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Get back into the swing of things
We can all use a few good golfing tips now and then. Neal Granville, Director of Golf at Sandford Springs Golf Club (www.sandfordsprings.co.uk), has shared his expertise on how to quickly get back on track following the winter break to improve your score.
Warm up before you play
Have you ever played the first few holes badly then suddenly clicked into gear, finishing well but being let down by a poor start? If this consistently happens, then you need to warm up before you play. 20 balls on the range are more than enough.
Play the first few holes on the driving range
This can also be part of the warm up. Go through your full routine and use the clubs that you would select for each shot on the first few holes. This is the best way to get your golfing brain ready to play.
All too often I see people choose too much club just in case they hit a bad shot. This is not a good way to play as you will probably decelerate in your golf swing and lack confidence.
If you use the driving range then make sure you pay attention to how far your clubs fly through the air. If not on the range then you can also pay more attention to your shots on the golf course.
Play to your strengths
Don’t take on shots because you think you ‘should’. Take on the shots that suit your handicap and that you feel confident with. Golf feels more relaxing and fun when you are hitting good shots. When you have to ‘try’ harder with shots you often become tense, which often affects your golf score!
Visualise what you want
The brain cannot process the words ‘don’t hit it left’ or ‘don’t hit it in the water’, and it will create a picture of the ball going in the trees or in the water. Make sure you decide on the outcome that you want and then visualise it before you begin to swing.
Eat and drink as you play
Golf is a game that requires concentration. If you drink and eat regularly as you play the round you will find it easier to maintain your focus.
Keeping stats will help you and your coach to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your play, including how many fairways you hit, greens in regulation and number of putts. Doing this will ensure that the practice time is more effective.
Practice to improve the weak link in your game
If you are not a good putter then you will not benefit your scores by going to the driving range and hitting balls. Look at your stats and set a target for the coming rounds. Practice that part of the game and then monitor the progress using your stats. If the stats don’t improve go and see your coach who will help you reach your target.
Have a routine
Having a routine makes it easier to be consistent in the set up, and will make sure the fundamentals of alignment and posture are the same every time. A good idea is to watch the golfers on the LPGA to see how their routine is the same for each shot.
Don’t go for perfection, go for fun!
Trying too hard does not improve your game; it only creates tension and fear. Remember it is only a game and golf courses are beautiful places, so make sure you look up every now and then to appreciate where you are. In my experience if you are enjoying it you will be improving!
Neal Granville, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine
Image credit: Fevi Yu via Wikimedia Commons