Golf is a fabulous sport to get into at any age, wonderfully accessible and a great way to socialize, keep fit and healthy and even a useful way to do business; many a successful negotiation happened on the golf course. If you’re just starting out as a beginner then there are lots of options for getting yourself on the road to becoming an accomplished golfer; ask for some pointers from some of the more experienced seniors at your local course, get yourself on Youtube and discover some useful tutorial videos or invest in an instructor to get you started. With early stages in mind, we have compiled ten tips to point you in the right direction:
1. Proper alignment for the perfect aim
Alignment is critical for your golfing posture. Get used to checking your postural alignment every time you take a shot. Not just your feet, but also your shoulders, knees and hips. Don’t forget to keep your club aligned too. Typically you’ll see golfers compensating for their incorrect posture and alignment with their swing; aiming left to make the ball swing right. Make sure you are aligned with your aim and set good habits early on.
2. Create yourself a balanced stance
Your stance must be grounded and solid; like a strong tree, rooted to the ground. A good golf swing must be built from the roots upwards so always work on a wide, stable and well balanced stance so you are always practicing perfect form.
3. Practicing perfect posture is everything
Without great posture you will not be able to develop that perfect swing. One of the ways to develop your posture is to focus on where you tilt your body. If you bend at the waist you will compromise your balance; always hinge at the hips to keep yourself balanced and aligned.
4. Always work on your grip
Every golfer is taught how to hold his or her club correctly but unless you practice your grip regularly then you can easily slip into bad habits. Makes sure this doesn’t happen by taking every opportunity to work on your grip. Even when you are not at the course, leave a spare club at the office or the house and make a habit of picking it up every time you walk past it, concentrating on great grip form each time you do.
5. Work on your down swing
You may have heard the term ‘bumping the hips’ and wondered what it is all about. This simply means not lowering your self at the hips into your swing, instead leading the swing with your upper body, leading to the most common down swing faults. You can avoid this error with practice. Think about throwing a baseball or skimming a stone; each time you perform these actions you start low and build the action from there, same with a successful down swing.
6. Take every opportunity to practice on the range
Successful golfers, at least those who make progress fastest, always make best use of time on the range. Don’t just head straight to the course every time, invest some practice time at driving sessions. Work on your weaknesses, focus on your posture, your stance and every other area of your game.
7. Avoid poor swing technique when looking for lofted balls
Avoid getting into the habit of scooping your shot to get more height. Getting good loft on your balls means practicing loft, not developing a poor swing. Try using high lofted clubs to get you in the habit of getting some air and building your lofting confidence.
8. Practice short clubs first, drivers last
It’s tempting to try and become a master of all clubs early on in your golfing career but the truth is this can lead to being a master of none. Work your way through your shorter clubs, maybe starting with your pitching wedge and progressing through your range, regardless of whether you are using a traditional club or the latest Hybrid golf clubs, leaving the drivers until last.
9. Practice on a short course
Short courses (like a par 3 for example) can be a great way to focus on the basics and sharpen your skill set rather than spending all morning hunting down lost golf balls.
10. Read more and learn from the pros
There is so much advice and help out there, subscribe to a magazine or two, check out some of the more reportable golfing websites and always be looking for ways to improve your knowledge and learn some new skills to take on to the course.