While giving golf lessons during my 25-year career as a golf professional, I was always my busiest at the beginning of spring. When I think back to those days, I realize now that some of the best golf advice I offered was quick, simple, and free. Countless times on their way to the first tee, people would ask for a tip to help refresh their game after a long winter’s nap, and I would always oblige. So as golfers once again thaw out their golf games for the season, the five pointers I offer below should help jump-start any recreational golfer’s swings and scores.
Keep your feet flat on the ground throughout your swing
I know, right now many of you are thinking that none of the touring professionals you watch on television are doing this. It is important to note at this point that you are not a touring professional. Staying balanced through your golf swing is the most important element your body can bring to creating consistency. Swing your arms and turn your shoulders and hips, but keep your feet flat on the ground and you’ll marvel at your improved performance.
Relaxed hands create a relaxed swing
If you grip your clubs too tight or squeeze the grip right before you start your swing, you are also tightening up all the muscles that need to stay relaxed. Muscles that stay relaxed move smoothly and everyone needs a smooth golf swing. The best way to learn how relaxed your hands should be on a golf club is to hold a tube of toothpaste without squeezing any toothpaste out. Trust me, it works.
Swing slow to hit straight
The golf swing is all about timing and the sequence of events that take place during each and every swing you make. The faster you swing, the more difficult it becomes for your body to execute those events in a timely fashion. One great way to slow your swing down is to take a couple of deep breaths. Feel at what speed your body inhales and exhales those breaths and then swing your club at that same tempo.
Start your putting stroke with your eyes
So many people loose their sense of distance and direction with their putts because of that momentary pause so many golfers take just before their stroke. Instead, after addressing your ball on the putting green, look at the hole and look at the length of the putt. Then look back down at your ball and make your stroke without delay. This doesn’t have to be fast or slow, everyone has their own pace, but no matter what your pace is make sure you don’t pause before making your stroke.
Have realistic expectations
A long list of golfers I have watched hit bad shots include the names Woods, Sorenstam, Mickelson, Wie, and Nicklaus. Instead of reacting every time you hit a bad shot, focus on reacting every time you hit a good shot. You’ll be glad you did!