Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Golf Tips for Absolute Beginners

There are so many different things to work on in golf that it can be difficult to determine where you ought to begin. While every golfer is different, there are some tips that serve most amateurs well when trying to improve and lower their scores. Applying these basic measures will help you gain greater control of your game and raise your level of confidence on the course.
Swing Easy
Legendary golfer Nick Faldo observes that most amateurs make the mistake of swinging out of their shoes in an attempt to hit the ball farther. He says that momentum, not force, creates clubhead speed and generates distance. Swinging easier will keep the body properly pliable and aid in maintaining the proper sequence in the downswing. Faldo recommends focusing on rhythm and hitting through the ball to find your easier swing.
Take More Club
Hall of fame golfer Tom Watson suggests that amateurs should get in the habit of taking more club -- that is, using a longer club that will go farther -- to get consistently better results. For example, if you hit your 7-iron up to 150 yards, use your 6-iron for a shot that you must be certain will travel 150 yards. He encourages this practice in particular when there are hazards or other trouble between your ball and the green. With more club, your mishits won't tend to be as costly.
Play to the Middle
Golf writer Larry Olmsted makes the case that most amateurs are not skilled or consistent enough to aim at pins on the edge of greens or tucked behind bunkers. Playing to the middle of the green, he contends, will increase the likelihood that you'll be putting on your next shot. While that flag stick might look tempting and the idea of making birdie has taken hold, you're going to have greater overall success by giving yourself more margin for error on your approach shots.
Master Your Grip
Ben Hogan, noting that a player's hands on the golf club is the only instance in which the body comes in contact with the equipment, advocates paying special attention to developing a sound grip. Most important in the grip, he writes, is that you hold the club in your fingers and not allow it to settle back in the palms. Your ability to consistently control the clubface will diminish quickly with a club gripped in the palms.
Work on Your Short Game
PGA professional Robb Nunn points out that although "everyone" seems to understand the importance of the short game, only pros and highly skilled amateurs spend an adequate amount of time practicing it. Furthermore, he writes, working on chipping, putting and bunker play is the quickest way to lower your handicap. This isn't all that surprising when you consider that more than half of the shots you take in each round of golf come from 100 yards and in.

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