As you might imagine, there are a variety of ways in which you can work on improving your accuracy. For one thing, you can improve the mechanics of your swing. With a mechanically-sound swing on your side, it will be easier to send the ball in the right direction over and over again. That is not the end of the story, however. You also need to make good decisions in terms of selecting a clear and realistic target for each shot, and you'll need to be adept at reading the lie of the ball in the grass. There is a lot that goes into the skill of playing accurate shots, as we are going to cover as much ground as possible in the articles below.

The importance of picking targets is directly related to your accuracy on the course. It won't do you any good to be accurate if you don't pick smart targets, and just the same, it won't do you any good to pick good targets if you make poor swings. Only when the combination of the two comes together nicely will you be able to live up to your potential on the course.

The game of golf is all about hitting targets accurately. Each shot has a specific target – or, at least, it should (more on that later) – and your goal is to send your ball as close to the target as possible. Of course, golf is a very difficult game, so you aren’t always going to succeed in this pursuit. Ultimately, it is your accuracy that will determine your level of play, so the path to lower scores is paved with accurate shots.

Accuracy Lesson Chart

In this article, we’d like to talk about the concept of accuracy in golf. What does it mean to be accurate on the course? How can you improve your accuracy, and what mistakes do you need to avoid? There is a lot to cover here, so we hope the content below will help you move your game in the right direction.

Improve Your Accuracy – Club Head Follows Handle Lesson
The Correct Way to Clear the Hips to Cure Accuracy and Distance Problems
The Correct Way To Hit A Power Fade For Distance And Accuracy

Clearing The Hips To Help With Golf Accuracy
What is a Connected Golf Swing, Will it Help with Accuracy and Distance
3 Wood Loft VS Accuracy
What Is The Best Option For Better Driver Accuracy
Accuracy in the golf short game
Widen Stance to Add Power & Accuracy in Golf
Choke Up On The Golf Club For Better Golf Shot Accuracy
Clearing The Hips To Help With Golf Accuracy And Distance
Get Better Accuracy With The Driver
Tee The Ball Down Lower For Better Driver Accuracy
Distance Vs Accuracy When Opening Up The Hips During The Golf Set-Up
Golf Swing Tip: Clear the Hips for Power, Accuracy
How Senior Golfers can Best Control Pitching Distance to Improve their Accuracy
How to Clear your Hips to Help with Accuracy and Distance
How To Improve Golf Shot Accuracy Golf Tip
How and Why: A Proper Connected Golf Swing Creates Improved Accuracy and Distance
Set Up Your Golf Shot: Choke up on the Club for Better Accuracy and Contact
Accuracy And The Lie Of The Golf Ball
Ball Back In Stance Techniques For Driving Accuracy

Correct Golf Grip, How It Can Effect Shot Accuracy
Should I Grip Down On My Golf Driver To Improve Accuracy
The Better Way To Grip Your Club + Improved Accuracy

Golfing Tips For Driving, How Can I Improve My Accuracy
Will a shorter backswing improve my accuracy?

One thing we’d like to point out before getting started is that you should not write off your ability to be accurate just because your swing is not technically perfect. Sure, there are probably issues in your swing that prevent you from hitting the ball as consistently as you would like. That is true for nearly every golfer. Even with those issues in place, you still may be able to improve your accuracy significantly. There is a lot more to golf than just picture-perfect technique, so don’t give up on yourself too easily.

All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

— What is Accuracy in Golf?

Accuracy in golf refers to your ability to hit your ball close to the targets you have selected. That might sound simple, but it can be a bit more complicated when you start to think about the specifics. For instance, what counts as a target? And how close do you need to get to that target in order to consider a shot successful? Let’s work through a few points to bring this topic into greater clarity.

1. Your target will vary. The point you use as a target for any given shot will vary significantly depending on the situation. For instance, when you are putting, your goal is almost always going to be to knock the ball into the hole (with the rare exception being a severely difficult putt, where you are purposely playing to one side of the hole for safety). On a flat three-footer, you’ll aim right at the cup and do your best to knock it in. From such short range, anything other than a make will feel like a disappointment. On the other hand, if you are 200-yards away from the green, considering the hole to be your target would be pretty optimistic. More likely, you’ll aim for one half of the green, or maybe just the green in general. You should use a specific point to orient your body and take a good stance, but simply hitting the green from such a long distance will be seen as a win.

2. Success depends on your perspective. A successful golf shot is going to vary wildly from player to player, based on skill level. Let’s go back to the examples above to clearly demonstrate this point. On a flat three-foot putt, virtually every golfer is going to hope to knock it in, and many will be successful a high percentage of the time. Sure, a pro golfer is going to make more than a beginner but rolling a flat three-footer into the cup is within the capability of most golfers. When we move on to that 200-yard approach shot we talked about above, however, the story changes dramatically. For a beginning golfer, knocking the ball on the green from 200-yards away would be an incredible achievement, and a rare occasion. For a pro, hitting the green from that distance is a common occurrence. They aren’t going to hit the green every time from 200-yards, but their success rate will be pretty high. So, when you are trying to evaluate your own accuracy, you have to keep your skill level and experience level in mind. As you improve your game and play more golf, you’ll gradually come to expect more out of yourself.

3. Conditions play a role. When assessing the accuracy of a shot, or when trying to decide how accurate you can be with an upcoming shot, it’s important to take the weather and course conditions into account. The obvious condition that can impact accuracy is wind. If the wind is blowing across the course, it will be far more difficult to hit accurate shots. To a lesser degree, rainy conditions can also make it hard to be accurate, but it is really wind that you need to watch out for here. When the wind is blowing, expect less out of yourself from an accuracy perspective and pick more conservative targets as a result.

Golf is a ton of fun when you are hitting accurate shots and placing your ball in the perfect positions on the course. That’s not always the way it goes, of course, but you should keep striving to improve your accuracy, as lower scores will be sure to follow. Whether you are a total beginner or an experienced player, pay attention to your performance in this area and take steps toward getting more accurate as time goes by.

— Common Mistakes Which Impact Accuracy

Mistakes are common in golf. No matter what level of player you happen to be, it’s a safe bet you are making at least a few consistent mistakes in your game. Even the pros make mistakes! This is an extremely difficult game, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you fall into the same pattern of errors over and over.

With regard to accuracy, we have identified some common errors and listed them below. You’ll never be perfect in any part of the game but reducing the frequency of your errors will naturally lead to lower scores.

1. Poor aim. This is the big one, believe it or not. Plenty of golfers seem to think that their swing is to blame when they hit the ball off-line, but that is not necessarily the case. Your swing may have sent the ball in the wrong direction, or you might have been aimed the wrong way to begin with. If you want to quickly improve on your accuracy without making any meaningful changes to your swing, work hard on mastering the art of aiming properly. Learning how to aim will require some detailed practice on the driving range. This might not be the most exciting thing you ever do in golf, but it sure will pay off in the long run.

2. Swinging too hard. This is another big one, especially in the world of amateur golfers. There is an obsession regarding distance in the amateur game, which causes many players to swing much harder than they should on an average shot. There’s nothing wrong with going all out after a driver from time to time, as long as you can stay balanced and control the swing, but most of your shots should be hit with less than max effort. When you swing extra hard, it becomes difficult to maintain the balance and timing of your swing. And, when those elements go missing, it is unlikely that you’ll hit the shot on line. Rather than swinging so hard, put your ego to the side and simply pick the right club for the shot at hand. For instance, there is no reason to force a seven iron to the target when you have a six iron in your bag, ready and waiting. Get out of the habit of swinging so hard and you might be surprised to find how much your accuracy can improve.

3. Ignoring the role of the lie. The lie of the golf ball plays a huge role in the kinds of shots you can hit, and the kind of accuracy you can expect. When you have a perfect lie, such as when you get to place the ball on a tee to start each hole, you won’t have any limitations in place on your accuracy. However, once the ball leaves the tee, any number of different kinds of lies are possible. Your ball could wind up in the rough, you could be on a side-hill lie, you could be in a divot, and on and on. For each shot, you need to carefully assess your lie to determine how accurate you can expect to be. Playing from the rough? It’s hard to control the ball, so give yourself some margin for error. Have a perfect lie in the middle of the fairway? You should be able to produce an accurate result, assuming you make a good swing. Learning to properly read and respect the role of the lie of the ball on each shot is an important part of becoming a better player.

4. Always hitting a high shot. For some golfers, it seems the only path they see to the hole involves hitting the ball as high as they can. And make no mistake – hitting high shots can be a great thing. Sometimes, you need to hit the ball high in order to stop it quickly after it lands. However, in other situations where you have more room to work with, hitting the ball high is only going to make it harder to be accurate. By hitting the ball lower, you should be able to take a little bit of side-spin off the shot, and you’ll also reduce the impact of the wind. During your practice sessions at the range, work on getting comfortable with both low and high shots, so you have options at your disposal while on the course.

There are plenty of other issues which can affect your accuracy on the golf course, but those listed above are particularly common. Do what you can to stay away from these errors and you should find more of your shots settling close to their targets when all is said and done.

— Some Helpful Accuracy Tips

Now that we have gone over the negative side of this conversation – how you can go wrong – it’s time to turn it around and discuss some tips that you can use to tighten up your accuracy. Golf is all about making small, incremental improvements to get closer and closer to your ultimate goals. Maybe you want to break 100, or 90, or even 80. Whatever it is, better accuracy is going to help you get there.

1. Establish a go-to ball flight. There are few things in golf quite as helpful as being able to correctly predict which way the ball is going to turn in the air. If you can make your swing and know that the ball is going to turn left, or turn right, as it flies, you’ll have a much easier time being accurate. As an amateur player, you don’t really need to have more than one ball flight – you just need to have one you can trust. During your practice sessions, work on mastering the shot that you feel most comfortable with and just keep honing it in. It doesn’t matter if that shot is a draw or a fade, as long as you can reproduce it on the course time after time after time.

2. Developing an aim plan. We mentioned above that poor aim is the cause of many off-target golf shots. So, what do you need to do? Work on improving your aim, of course. This isn’t something that happens by accident – you need to have a plan in place that is part of your pre-shot routine. One commonly used method is to select an intermediate target to make it easy to align your body and the club correctly. An intermediate target is something on the target line that is just a few steps – or even a few inches – in front of your ball. So, you stand behind your ball and look down the target line, picking out a spot on the ground in front of you that will serve as an aim point. Then, when you walk up to take your stance, you just use that reference point to align your club and get your feet set. This is an effective method that you can get comfortable with after just a little practice.

3. Slopes are your friend. Golf is rarely played on flat ground. Most courses feature some slopes in the fairways and around the greens, both to make the game more difficult and to make it more interesting. While the slope of the ground can certainly make it hard to be accurate, you can also use these design features to your benefit. If you see that one section of a green is sloped down toward the hole, for instance, you can aim into this area and use it to help you move the ball closer to the target. Of course, be sure to keep course conditions in mind when using this method, as a soft course isn’t going to provide you as much help off the slopes as will a firm course.

4. Find a ball that stops in place. When amateur golfers watch the pros on TV, they are frequently impressed by their ability to spin the ball back on the green after it lands. While this does look pretty cool, it’s actually not particularly desirable. When the ball spins back, it’s hard to control where it will end up. For most pros, the preferred situation is for the ball to land, take a hop or two, and stop cold. As you work on deciding which golf ball you are going to use, keep this feature in mind. If you can find a ball that spins enough to stop quickly, but not so much that it spins back, you’ll have an easier time being accurate. Keep in mind that you may wish to switch ball models as the seasons change. For instance, a higher spin ball might be necessary when playing on firm summer conditions, while a ball with a bit less spin could work better in the wetter, softer winter months.

Hitting accurate golf shots is a great feeling, but it doesn’t come free. Just like all of your other golf skills, this one will only be improved through consistent practice. Good practice isn’t just about logging time on the range – it’s about making the most of that time by paying attention to the details and working on your weaknesses. We hope the tips in this section help you hit more accurate shots in the near future.

— Accuracy in the Short Game

No discussion of golf accuracy would be complete without talking about the short game. Of course, being accurate with short shots is a little different than being accurate with long shots, since your short shots aren’t going to curve in the air (and in the case of putts, they won’t be in the air at all). Given that you are playing these shots from so close to the target, you expectations will be higher – you’ll expect to make your short putts, and you’ll want to at least get close with your longer putts and chip shots.

So, how do you dial in your accuracy when putting and chipping? Let’s quickly look at some basic tips.

1. Eliminate moving parts. One of the best things you can do for your short game accuracy is to take as many moving parts out of your technique as possible. You don’t need to engage your lower body for a powerful turn like you do in the long game, since you are only hitting the ball a short distance. For putts, you’ll want to keep your lower half completely quiet, and you’ll want to make sure your head stays perfectly still, as well. From there, you can just use your shoulders to rock the putter back and through. There might be a little more body movement on chip and pitch shots, depending on the situation, but you should still try to keep it to a minimum. Your accuracy will greatly improve if you cut out any unnecessary movements in your short game.

2. Play more break. Generally speaking, amateur golfers need to play more break on their short shots. The average player underestimates how much a given putt or chip is going to break from side to side, leading those shots to miss on the low side. To compensate for not reading enough break, many players will then hit the ball harder than necessary in an effort to keep it high enough. This is obviously a bad idea, as it leads to a big miss and a long comeback putt. During practice, work on playing more break so you don’t have to rush the putt up toward the hole.

3. Repetition is king. Perhaps even more than the long game, the short game is all about repetition. You need to develop your ‘feel’ in the short game, and the only way to do that is by logging plenty of practice time. The good news is you don’t need much room to practice your short game, especially when we are talking about putting. In fact, you should be able to find a safe place around your home to roll some putts on a daily basis, and you’ll get a little bit better with each stroke. When you are at the golf course, make a point to set aside some time each visit for putting and chipping practice – at least half of your practice time should be dedicated to the short game.

We hope this discussion on the topic of accuracy in golf will help you make big strides with your game in the near future. It’s a great feeling to know that you can hit accurate shots when you step onto the first tee to start a new round – but that feeling doesn’t come without plenty of hard work. Good luck!