Top Ten: (1) Always play at your own pace. (2) Hit your shot only when you are fully focused and committed to your target. (3) Don't be negative or critical of yourself, find only good things in what you are doing. (4) Keep your mind in the present and focused on the moment, ”the now.” (5) Do not place huge expectations on yourself or your game for the day. (6) Do not compare yourself to others. (7) Plan your shot strategy. (8) Remain patient and calm. (9) Don't be intimidated by other players, play your own game. (10) Only play the shots you know you can hit.
photo credit: Kelowna09 In order to play in a proficient manner, every golfer should take an analytical look at their game and their approach to it. Keeping track of your progress is the key and since there is no right or wrong score, it's important just to keep track of which direction you are headed.
Your game can be broken down into three segments: A. The mental game, B. The Physical game, C. The Technical game. Learning these can come in many different fashions such as DVDs, golf instructions, books etc. but in the final analysis, in order to move forward, you need to keep close tabs on the progress you are making. Part II of this will explain the manner in which to grade your progress on the links.
Mental Categories: Goal setting, pre-round preparation, relaxation, pre-round practice, course management, pre-shot routine, visualization, forgetting a bad shot.
Physical Categories: Aerobic endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, mobility, diet & hydration.
Technical Categories: Putting, short game, bunker game, short irons, mid irons, long irons, metal woods, driver.
Use the following point system under each category: 1 = have never worked on. 2 = have rarely worked on. 3 = have worked on once per week. 4 = have worked on every other day. 5 = have worked on most days without fail.
Average scores: Mental – 24. Physical – 15. Technical – 24.
photo credit: SimonDoggett Instead of looking forward on each hole, try looking backward. When playing any golf hole, start by thinking about where you would like to make your approach shot from. If there is trouble on the left side (bunker, water, deep rough) you will want to make your approach from the right side which will give you a more open and hazard free entry to the green.
On par five's you must think two shots back. If your second shot requires a three metal, you must consider it's landing area. When planning your shots, always try to plan for full shots. Half wedge shots are difficult even for tour players. Most importantly, know your shot distance for each club in your bag.
The course is something that must be managed and played with utmost consideration. Each course has it's own personality and should be approached accordingly.
The strokes can be controlled by your own ability to play each and every golf shot to the best of your ability. With enough practice and plenty of thought beforehand, your shot total can be kept to a minimum.
Opponents add an unknown dimension because, like courses, each opponent is different. A worthy opponent should bring out the very best in you as a golfer.
photo credit: LulaTaHula There are two facets to golf: A) making shots. B) playing the game. Shot-making and actually playing the game are two different entities. Look at it this way: Good shots are worthless if you don't know how to play the game. There are some great shot-makers on the PGA Tour that hardly ever win. A good example would be Sergio Garcia.
Look at golf's big winners, the greatest players weren't just good shot-makers, they knew how to play the game. They knew how to control their emotions, when to take risks (when not to ), they knew gamesmanship and they knew how to use strategy.
To play better golf: 1) Practice. 2) Learn to play the actual ”game.” It is a game isn't it?
photo credit: jonny2love Are you allowing fear to ruin your game? How many times have you feared the outcome of a particular shot? It happens to everyone all the time. The fear you experience before a shot can have a paralyzing effect.
Moving into action before actually thinking about each and every shot should be avoided. By not deliberating about your strategy, you leave to chance where your next shot will end up. When you plan each shot very carefully, you will find that the fear you have about missing the shot will dissipate.
Place more emphasis on the mental part of your game. Being confident means thinking of ways to play to your best ability which will dramatically increase the odds of making a good shot.
photo credit: dhilgart It is illogical to expect a golfer with physical and temperamental limitations to be a scratch or sub-par player. The secret to playing good golf is to know your capabilities and play up to them as often as you possibly can.
The golf handicap system makes golf a comparative game. Golfers, who regularly shoot in the 90s or 100s can compete against Tour Pros because of the handicap system. The handicap system also has another important role and that is to allow each player to play within his or her capabilities.
The amateur golfer needs to know that if they play up to their capabilities, the handicap system will take care of the rest. The key word in all of this is “consistency.”