So, above is typically my thought process during a round of golf, I try to get better at every part of my game and note what worked and what didn’t. Throw away your bad things and focus on your good shots.

Do more of this for next 50 rounds and I guarantee you that you can shoot under par.

I’ve seen a ton of scratch golfers with faulty swings and great short game but I’ve never seen one with a good swing and faulty short game.

I am almost there (again), shootin’ 67-68 every round!

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