Many people have taken up the sport of golf with the idea it’s the perfect game to partake in each week, whether you’re socialising with friends, colleagues or even clients. However, many people take it up in the belief they won’t have to work hard to be good at it. This is a definite mistake. As with any sport, golf is something you have to work hard at if you want to be any good.
So many people end up giving up playing simply due to the frustration of not seeing any improvement as the weeks go by. However, there are a few simple things you can do to make sure you improve, even if it’s only gradual. The key thing is to take on the tips below and make sure you are prepared to persevere.
1. Make sure you’re picking the right club
Even though it is advisable to take some time to practice hitting golf balls down at the driving range with each of your different clubs, it can give you a false sense of security. This is because there are no real obstructions at the driving range, whereas on a golf course, you have to take trees, the rough and bunkers into account.
You are much more likely to be able to hit the ball further at the driving range than you can on an actual course so you need to keep this in mind when you are choosing your clubs in a game. Don’t be surprised if you are not hitting the ball as long as you think you can do. If this starts to frustrate you, try using a different club and you’ll hopefully find your game soon starts getting better as you learn which clubs are better for certain situations.
2. Do some stretches beforehand
It is really important to make sure your muscles are all warmed up before you start to play golf. Even though you may not think you need to stretch before golf, as you might when playing football or going to the gym, you do. You’d be surprised at the number of injuries that occur to shoulders, knees, wrists, backs and necks through playing golf, as a result of people not warming up properly.
You don’t need to go too mad on stretching but a minimum of 8 minutes working through arm, leg and core stretches is extremely advisable. Not only will doing this make you less prone to injury but it will also make you a lot more flexible when it comes to playing your shots. You may even find your swing greatly improves because you are a lot more limber.
3. See out the plateau
One of the most frustrating things about golf is you can play for months and see improvement each time you play and then all of a sudden, you just seem to lose it. So many people claim they often get worse after a few months of playing really well. This is what is known as a plateau and happens to the vast majority of people who play the sport, especially if you have been taking lessons and seeing a lot of improvement.
Many cannot see this plateau through, simply because it feels like a waste of money to play a sport where you can’t see any improvement and you just end up getting too frustrated, which often makes things worse. However, you are not alone in experiencing this and so you just need to persevere and you’ll soon see signs of improvement once more. You need to keep in mind this plateau will probably occur every now and again, even after years of playing golf, but ultimately, you will be improving overall, so just take a deep breath and keep at it!
4. Take time to understand the mechanics of the game
So many people take up golf without making the effort to understand the game. This is not to say you should know everything about golf’s history and know of every professional player out there but you should understand at the very least why you need to stand a certain way and why you need to cock your wrists and so on. Understanding why you need to hold your clubs a certain way and why you need to change your stance every now and again will help you to improve your game and correct any problems you might be having with, for instance, with your swing.
5. Invest in regular lessons
When you are an amateur, it is of course important to take lessons with a club professional as this will prevent you from picking up initial bad habits and get you off to a good start. However, after the first few initial lessons, many people forgo lessons in favour of just playing with friends and colleagues. There is no harm in doing this if you still have the odd lesson every now and again but if you forgo lessons completely, you are extremely likely to develop the bad habits you avoided at the start.
When you are looking for lessons, try to buy them in bulk as this will be a lot cheaper for you. Alternatively doing lessons with a group of friends or partner will also be a lot cheaper–maybe at a Worcester golf course. Look for packages where you can buy 10 or 12 and use them throughout the year. This way, you can have a regular lesson every month or so and ensure your game continues to improve.
James writes for Wharton Park. When not writing, he can often be found helping others improve their golf game.