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How To Get Better At Golf Without Lessons
“How do I get better at golf?” is the question that golfers have been asking themselves and each other since the golf game began. So deceptive in its simplicity and yet so hard to find the right answer to.
As many of you might know by now, golf is far from a simple game to perfect. Even seasoned professionals continuously practice for hours every day to ensure they don’t lose the skills they spent years trying to acquire.
The truth is there’s no silver bullet to being great at golf. Having a great game, or being a great golfer in general is a combination of different things that work together.
And although we can’t claim it to be easy, we can say with certainty that anyone with determination and commitment can become a master of the golf game.
Crucial Reading For Beginners To Golf:
- Golf Essentials For Beginners, What You Should Know
- How Golf Scoring Works
- If you’re here to improve your golf game, then listen up. In this article, I’ll go over 10 specific ways that anyone from a newbie to a long-time player can get better at golf WITHOUT taking golf lessons:
1. Set Clear Goals For Yourself.
Many beginners make the mistake of never actually set goals for themselves when starting out at golf.
They simply just go in blindly and expect to get better naturally over time. If this is a game you’re serious about getting good at, you’re going to have to set clear achievements you’d like to reach within a reasonable time frame.
If you want to truly become a better golfer, then your goals in golf should be divided into two: long-term goals and short-term goals.
- Short-term goals can be things like hitting at least 60% of your tees perfectly within one month or only taking a maximum amount of pars per hole.
- Long-term goals can be a bit grander but, again, they should be reasonable. Some of your long-term goals might be, hitting at least half of your holes within par, never landing the golf ball on a hazard for 6 months, or playing your first amateur golfer tournament.
- Winning should come later in your list of goals once you’re confident enough in your own abilities. What matters here is that you develop a clear basis on which you can track your improvement.
Should You Work On Your Short Game Or Long Game More?
There’s no right answer to this question – it depends on what you’re trying to achieve on the golf course.
- If you’re just trying to have some fun and don’t care about your score, then a short game might be more important.
- But if you’re trying to lower your handicap and improve your game, then a long game is probably more important.
- It’s also worth noting that both a short game and a long game are important in match play (golf games where players compete against each other instead of playing for their own score).
- In match play, it’s often more important to win individual holes rather than have the lowest overall score. So having a good short game can help you win more holes, even if your long game isn’t as strong.
- Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what’s more important to you in golf.
- If you want to lower your score, then focus on your long game.
- But if you just want to have some fun and don’t care about your score, then a short game might be more important.
- Whichever you choose, just make sure you enjoy yourself!
2. Practice Your Golf Swing
As important as golfing equipment is, the real test of any golfer is how good their swing is. No two swings are the same in golf and there are a multitude of different types of swings that get the golf ball to do different types of things.
This means there is no single approach to a golf swing that fits all scenarios. Some of the swings you should get familiar with are the following:
- Rotational Swings
- Outside-in Swings
- Inside-out Swings
- Closed Coil Swings
- Arms and Hands Swings
- One-Plane or Single-Plane Swings
- Each of these swings directly affects the outcome of the golf ball.
- For example, an Outside-in golf swing might not be the most efficient type of swing, but professionals use it when trying to hit a fade.
- These are concepts you should be familiarized with and practice these types of swings as soon as you get your first set of clubs.
3. Get Your Clubs Custom-Fitted
Sometimes the very thing holding the golfer back is not a lack of skill but the incompatibility of the equipment. You might never notice that your golf clubs are either too long, too short, too flexible, or too stiff.
Clubs that are too long might lead to bad posture and a poor golf swing. Golf Clubs that are too stiff might not be able to transfer the energy of your swings efficiently into the ball. You get the picture, right?
This is an element that most golfers, even those who have been playing for years, tend to neglect.
By having your clubs custom-fitted by a professional fitter, you ensure that the tools you’re using are matching your skills and playing style as much as possible.
4. Develop The Right Posture
Your posture in golf has a direct effect on your swing, thus it also affects how cleanly you can hit the golf ball.
By practicing your posture early on, you are giving yourself a headstart on other beginners who place importance on the swing and equipment alone.
- Although the kind of posture tends to vary depending on the type of swing you’re making, a good rule of thumb is to stand upright with your legs straight.
- Your arms should hang straight down from their sockets without being uncomfortable.
- Have a firm grip but don’t hold the club too tightly.
- The club should also be held at waist height.
- Tilt forward from your hips, while keeping your back straight until the club touches the ground and it directly behind the ball.
This is generally the perfect stance to execute a quality swing. Once this becomes second nature to you, the rest will tend to follow.
Many people, even some golfers themselves, make the mistake of thinking that golf requires no fitness to play. Though players of all body types can indeed play the sport, you’d be wrong to think that golf is not physically taxing.
Golf has a lot of walking around, swinging, and often carrying heavy equipment. With this in mind, it would be wise for a golfer to complement his or her training with regular cardio, arm workouts, and weight lifting. Doing so will greatly improve your golf game via improved stamina and give you the energy to practice for longer.
It also has the added benefit of putting a little force behind your swings, something especially important when hitting with a driver.
6. Have Your Eyes Checked Regularly
According to the Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics, 1 out of 10 people in the United States, between the ages of 18 and older, reported some decline in vision in 2016.
Golf requires you to aim and track the ball’s flight over great distances. The last thing you want is to be as many of those golfers who constantly lose their ball.
Make it a habit to have your eyes checked at least once a year and get glasses if needed. There’s no shame in wearing glasses and it’s a small price to pay for accuracy on the golf course.
7. Commit To A Routine and Track Your Progress
Having a great set of goals and custom-fitted gear is pointless if you don’t commit to a routine. The only way you can actually learn the necessary skills of golf is by playing golf. Personal commitment is required here.
Pick at least 2-3 times a week where you can practice and play golf for at least 3-4 hours. Although 3-4 hours might seem excessive, keep in mind that an average golfer plays a game for about 4 and a half hours.
Do it for at least a month and then adjust or maintain your routine as necessary.
It’s also important to track your progress in each of your sessions. How else are you going to know if you reached one of your short or long-term goals? It is also the only way you’ll know if you can start competing with other golfers to get a lower handicap. Luckily, there are many apps that can be downloaded on your phone that make tracking your progress so much easier.
8. Practice at Home
Of course, we have jobs and busy schedules. It can sometimes be hard to commit to serious training commitments at the golf course when there’s so much happening in everyday life.
It’s a good thing we live in a technologically advanced age! There are simulation games today that replicate what it’s like playing at an actual golf course.
Even just practicing your swings anywhere from 20 to 100 times a day can work miracles for you when the time comes.
9. Finish Your Swing Properly
This is something many old-timers stand by and it’s definitely not without merit. You can tell a lot about a golfer based on how he or she finished the swing. It’s often one of the most overlooked but remember that simply getting the ball flying is not the end of your swing.
Whether it’s a putt, a chip, a bunker shot, a great shot, a bad shot or even a drive, a good finish means your swing was properly synced, had a good rhythm, and the swing speed was in the right place.
A finishing move should ensure that your rear foot is on the tip of the toe with no weight on it. The sole of this shoe should be facing back behind you. Check to make sure your belly button is facing your target and make the golf club draw a line across the back of your head that looks like it’s connecting your ears.
Hold this pose for 5 seconds and watch where the ball is going.
Looking for a new set of clubs?
- For Beginners, check out the Callaway Big Bertha Irons
- If you’re looking for something better geared towards better players, check out the Taylormade P770 Irons or even the Titleist T100 Irons (though they’re more geared towards pros). The Sim2 Max irons are also worth considering.
10. Have A Pre Shot Routine
A pre-shot routine is a set of actions or movements that a golfer performs before taking their shot. It is designed to help the player focus and achieve the desired result.
There is no one correct pre shot routine, as each golfer will have their own unique way of preparing for their shot. However, there are some common elements that many routines share. These include things like taking a few practice swings, visualizing the shot, and setting up in a comfortable position.
The key to creating effective pre shot routines is to find what works best for you and stick with it.
Experiment with different methods until you find something that helps you feel confident and relaxed before your swing.
Remember, the goal is to help you focus and execute the shot, so don’t be afraid to make changes with your golf shots until you find a routine that works for you.
If you mess up, learn from it, and remember that you always have your next shot!
11. (Bonus) Hit The Golf Course!
At the end of the day, golf is a game and the only way you get good at a game is by playing it as often as you can. Practicing on the golf course can teach you more about the proper way of playing than any blog post or article can.
If you’re in or if you frequent California often, check out some of these California Golf Courses when you get the chance! Otherwise, head over to your local course for a game.
The majority of your practice time should be spent playing rounds of golf instead of hitting shots on the driving range when golfing.
You just focus on your technique when you’re out on the driving range. Golf, however, is much more than simply excellent technique.
Playing rounds of golf will help you improve your scoring and reduce the number of strokes you take per hole. It will also help you develop course management skills. Course management is knowing when to hit the driver, when to lay up, etc.
Golf is a game that requires many different skills to be successful. While having a strong golf swing is important, it is only one part of the game. Good course management, strategic thinking, and mental toughness are also key components to playing well.
The lessons listed here can only go so far. You still need to put them into practice games and learn for yourself.
Only this much we know for certain: If you take all that you learned here to heart and commit to the course, both figuratively and literally, then we have no doubt you’ll improve your golf game in time!