Golf may be the most diverse game ever invented. It requires so many skills, so many adjustments based on situations and conditions, how do you know what to practice?
The best way to become a consistent scorer and perform well under pressure is to take care of the little things. It’s impossible to eliminate mistakes, but if you can routinely accomplish the most basic tasks – like driving the ball into or near the fairway and making short putts – you’ll avoid the wild fluctuations that plague most amateurs.
To build a solid, reliable game, focus your practice on these five areas on how to practice golf:
- Short putting: The simplest shot in golf also causes the most misery. Knocking in a 3-foot putt seems like child’s play, which is why it’s so frustrating to miss. Become adept from close range and you’ll stroke longer putts with more confidence, too; in fact, this positivity will impact your whole game.Work on a few fundamentals and you’ll enjoy long-term success on the greens.
- Touch shots: Golfers lose an inordinate number of strokes to par when they’re less than 50 yards from the green. It takes time to develop a feel for hitting shots a certain distance, with the proper height and spin – but it’s a worthwhile pursuit. Improve your greenside touch with the tips in this video.
- Short irons: The so-called scoring clubs, the short irons include all the wedges plus your 8- and 9-irons. Any time you’re hitting an approach shot with a short iron, you should expect to hit it on the green (though even the pros miss sometimes). Determine how far you hit each club when making solid contact. During practice, don’t focus on hitting a full shot every time. Pick targets at different distances and vary your swing length and pace. You’ll develop the ability to adapt to the game’s many variables.
- Tee game: Finally, work on your driving – but not just with the driver. Hit plenty of shots off tees with fairway woods and hybrids, too, so you’ll be able to get the ball in play on tighter holes. For amateurs, accuracy off the tee is extremely important. (Yes, even more important than distance.) Rather than blasting balls into the wide-open range, aim at specific targets and visualize hitting toward fairways on your home course.
- Fundamentals: Pros continually monitor their grip, stance, posture and alignment – you should too. You don’t even have to visit the course or range to do it. A full-length mirror or window works great as an evaluator of fundamentals. This is how to practice golf.