Hitting Better Shots
Hitting Better Shots
by Rhett Myers
By Rhett Myers, PGA Golf Professional
Before you begin your round, hit a few practice shots. Begin with a few wedges, mid-irons and then the driver. Starting cold can cause dropped shots on the opening holes. Loosen the golf muscles and begin the round on a positive note.
Have two thoughts for the day when you come to the course, i.e. relax your grip, finish your swing-get to the top of your backswing. Do not think about five different swing thoughts. Pick two and repeat them throughout the round.
When trying to become a better player, one can easily overdue it by thinking of technique and forgetting to "swing the golf club". Remember, swing the club, do not hit the ball. The ball gets in the way of a good swing.
Golf is not how many good shots you hit, but how bad your misses are. Two or three disastrous shots can lead to 5-7 strokes over par. The name of the game is to control the ball and play the percentage shots and watch out when you gamble. Think about the consequences if you hit the ball too long, too short or hitting it through trees. Play the safe shot and you will lower your scores.
Try your best on every shot. This is not easy to do, but we can all try harder to achieve this goal. If you take an extra five seconds and run through your mind, grip, posture and alignment, the percentage of quality shots will rise.
Picture your shots. Have a clear mental picture of each shot you are about to play. This process of visualization will produce better golf shots. Have confidence and commit yourself to every shot. Any negative thoughts will usually result in a poor end result.
Practice your bunker play. Many amateurs rarely hit a bunker shot unless it is on the golf course. Maybe this is why most amateurs are fearful of the ball landing in the bunker. Go to a local range that has a practice bunker and get a feel for how the sand wedge reacts to the sand. Basic bunker play only has 3-4 variables to learn. If you can execute these through practice, you will feel more comfortable when your ball is in the sand.
The number one key to better putting is to strike the putts more solid. I would say that most amateurs do not strike the ball solidly which results in poor putting. Many amateurs want to know about reading greens, technique and how much a putt breaks. These are all important aspects of putting, but not as important as striking the ball solid. If a player can hit a putt consistently solid, more putts will be made.