1. Learn to choose the right club for the shot.
Since the rules of golf state that you can only have 14 clubs in your bag at a time, you’ll need to learn which clubs are appropriate for each shot and how far you hit each of them. Because no two rounds of golf are the same (even if you’re playing the same course every time), you’ll find that, over time, you’ll use all the clubs in your bag. Once you learn how far you hit each club, put that knowledge to use on the course. It’s helpful to write down how far you hit each club, laminate it, and keep it in your golf bag as a reference. The reference is also a great way to gauge how you improve over time, since your distance will increase with each club as you progress.
2. Think about your approach.
You aren’t Bubba Watson. Chances are very good that you can’t hit a shot that doglegs to land on the green for a shot at par. Be practical and take the easier shots. If you miss the green, your follow-up shot needs to get the ball close enough to sink the putt. Think about what direction the green slopes and what it looks like near the pin and adjust your shot accordingly. Understand how you mishit shots so that your well hit balls land on the green and give you a makeable putt but a miss will still give you an opportunity to sink it in two.
3. Stop trying to crush the ball on every drive.
The Tiger Woods video game has ruined many a real-life drive with the angelic sound of swishing and crushing as the ball makes contact with the sweet spot on the golf ball before soaring 300 yards down the fairway. Those shots aren’t likely to happen in your golf game if you’re more concerned with muscling the shot into going the distance as opposed to hitting a steady swing that makes good contact. Hinge your wrists as far back as possible on your backswing, rotate around your body as much as you can, and shift your weight properly. Improving your distance comes with hitting the ball better, not harder.
You’re not going to become the next Rory McIlroy overnight; but learning how to golf like a pro might be a little easier if you’re using these tips.