Golf is a uniquely enjoyable sport. People of all fitness levels can enjoy golf. It is both a strategy game and a game of skill, making it mentally and physically challenging. Many people also enjoy the quiet, relaxing time outdoors that golf provides. People who are just beginning to play golf may have many questions about how to optimize their experience. Dr. Joel B Akin, a veterinarian from Texas, shares his top 8 tips for amateur golfers who want to enhance their games.
1. Perfect Your Position
To make a successful golf swing, you need to have a perfect starting position. Stand up tall and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Balance your weight on the balls of your feet and turn your toes out slightly. Then bend forward, using your hips. Be sure to keep your back as straight as possible, and do not slouch. Flex your knees. It should feel like you are trying to sit down.
If you have any questions about your stance, be sure to talk with your coach, a golf professional at your course, or an experienced friend.
2. Learn to Hit Straighter, Not Further
Anyone can smack a golf ball, and have it travel a long way, but it takes more precision to have a straight drive. Amateur golfers frequently hit the ball out of bounds, leading to tiresome strokes to get the ball back on the course. Centering your strike on the golf ball is a big help. It also helps to understand how the clubface relates to the swing path.
3. Understand Your Capabilities
Many amateur golfers compare themselves unfavorably to better players and the stars they see on television. It is not helpful to compare yourself to a professional player. It is smarter to learn what your physical limitations are and learn to work around them. Talk to your local golf professional about specific exercises that you can undertake to improve your golf game.
4. Eat Nutritious Food
If you’re expecting to golf, you should eat a healthy, balanced meal beforehand. Stay well-hydrated and avoid alcoholic drinks until you are safely back at the club. If your body is fueled correctly, you will have more endurance and will be able to think clearly. Take healthy snacks with you on the course, and always bring at least one large bottle of water with you.
5. Check Your Balance
This tip from a golf professional can help any amateur have better technique. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place an old club shaft or alignment stick under the center of both feet. Line up a shot with a middle or short iron and make sure to check your balance. The stick will make it evident whether you are leaning too far back or too far forward. You should be more on the balls of your feet than on the heels. Swing 8 to 10 times, hitting balls and judging how well they go. Then hit 8 to 10 shots without the stick to see how your balance has improved.
6. Understand the Physics
It pays to study the physics of golf. As any experienced golfer can tell you, the game is much more than only hitting a ball with a club. Successful golfers understand the physics of a swing and which clubs will produce the desired results. If this is too difficult to figure out on your own, talk to a PGA golf professional and work out how to judge this for yourself.
7. Golf with Friends
As much as possible, golf with a friend. Take a more-experienced friend with you and take his or her suggestions when it comes to gameplay. If you try to reach the same level of skill as your friends, you will have a more enjoyable time on the course.
8. Work on Your Pace
Golfing with a crowd waiting behind you can be a stressful experience. Many new golfers struggle to get their shots just right and feel self-conscious with people from other groups watching them. Keeping a steady pace will help you sink more putts as well as more successful swings on the whole.
Get Out and Try It
Golf can be an intimidating sport, but when you try it, you will quickly find out how many people are fascinated by it. Above all, don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a longer learning curve. Having a lesson with a professional can be a huge help in improving your game. Dr. Joel B Akin recommends that all new golfers enlist the help of a professional or an experienced friend to get going without developing bad habits.