In this article and video, I'm going to talk you through what I think are the 7 tips every golfer forgets. These are things we learn as we first start playing golf but often forget, especially when we compete under pressure.
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7 Golf Swing, Not Hit
It’s a mistake many golfers make. They get in the habit of attacking the ball with too much of a hit, forgetting it is supposed to be a golf swing. This is a problem, particularly when you’re under pressure and your tempo can get a little quick. To help, make some practice swings with your feet together. The only way to keep your balance is to swing within yourself. Add this to your pre-shot routine if your rhythm tends to get too fast!
The main thing golfers forget when it comes to how to aim in golf is that it is the club and NOT the body that is aligned to the target. Often what happens is that players set their club pointing towards the target and then establish their body alignment but, as they look up before they hit, they adjust their body angle. In a bid to point themselves more towards the target they actually create a closed stance. This often causes an inside takeaway and as a result, an over the top golf swing. So remember that at address you should feel that you are stood on a train track. Your body should be parallel to your ball-to-target line. If you can get this right you should be able to find a far more neutral ball flight.
5 Landing Spot
A bad habit that many golfers get into is automatically reaching for their lob wedge every time they miss the green. Playing high flighted chips shots might look great but it's riskier than hitting a chip and run. A great way to think about it is to imagine having the ball in your hand and making an under-arm throw to the target. Where would it land? The chances are your under-arm throw would see the ball land on the nearest flat part of the green and roll out towards the target. Now simply choose a club that will replicate that flight and roll. Simple.
4 Spine Angle
Most golfers know the importance of good posture but despite this, they find themselves in an unathletic, lazy position at address. To test your posture, take your normal set up position and try to lift your heels and toes. This will show you where your weight distribution is. If you can’t do this without feeling like you’re about to fall over, your posture is likely to be off. If an ideal position the weight should be on the balls of your feet and you should look as if you are about to return a serve in tennis.
3 Egg Drill
The tip golfers forget when it comes to how to play bunker shots is to strike the sand, not the ball. In fact, this is the only shot on golf where you are not trying to strike the ball first. Instead, you should be looking to hit the sand before the ball so it makes sense to address the area you are looking to strike. In practice, draw a circle around your ball (the ball is the yolk in the middle) and address the part of the egg that’s furthest from the target. This is where you are looking to strike. Through impact you should take out the whole egg! This way the ball should emerge onto the green on a nice cushion of sand!
2 Grip Pressure
Grip pressure is one of those things that is easily forgotten about. Setting the perfect golf grip is important but crucially, it shouldn’t too be too tight. This is easy to overlook especially as the pressure mounts and tension naturally creeps into your grip. If you hold the club too tightly your forearms will become tense and you’ll lose the fluidity and rhythm that’s so important. A good way to think of grip pressure is as if you are holding a tube of toothpaste. You should be holding it tight enough to be in control without being too tight so the toothpaste comes out. This is a light grip pressure and exactly what we’re looking for.
1 Playing Smart
The number one tip we all forget from time to time is not to take on flags that are tucked away. It is all too easy to see the flag and then go into auto-pilot thinking about other areas of the game. However, playing for the middle of the greens maybe the fastest route to lower scores. If you need convincing, try playing for the middle of the green on every approach in your next round. See what it does to your scoring!
Katie is an Advanced PGA professional with over 20 years of coaching experience. She helps golfers of every age and ability to be the best versions of themselves. In January 2022 she was named as one of Golf Monthly's Top 50 Coaches.
Katie coaches the individual and uses her vast experience in technique, psychology and golf fitness to fix problems in a logical manner that is effective - she makes golf simple.
She has coached tour pros on both LET tour and the Challenge Tour as well as introduced many a beginner to the game. An experienced club coach, she developed GardenGOLF and now freelances, operating via pop-up clinics and travelling to clients homes to help them use their space to improve.
Katie has been writing instructional content for magazines for 20 years. Her creative approach to writing is fuelled by her sideline as an artist.