I love golf. I love to play with my friends, I love to compete on tour, and I love to learn from the best in the game. One of my favorite things to do is teach golf clinics. I definitely can’t fix your golf swing but I can give you tips on how to lower your scores, have more fun, and be more consistent. I do golf clinics out on tour as well as at my charity golf tournaments and at corporate golf days. Each event usually wants to learn different things. Monday I did a clinic that included The tips below. I hope that you can use some of these in your game. I’d love to hear if you’ve ever been to a clinic, and what you like to see more of!
1. First things first. The warm up and getting ready to play. You need to focus on your alignment. When you practice take advantage of the little sticks you see on every driving range or keep one in your bag. They are available at Home Depot. The tour players use them. They help with your alignment during your set up. Using the alignment stick helps you start in the best position. You can put the golf ball on either side of the stick.
2. This goes without saying, but allowing enough time before your round can really pay off. Make sure you get to the golf course at least 30 minutes before. Go in the locker room to get some active stretches in and get to the range with enough time so that you can work on your tempo and timing. Before I play a tournament, I try to get to the course two hours before. I spend that time: 15 minutes stretching, 15 minutes eating, and an hour for my actual golf warm up. If I’m just playing for fun or playing in a money match at the golf course, I get to the course an hour before my tee time.
3. When you’re on the putting green it’s important to not only putt three and four footers. As we know, it’s important to make those throughout the round but also get a feel for the speed of the greens. I recently did a clinic with my coach Butch Harmon. He said is it of the upmost importance to lag before you play, because there’s a really good chance you will not hit everything to four feet that day.
4. Make sure your equipment is set up. This is so important because there are new clubs coming out for manufacturers every year. Taylor Made has the new M4 Twist Face Driver. You can find a driver that you hit the furtherest with, then dial it in to hit more fairways. It’s important to make sure that you work with a local rep or get into a golf pro shop. Figure out what your numbers are and get fit for an optimum set up that will help with distance and direction. Technology has really helped players find the equipment that is perfect for your swing.
5. The importance of a pre-shot routine has been said over and over again for good reason. If you’re having the best round of your life or you’re trying to break in 70 for the first time or win a $20 bet off your friends. Keeping to your pre-shot routine every shot start to finish can really pay off with lowering your scores and helping you with consistency.
6. Many of you might have a physical pre-shot routine but have a mental pre-shot routine as well. What I mean by this is have something you’re going to focus on while you’re doing your physical pre-shot routine. It could be “this is going to be the best shot of my life” one swing though (just pick one thing). For me it’s “turn into the right knee and swing down the line.” By having something to focus on, you’ll eliminate those other thoughts that creep into your mind before you’re going to hit the ball. If you do get one of those bad thoughts, just replace it with “this is going to be the best shot of my life.” I’m sure that being positive can really pay off in having more consistent, solid shots.
7. Golf is a sport. Be athletic! Many golfers try to be too technical and try to play “golf swing.” Golf is a sport. You don’t think about much when you throw a ball. The grip pressure? How far you bring your arm back? It’s the same thing with golf. Use your feel and athleticism to hit solid shots.
8. Stay in the present. Golf is a long game sometimes, taking between four and five hours. It’s important to stay in the present. It doesn’t matter what you did off the first tee, the score you made on the third hole, or the shot that you just hit out of bounds. What is most important is the shot you’re currently hitting. Try to develop a habit of staying in the present and having a short term memory for whatever happened before. You can go over all your mis-hits, bad swings, bad decisions after you play. Don’t do it during the round you’re currently playing.
9. I’m always really surprised when I meet amateurs in Pro-Ams and they don’t know how far they hit their irons. They have two clubs that go the same distance. Or a gap of 5 yards between wedges. One tip that I give friends who are just starting off or are even amateurs is a take a sharpie and write down the distances that you carry each club. What’s important is that you know how far you carry each iron. For me personally, I carry a 9 iron 135 and a 7 iron 155. I have a 10 yard interval in between my irons and 15 yard gap in my wedges. It’s also important to know how far you hit your clubs, and to see if you have the best set up. You should carry rescues too.
Good luck. I hope you try these!