Jan 20, 12
Golf can be very stressful even when you’re just playing for fun. Everyone, no matter what their skill level, wants to perform well. You can increase your chances of doing well by following a few simple tips that will keep your nerves in check and your mind focused on the shot you’re taking.
Putting the Ball in the Hole
Almost every hole is won or lost within 100 yards of the cup. Your short game and putting need to be one of the best parts of your game in order to play the best golf you can. One of the biggest mistakes people make on the putting surface is not getting enough stroke on the ball. Making sure you have a good pre-shot routine will help you from hitting the ball wrong. Make sure that your follow through is as smooth as your backstroke. This will keep the putter head from moving in or out and causing the ball to go in the wrong direction.
Minimize Swing Thoughts
If you were told not to think of a pink elephant you would visualize a pink elephant. Your brain is made to associate things with visual thoughts. If you tell yourself not to hit the ball to the right you will visualize hitting the ball to the right and your muscles will then be prepared to do what you just visualized. Keep your thoughts positive and on the objective at hand.
The easiest way to do this is to keep a solid pre-shot routine with each shot you take. You can write down this routine on a cheat sheet that you keep in your pocket or golf cart as you play. Even if you know the routine by heart seeing it visually on paper will help your brain prepare to do what you’ve written out. Your pre-shot routine should contain a few key elements and you can work out your own custom routine around these elements.
Visualize your shot and where you want it to go. Pick a target off in the distance like a tree, pole, patch of grass or anything else that’s highly visual. Once you have your target align the clubface and your feet to the target line. When you take your practice swing focus on the swing and not visualize a ball in front of you. When you set up to the ball you will swing the club instead of trying to hit the ball. Minimize the time between your practice swing and the time you step up to the ball. Lastly you need to focus only on your pre-shot routine. This will eliminate the jitters you get on the tee-box. If you’re finding it hard to focus take a few deep breaths in your mouth and out your nose.
Get More Out of Your Chips
One of the most common mistakes people make when taking a chip shot is they break their wrists coming through the ball. If you’re a right handed player the club should be an extension of your left hand. Your wrists should not bend at all when you come through the ball. This will keep you from chunking or topping the ball.