Golf is easily the sport where precision matters most. As you’ll learn in this guide, even turning your head too quickly when you’re putting in can mess up your game.
And since this sport is so precise, that means you need to be constantly improving your game, whether that’s by working on your stroke, your posture, or your mindset.
We’re going to go over all three below, to help you set your golf goals for this year. Read on to get some great tips!
Golf Goals: Work on Your Mindset First
Everything in life starts with your attitude. This statement sounds simplistic, but you can’t disprove it, and it absolutely applies to your golf game.
The more you focus on how nervous you are about a particular part of the course you are, the more those nerves are going to manifest into simple swing mistakes you know better than to do.
And yes, we know this is more easily said than done. Here are a few ways golf pros keep their nerves at bay and move on from a bad shot.
A Tip from Tiger
Tiger woods is one of the best golfers in history. But even he has bad shots. And can you imagine the standards he holds himself to? That’s a lot of stress and pressure. So when he makes a bad shot, Tiger lets out that pressure and frustration, but only for as long as it takes him to walk/cart ten yards from the spot he had the bad swing.
This way, he gets to release his anger, but after those ten yards, it’s all about the next move.
Take Three Deep Breaths
We know this sounds cheesy, but taking deep breaths is not only clinically proven to calm your mind and anxiety, but it relaxes and re-regulates your body as well. And when you’re working on your golf swing, you know that extra tightness in your shoulder can lead to you hitting the ball too high – or too low.
And if you’re worried it will make your shot take too long, think about how long each player takes when they’re at a tournament.
Look at Where You Want the Ball to Go
This seems obvious too, but oftentimes we get caught up in the details of our swing and look too much at the ball. When you’re setting up for your shot, spend some time looking at where you want it to go. Pick an exact spot.
Your body is smarter than you give it credit for. It will align towards that spot and help you swing aim towards it. This is a good tip to pair with a deep breath as well, set your sights and breathe, check your position, then breathe as you hit the ball – looking at the exact spot you want it to go during your follow-through.
Practical Golf Tips
Okay, enough with the mental stuff, let’s get to the tips you thought you’d be getting in this article. The first one is simple, though it might scare your significant other at first…
Watch Yourself in the Mirror
Obviously, you’re not going to do a full practice swing in the house unless you have room. But even just looking at your starting stance in the mirror can show you some ways to improve – and give you immediate feedback the next time you go to practice.
Take a look at your posture first – is your spine relatively straight? Are you sticking your butt out too much? How about your knees, are they overbent or rigid?
You don’t need a golf pro to help you fix these aspects of your swing. Better posture is always going to enhance the advice of any golf coach. To put it another way, no golf coach is ever going to tell you that you need worse posture, so save your money for the big tips and fix this part yourself!
Keep Your Putt Still!
Golf magazine claims that one of the biggest differences between recreational and professional golfers is that pros barely move their bodies when they’re putting.
Since you’re only going a short distance, you don’t need the power that comes from working your swing from your shoulders. Already knew that? Well, did you know that if you turn your head to watch the ball after you putt, it turns your shoulders slightly and adds some extra spin or direction to the ball?
Bet you didn’t! Next time there’s a tournament on, watch how still the pros are when they’re putting. The only thing that moves is their arms. And watch how they don’t move their head at all until their putter has no more contact with the ball.
Since you’re only tapping the ball, this is a skill you can practice in the mirror. Our eyes are trained to catch movement, so it should be easy to figure out where you need to practice keeping still.
Reward Yourself Often
Instead of feeling like you should be better overnight, set small goals, and reward yourself for meeting them. Maybe that means you spend half an hour practicing in the mirror, then buy yourself some new balls.
Cut your handicap by a couple of points? A new golf shirt. Work your way up to your ultimate goal by rewarding yourself for completing the little step-by-step ones along the way.
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Set Realistic Golf Goals, Then Crush Them!
If you’ve never heard of SMART goals, here’s an ultra-quick guide. SMART stands for small, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
For example, a smart goal for reducing your handicap would look like this: I want to reduce my handicap by two points by working on my swing by the end of next month.
If you set all your golf goals like this, you’ll be well on your way to success. And our guides can help you choose the best gear to get there.
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