Golf is supposed to be fun and it doesn’t take a powerful swing to make it so. There are lots of longtime, regular golfers who are satisfied with their high-handicaps and play for the love of the game.
Learning and improving at golf can be an enjoyable process, and there are several ways you can do so. So if you’ve found yourself asking how to get good at golf, read on to explore more tips.
Get Your Head In the Game
Golf is as much a mental game as it is physical, and that means that your mindset can affect how you play. Here are a few tips on how to keep your mind in the right place:
Stay in the Present
Enjoy the game now! It’s easy to get caught up in what went wrong. While you can learn from past mistakes, focusing on them too much can affect your play negatively and won’t get you much more than anxiety.
Stay focused on what’s happening in front of you and you’ll feel more relaxed. Get more out of the game, and very likely come out with a lower score.
Don’t give in or give up. It’s easy to feel defeated if your game isn’t going well, but just because it’s not according to plan doesn’t mean you should give up. If you fail to beat your best score, aim for beating your handicap. If you’ve played the course before, try to improve your score on each hole from the last game.
Choose the Right Ball
One of the simplest mistakes you can make as a new or amateur golfer is to choose the wrong ball. While they all look the same from the outside, unless you get up close, golf balls are as different as your clubs, or the beers you have on the course.
There are many types of balls to choose from, as well as many price points. Like with most things, the more you spend on high quality, the better technology you’re going to get.
You might ask, “How much technology can be put into a small ball sphere?” Quite a bit. When you consider that golf involves a considerable amount of technique and an understanding of some physics, it does put it into perspective a little bit more.
The way that you hit the ball, the way the ball responds to the club and the way it travels through the air and lands will all affect the outcome.
There are so many different types of balls to choose from, from a two-piece to five-piece, from big brands like Callaway and Titleist to lower-priced brands available in bulk.
Choosing the right ball has to do with what you’re looking to get out of your game and your practice sessions. If you’re looking to improve your swing speed today one ball may work better than another, and if you want to expand your distance there are lots of balls made for that specific task.
Experiment With Your Swing
One of the best ways to get better at golf is to experiment with your swing. A low swing speed has been said to relate to a high handicap. By now you know that your handicap is how long it takes you from start to finish to get the ball in the hole, putting it very simply.
While your equipment can ensure fewer bad shots during play, they aren’t going to fix your golf swing, pose or grip. By taking time to experiment with different stances and techniques you can figure out what works better for you.
Take what you’ve found and speak with an instructor, a more advanced player, or compare what you learned to online resources. Not only can you figure out what works but you can gain a deeper understanding of how it works best for your skills.
Practice, practice, practice! You’ve heard it a thousand times and it can’t be understated. Becoming good at anything involves practice. Getting out there onto the course, becoming comfortable with the club in your hand, learning to hit the ball off the tee, familiarizing yourself with how courses work and how and where you want your ball to go – you guessed it; there’s a lot of “getting” involved in the practice.
It is much more efficient to practice using proven strategies and equipment – call it deliberate practice – so having your golf clubs fitted, and even your golf balls, can help set you up for success. You can choose to practice with friends who are more experienced players or hire a golf instructor. You can also use online resources to learn more about the mental game of golf and how you can adjust your method, your pose, and your equipment to get better results.
Whether you’re looking to improve your swing speed or lower your handicap, the driving range is a great place to focus on improving the way you play.
When on the course, you’re switching clubs regularly so it’s difficult to focus on improving your technique. At a range, you can spend as long as you want on practice swings with your driver or 5-iron and get a better sense of what is and isn’t working, and how you can improve.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of the practice range is that you relax, which can be difficult to do on a golf course if you’re trying to focus on improving and adhering to the rules. You’re also less focused on hitting a specific target.
It’s not exactly going to improve your golf shot or give you better control, but a part of being good at golf following is following the golf etiquette.
Have you ever golfed with someone who doesn’t know the rules of the game where etiquette is concerned? It’s more than just awkward, it can start the game off wrong and could end up in you being banned from returning to the club.
Here’s a list of things you should do:
- Show up early
- Pay attention to where you stand and how you stand
- Yell fore (always)
- Stay off of your phone
Here’s what you should NOT do:
- Playing slow
- Warming up with more than three balls
- Talk during other players’ turns
- Talk about other players’ balls (ex. “good putt”)
FAQ of How to Get Good at Golf
Here are some common questions people ask about how to get good at golf.
How Long Does It Take to Get Good at Golf?
There’s a saying that says golf is a marathon, not a sprint. If you’re already a fairly experienced golfer and have a particular goal in mind, the length of time it will take will depend on how you’re improving.
Experts say that it takes around 6 months for the average golfer to build confidence, develop a decent swing, and have a well-developed sense of the game. It can also take up to a year to master an iron.
Keep in mind that this involves regular practice time and lessons, as well as a mental approach that will keep you focused and positive.
Why Am I Not Getting Any Better at Golf?
It’s pretty frustrating, even exhausting when you’ve spent a lot of time and energy trying to improve your game and things aren’t getting any better. But why is your game not getting any better even if you’re following all the steps and advice? There are a few things that could be the problem.
It sounds redundant but you should make sure you’re spending enough time practicing. Volume is essential to practice and getting out as a weekend warrior on the course might not provide you enough opportunity for improvement.
Practice should also be challenging. If you go to the gym and use the same amount of weight each time, you’re not going to see much strength improvement. The same applies to your golf game.
You also need to focus on the feedback. It’s difficult to process your shot if you’re only looking at individual shots, but once you add up and compare the results of multiple shots (back to back is better, and here’s where the driving range is handy) you can get a better sense of what’s happening during your swing and when the ball launches.
You should also consider your equipment, and think beyond your golf club. Something as simple as changing out the golf ball can be very useful.
These points outline how to get good at golf. Remember that golf is a marathon and improving your game is a long-term goal that takes consistency, observation, intention, and, most of all, practice.
Unless you’re surrounded by golf professionals all the time, you should make your how-to get good at golf an enjoyable experience without taking it too seriously. After all, the main purpose of golf is to enjoy yourself.