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How To Guarantee A Lower Golf Score

May 27, 2008
Want to guarantee a lower score? The way to one is more obvious than you think..

A. Practicing To Perfection

Last year I read a very unspectacular book. I can't remember the name of the book, nor do I really care to look it up. Regardless, this book had a very interesting point to make. The point was that there really aren't that many "naturals" out there. At anything. The book's central argument was that the so-called naturals (at anything) are, almost 99% of the time, people who have practiced more than others. (The book did give a little credibility to the fact that naturals do exist. But, it said they are very very rare. And it's doubtful you'll ever meet one because they are so rare...)

What does this have to do with golf? EVERYTHING. Practice is the simple way to a lower score. You've just got to put in the work.

And by work, I mean practice.

However, even though many golfers are dedicated improving their games, relatively few really understand how to practice properly.

If you have ever taken a look at golfers on the driving range, it usually looks like they are trying to get rid of their balls as fast as possible. And, they are using as much power as possible to do so.

Is this the right way? Do peoples actually get better from playing "how many balls can I hit today?"

The reality is, probably not.

But, it's difficult to know exactly what to practice because the golf swing itself is so complex. And, your swing might be a little different than most people's (everyone is a little different). As a result, it's tough for a player's game to advance by just hitting over & over again.

You need to get a grip on your specific swing's weakness or get professional guidance to help you do so. Truly productive practice sessions are what makes pros....

B. Thought Vs. Practice

Your eventual goal should be to develop a natural swing that isn't influenced by any thoughts when it happens. An autopilot swing. But, some thinking should go into your practice sessions. You'll need this to get you to an autopilot "zone"...

When you practice, get a vision. See your shots landing perfectly. Think about why a ball where it did. Slowly reflect on your shots. Optimizing your game by concentrating on fixing your weak points will help you immensely.

In fact, you should bring a physical paper notebook with you to record your thoughts. These notebooks can serve as a great way to increase your progress by zeroing in on what you think is wrong. Later, you can review your notes for ideas and possible fixes to any problems you are experiencing.

Finally, when you have downtime (e.g. in an airport or waiting for a meeting), you can practice thinking about your game & your swing too.

Practice doesn't have to always be done on the course or the driving range!

C. Practice At Your Current Skill Level

A student golfer should practice swing specifics until the swing is fundamentally sound. From there they can advance & practice higher level refinements.

The key is to take it from where you are currently. A countless number of items can be practiced, but specific procedures must be followed in every practice session.

These may seem like common sense, but they are important enough to list here:

1. Knowing what to practice should be the basis of your practice session. It is essential to have a positive outlook and defined goals of what you want.

2. Begin your practice sessions by smoothing your swing with short, soft iron shots...working your way up through the clubs until reaching your driver. You should only use maximum power when your swing has gotten to a consistent smoothness & fluid rhythm.

3. Rhythm should be an integral part of every practice session. Proper rhythm promotes coordination and good timing. Get into the groove!

4. The process of lining up a target is for more than just accuracy. It's for self-confidence as well. Striving for distance but not accuracy can give you a false sense of security that you are progressing.

You've got to actually get the ball TOWARDS the green. Not sliced into the rough!

5. Distance and direction are always the primary goals of practice. But, take the time to learn proper balance. Get a solid feeling in your swing by testing different positions and adjustments.

Get to where YOU feel right before trying to knock it out of the park!
About the Author
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