Golfers of all ages in every country have one thing in common: they want to do better every time they play.
Golf is not like making a perfect coat hanger or learning to ride a push bike. Playing golf involves a huge array of mental and physical skills that all have to be mastered. The ultimate game of golf would be 18 holes in one. That can't be done so we compromise and accept par as a really good day.
A lot of how to play golf books have been written and a lot more golf lessons have been given so that people can get better at the game they love. There are some universal and or foundation considerations that have stood the test of time. Playing golf is a physical pursuit similar to swimming, running or riding a bike so in theory if someone masters the skill they will have a lot of fun on the golf course or make millions at the US Open. However, golf involves the mind and that is where things go wrong. That is why every time someone plays golf there will be a different outcome.
Mastering the mental aspects of the game and getting better at the physical parts like putting, driving and getting out of a bunker would take a lot of lifetimes. We therefore have to do the best we can.
Here are some tips from famous golf instructor Terry Adcock who is a friend of PGA Professional Pete Barton from Pete's Golf Warehouse.
1. Have a pre-swing routine.
Regardless of how simple the shot may be, a chip, a full shot or a putt, prepare!
Most club golfers rush preparation. I have always maintained that the swing has five parts.
1. Pre-swing grip aiming.
2. Back swing.
3. Down swing to impact.
4. Follow through.
All of the last four steps only work well if the pre-swing is done correctly and consistently.
2. Choose what golf club to use wisely
It has been my observation over the years that most club golfers over estimate the distance that they will achieve with each club. That is, they might hit their best 7 iron for 150 metres but their average is closer to 140 metres. So, my advice is that unless there is some trouble that can be seen through the green, they should always choose to play one club more.
Professional golfers always calculate that they will only hit each shot at 85% - 90% as good as they can.
3. Course management
When deciding on what shot to play, be sure to choose one that you have a 75% success rate with, not a career shot with a 10% success rate.
So, when you are in trouble, make sure that you get the ball back in play rather than try to make up for the previous mistake!
In other words, "Take your medicine"
"None of the above require swing changes, just a little more thought and cool headedness"
4. What areas should you improve on.
When players come for a lesson they are always asked about the area of the game that they want help with. Invariably, they say "the driver" to lower their score.
My reply is always with two questions:
1. How many fairways do they hit?
2. How are they from 60 metres pitching & chipping and how many putts per round do they have?
When I tell them that driving is only 16% of the game but from 60 metres to the hole is 63%, they are astounded. So, if you hit 60% - 70% of the fairways from the tee, it's the short game that will lower their score.
Ideally, no more than 32 to 34 putts is acceptable !