Learning how to become a better golfer requires dedication, a real commitment. It’s easy to get discouraged when you never seem to improve. Golf is an impossible game to master—and generations of golfers have been trying for more than 200 years. Luckily it’s also a game that does not require tremendous athletic ability to play reasonably well. Most average golfers can improve their scores significantly by emulating how good players approach the game. Think like a pro and you’ll play better.
- Warm up before your round. Attend a PGA Tour event and you’ll notice that professional golfers have a well defined routine they go through before they go out to the course. They hit practice shots with each club in their bag. They hit pitch and chip shots to the practice green. They spend at least fifteen minutes practicing putting to get a feel for the greens. If you follow the same routine, when you arrive at the first tee you will find that your muscles are warmed up, your mind is focused on the upcoming eighteen holes, and you have more confidence.
- Play with more accomplished golfers. Golf is a social game, and we all like to play with our buddies and have a relaxed, fun time. Even be a little rowdy. But occasionally playing with a really good player, someone who shoots five to ten strokes per round lower than you do, can help you elevate your own game and show you how to become a better golfer. You’re bound to pick up tips from just observing his swing, his ability to concentrate and how he plans each shot.
- Learn to play strategically. Average golfers waste strokes each round by not thinking their way around the course. Don’t try to hit shots with a low possibility of success, such as trying to get over a 200 yard pond when you normally only hit the ball 180 yards. Choose the safe route to the green rather than trying to pull off the impossible shot. Professional golfers refer to this as playing within yourself, and it is part of learning how to become a better golfer.
- Study your scorecard. The scorecard tells all—including providing clues how to become a better golfer. Look at the holes where you racked up big numbers, those messy double and triple bogies. Identify what weaknesses in your game caused your poor play and then get out the practice range and try to correct them.
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