“I have no idea what I’m doing wrong.”
You’ve probably muttered this line after a string of poor golf shots. It’s an all-too-common refrain. Even worse is when a playing partner pipes up with his own diagnosis of your issues, which causes more distress when the advice turns out to be faulty.
One thing all consistent players have in common is a fundamental understanding of their own swings. You’ll rarely see good golfers completely lose their games for a long stretch of holes, because they’re able to correct mistakes on the spot. If they hit a big slice with the driver, they usually know why, and adjust accordingly on the next tee.
The first step to becoming a proficient self-corrector is learning the basic causes of your most common mishits. For instance, if you have a tendency to hit the ball thin, figure out why – and what to do about it. Then you’ll have an answer when thin shots crop up during a round.
- Focus on fundamentals: More often than not, a game gone haywire can be traced back to a very simple issue, such as misalignment. After a bad shot, keep your feet in exactly the same spot as address and place your club on the ground, touching the toes of both feet. Step back and look at where you lined up. If it was off target, you’re probably making the same mistake each time.
Improper ball position gets many golfers, too. Check this by laying the club from your tee or the back edge of your divot to your feet, keeping the shaft perpendicular to the target line. You may find that you addressed it in the middle of your stance rather than off the front foot, or vice versa.
The direction and depth of your divots may offer clues to alignment and swing path as well.
Get your tempo in-sync: Maintaining your ideal rhythm over the course of 18 holes is difficult, even for great players. When suffering through a spell of bad ballstriking, step aside while others are hitting and make a few slow, easy practice swings with your feet close together, concentrating on keeping your balance.
This will bring your rhythm back to an even keel.