How To Improve Golf Shot Accuracy, Golf Tip

In a player's quest to improve accuracy they must first understand the relationship between the club face and swing path through impact and how best to create the optimal conditions for a straight shot.

At impact, for a perfectly straight shot to occur, the club face needs to be square to the ball to target line with the club traveling along an inside-to-square-to-inside swing path. However, before achieving a correct club face position at impact, players must first ensure their set up is correct both with the club face and body.

1. From behind the ball, lock on to the target and draw a line back from the target to the ball. This line represents the ball-to-target-line.

2. Just in front of the ball, pick something which sits on the ball-to-target line. On the course this could be something small like a different shade of grass or divot.

3. After the ball-to-target line has been identified, move into the set up position and aim the club face at the intermediate target. This means at address the club face is aiming at target.

4. After the club face is aligned correctly, the toes, knees, hips and shoulders should be then set at right angles to the club face and ball-to-target line.

It's important the set up is correct as misalignment at address means the club face will need to be manipulated throughout the swing to get the ball started on line. After the set up has been negotiated, you can start thinking about how to achieve the correct inside-to-square-to-inside swing path for a straight shot. There are a number of drills which can be practiced to help achieve a better and more consistent swing path.

1. To groove the inside-to-square-to-inside swing path, place a line of tee-pegs or a small box just outside the ball.

2. By hitting balls with the tee-pegs or box on the outside it's easier to groove a more consistent inside-to-square-to-inside swing path.

As the club face follows the correct swing path, it rotates and aims square at the target at impact. However, the club face needs to continue to rotate and release through impact. This ensures the club face does not remain open and send the ball right off the target (for right handed golfers). Half way through the through swing, players should ensure the club face has rotated and the toe of the club is pointing up at the sky.

How to Improve Golf Shot Accuracy

How to Improve Golf Shot Accuracy

An accurate golfer is a good golfer. Okay – so it might not quite be that simple, but it's close. When you can consistently hit your targets in this game, you are going to like the ways your scores add up at the end of each round. The modern game has gotten wrapped up in a focus on power, but accuracy is really the key to making your way around the course. Learn how to be accurate, and suddenly trying to max out your distance off the tee won't seem so important.

The goal of this article is to help you improve the accuracy of your golf shots. Obviously, this is a goal which is easier said than done, as every golfer would love to hit the ball more accurately both off the tee and from the fairway. It isn't going to be simple to improve your control over the golf ball, but your effort will be worth it in the long run. If you are able to successfully dial in your swing to a point where you have excellent control over your ball flights, this game will quickly become far more enjoyable.

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 this article.

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.

Key Mechanical Components

Key Mechanical Components

While it is true that there is more to hitting accurate shots than just great mechanics, this is where it all starts. Without solid fundamentals as a building block, everything else will be wasted. You should start here, by building the best swing you can create. Then, with reliable mechanics on your side, you can move on to optimize the rest of what you do on the course.

So, what are the key mechanical components to consider when creating an accurate swing? Let's take a look.

  • Great balance. It all starts with balance. You will have trouble finding an accurate golfer who does not use excellent balance in his or her swing. Simply put, it's hard to hit accurate shots when you are leaning in one direction or another as the club moves back and through. You want to be centered over the ball, with your center of gravity remaining as steady and stable as possible. The average amateur golfer uses too much lateral motion in the swing, making it difficult to hit accurate shots (and making it difficult to achieve clean contact, as well). If you take nothing else away from this article, at least take away the understanding that improving your balance is a huge step in the right direction toward more accurate play. It is easy to make the swing, and the game, too complicated, but the best results tend to come when you keep things simple. Focus on balance first and foremost, and then work on complimenting that balance with other sound fundamentals.
  • A steady head. At some point in your golfing life, you have probably been told to 'keep your head still'. While this seems like a rather simple tip, it is actually one of the more important pieces of advice you will ever receive in golf. When your head remains still, it becomes much easier to strike the ball on the center of the club face. And, when you find the sweet spot, you are going to be much more accurate with your shots. It is common for amateur golfers to move their heads as a result of swinging too hard, trying to squeeze every last yard out of the shot. This is simply not necessary. It's great to hit the ball far, but only if you have control over its flight. Instead of obsessing about power and distance, turn your swing down a bit and make sure you can keep your head steady all the way through impact. The combination of great balance and a steady head position is a wonderful recipe for quality ball striking.
  • Whole body rotation. Using your hands too actively in the golf swing is a sure way to damage your ability to hit accurate shots. Yes, your hands have a job to do, but they should be playing backup to the rotation of your body as the star of the show. Use the big parts of your body – your legs, your hips, your shoulders – to turn away from the target in the backswing, and then toward the target on the way down. If you can execute this kind of whole-body rotation, your hands will be able to simply stabilize the club and hold on for the ride. Have you ever noticed how professional golfers are able to make the swing look so simple despite swinging the club at extremely high speeds? This is possible because they use their big muscles to direct the action. Not only is this a great way to hit the ball hard, but it will also help you control your ball flight more successfully.
  • Keep everything moving through impact. The point of contact with the ball at the bottom of your swing is not the finish line. Rather, this is just another point along the arc of the overall swinging action. You should think of your finish position as the actual completion point of the swing, meaning you have to swing through impact aggressively. This kind of aggressive move through the ball is another way to develop power, and it will also help you hit your targets. It is common for amateur players to 'give up' on the swing at the bottom, thinking that the job has already been done. Unfortunately, if you think this way, your club is likely to begin slowing down even before you've made contact – and obviously, that is a mistake. Commit yourself to swinging through the ball on every shot and you are going to see improved results moving forward.

There is nothing complicated in this list, but that doesn't mean it is going to be easy to hit all of these points. For many golfers, the very first point – balance – is the one that gives them the most trouble. Even if you get over that hurdle, you'll still need to manage to keep your head steady, learn how to rotate your whole body, and keep the club moving through impact. It's best to take these points one at a time until you have put together a reliable, repeatable swinging action.

Select a Logical Target

Select a Logical Target

In order to know whether or not you are hitting accurate shots, you need to first define where you are going to aim on a given shot. This is a point which gives many golfers trouble. It is common for golfers to just aim 'at the fairway' or 'at the green', when really, they should be using much more specific targets. Fairways and greens are large sections of grass, and hitting the right or left side of a fairway or green is going to yield dramatically different results. To consider yourself an accurate golfer, you not only need to be able to hit a good number of fairways and greens each round – you also need to be able to hit more specific spots within those areas.

How do you go about picking your target for a given shot? That's the subject at hand in this section, and the points below should help you understand this important topic.

  • Think one shot ahead. This is the key to picking smart targets. When trying to decide where you should aim a shot, you need to think about how you are going to position the ball for your next shot. Unless you are hitting a short putt – which you should be expecting to make – you should be thinking about position. Do your best to put your ball in a spot that is going to make your next shot as easy as possible. By always thinking one step ahead from a strategic stand point, you will be surprised at how easy this game can seem. Of course, even after making a good strategic decision, you still need to execute and hit your target properly.
  • Err on the side of caution. The average golfer plays much too aggressively from shot to shot. In fact, most golfers play as though the hazards on the course simply aren't there. Amateur golfers will aim close to water hazards, out of bounds stakes, deep bunkers, and more. This is foolish, and you are sure to pay for it sooner rather than later. Being aggressive on the golf course rarely pays off, as this is a game which tends to reward patience above all else. Do your best to pick safe targets, playing away from hazards whenever you can. It is going to take some time to get used to this playing style – especially if you have been an aggressive player to this point – but your scores will almost certainly come down as you change your habits.
  • Play to your strengths. This is yet another point where the average golfer tends to go wrong. Instead of playing to their strengths, most golfers attempt to hit the perfect shot in each situation – even if that shot really isn't within their comfort zone. By trying to play shots that don't match up with your skills, it's going to be tough to see consistently positive results. In playing to your strengths, you may have to actually play away from the hole in some cases – and there is nothing wrong with that. For example, picture a situation where the hole is cut near the right edge of the green, and there is water off to the right side of the green. The ideal shot here would be to play a fade from left to right, keeping your ball away from the water while still getting close to the hole. But what if you aren't good at hitting fades? Should you try it anyway? Or should you play the ball out over the water and hook it back? Neither. Instead, you should just play your draw safely into the left side of the green. This is likely to leave you with a long putt, but that's okay. By resisting the temptation to hit a shot that isn't in your wheelhouse, you should be able to avoid trouble more often than not. In the long run, playing it safe and sticking with your trusted shots is the right way to play.

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.