Most recreational golf players do not have the luxury of having an instructor watch their every swing and discuss problem areas. Hiring a golf instructor can be expensive and most of us cannot afford to periodically check-in with a golf pro for pointers. Golfers are always trying to find ways to lower their scores and improve their game.
For those who cannot afford a golf instructor to analyze their every move, here are a few tips for beginners wishing to lower their scores at the game:
Work On Your Swing
A proper golf swing should be driven by the hips and your goal is to wield the club into a pendulum-like manner that creates the widest arc. There are five components to a proper swing. These are the grip, stance, backswing, downswing and finish.
Grip - According to legendary golfer Ben Hogan, the grip is critical because it is the only link between the ball and the body. He suggests gripping the club with the left hand slightly above the right. Also the left index finger should be under the right pinky. The right thumb should point to the left, while the left thumb should point down the shaft.
Stance - Your knees must be slightly flexed as if sitting on a stool. The upper body and back should remain straight while keeping your chin up but relaxed. This allows for proper shoulder rotation during the backswing. Also, your arms must remain straight but relaxed.
Backswing - In a backswing, the clubhead, shaft and hands are first then followed by the arms, shoulders and hips to be followed by a complete hip rotation. At the top swing, try to keep the club as parallel to the ground as possible. At this position, imagine you are pointing your club at the target.
Downswing - The downswing is the reverse sequence of the backswing. You should try to create a steep angle of attack and this is produced by creating as much as lag between the hands and the clubhead. During impact, the left leg should straighten while the right leg bends to allow your body's right side to clear the impact zone.
Finish - The finish is the smooth and graceful stop to the uncoiling of your hips. You should be facing the target while the left leg is straight. The right leg should be bent and pointing toward the ground.
Determine your weakness
Golf instructor Eric Johnson suggests keeping basic statistics of your game. This should include total putts, fairways hit and greens in regulation. Input these stats into a software or website, such as shotbyshot.com, to determine your handicap. Having in-depth information about your game allows you to determine your weaknesses more clearly.
Have a Pre-shot Routine
Poor alignment and improper ball position are the most commons reasons for bad shots. When your body and the course of your swing are not in the same direction, compensation needs to occur and this makes swinging the club difficult. You should develop a pre-shot routine.
According to instructor Sean Parees, this is accomplished by getting behind the ball with your feet together while setting the clubface downwards facing the immediate target. While looking at the target, take a small step with your left foot followed by a larger one with the right. This ensures that the ball is between the left heel and the center. Practice your pre-shot routine until it feels natural and a part of your game.
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Kathrine played high school and collegiate soccer. Ever since then, she's always integrated fitness into her everyday life. She has graduated from putt-putt and currently plays recreational golf. She is an avid fan of women's golf.