Archive for February, 2021

Five Things Great Golfers Do Differently

Friday, February 19, 2021

Spring is coming! The April trip to Augusta National for the Masters is less than 2 months away. In other words, a new golf season is quickly approaching. Seems like a good time to ask – what separates elite players from weekend warriors? 

No – the answer isn’t they hit the ball better. Well, they do, but that isn’t the point. What is different about their approach to the game? What can we learn from them that will help us improve? We have identified five things that you can implement and make this golf season better than the last. 

1. Practice with Purpose – the first step to improve is to practice but standing on the driving range and rapid firing drivers isn’t the answer. Elite players have a plan when they spend time refining their game. Two things to keep in mind. First, spend at least half of your practice time working on your short game. Pitching, chipping, and putting. Professionals call this the “scoring zone” and your investment here will lower your scores. Second, use the same routine when you practice. Give each range ball thought. Pick an aiming point and focus on executing the shot. Pretend you are on the course. 

2. Consistent Pre-Shot Routine – do you have the same routine for every shot you hit? If not, you should give it a try. Pace of play is important, so we recommend something simple. For example, stand behind the ball and visualize the shot, step in, and take one practice swing, and pull the trigger. Do these same three steps for every shot. Your’e putting routine can be different, but that should be the only exception. 

3. Manage Risk vs. Reward – most amateur golfers lose strokes simply by making poor course management decisions. You don’t need to hit driver on every hole. You don’t have to try the hero shot. A good way to determine if you have a risk vs. reward issue – how many times in a round do you make more than bogey? Play smart and eliminate those high numbers. 

4. Can You Play Your Miss? A common misnomer is that elite players are better because they hit perfect golf shots. This isn’t true. What truly separates them is they can “get away” with their bad shots. It doesn’t matter how many great shots you in hit in a round if your bad ones are so terrible, they ruin your scorecard. If you hit 10 perfect drivers, but the other 4 go out of bounds – not a good day. Learn your tendencies and work to reduce the impact of your bad swings. Being able to play your mis-hit shots is key. 

5. Control Your Emotions – sure, you will occasionally see an elite player act like a toddler, but they spend hours working with sports psychologists trying to improve their mental game. It is a poker term, but it applies to amateur golfers. It is easy to go “on tilt” during a round – one bad shot leads to another and frustration grows. Learn to start over, relax, and look at the next shot as an opportunity for greatness! 

You may never hit your driver 350 yards or shoot under par, but you can experience consistent improvement in your game if you work on the above. Make 2021 a banner year for your golf game!