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Golf Tips

  

Build some confidence!

The winter was long…very long. A great way to build your confidence after a long winter is to start playing at a tee that is more forward than your normal tee. Teeing it forward encourages all golfers to play the course at a length aligned with their average driving distance. It also allows you to speed up play while you shake the rust off from the winter! Make more pars and birdies and start 2015 on the right foot!
Playing the Odds. Golf is a game of strategy and misses so to maximize success learn to play accordingly. For example, unless you are a scratch golfer, you should hit to the center of the green not to the flag. To maximize your odds of success, it is also strategic to take an extra club when hitting your approach shot (unless there is trouble over the back) because in golf we rarely hit the ball perfectly solid. The key to scoring is positive thoughts married with realism.
Be at ease. Often when we are playing with players better than us, or in a competition, we start trying very hard.  And the harder we try, the worse we get - because our muscles get tighter and our minds tend to see failure.  So – relax a bit and be at ease; think only about shots you can do and just play your game.  That will do just fine.
Putting –- Stroke and Confidence. You do not have to be overly athletic or strong to be a reasonably good putter.  What you do need is a fairly consistent stroke and a confident attitude.  If you find yourself 3 and 4 putting a lot of greens, do something about it – NOW!  Take a lesson from one of our golf professionals to build your stroke.  Then, to build your confidence, practice those 2 foot, then 3 foot, then 4 foot putts until your back hurts.  And then, watch the strokes fall off your scorecard.
What is the most important shot in golf? The next one!  Always play each shot with total commitment and focus.  At that moment, it is the only one that matters.  What went before or what will come after doesn’t matter.  Commit to it and hit it.
Down hill or up hill putt. On a down hill putt, focus on the front edge of the hole.  On an up hill putt, focus on the back edge of the hole.
Pick a high target. Picking a high target will encourage you to swing through the shot to that target.  Be specific.  Rather than picking a tree, pick a specific branch at the top of the tree.  When there is a visual distraction between your ball and the hole (such as water or a bunker) picking a high target will direct your focus away from that trouble.
Pre-plan how to play each hole before game time. When travelling to the golf course, mentally play your golf game in your head.  Allow your mind to hit every shot as you most often do – not poorly, not extraordinarily.  You will arrive on the first tee with a plan for each hole and a positive outlook to begin your game.  And stick to the plan -- regardless of how you are playing.
Develop a well-defined pre-shot routine.  This is the best way to get your focus on the process of hitting a good shot versus worrying about obstacles or outcomes.  Develop a pre-shot routine and stick to it!  For example, “eye” your intended line of flight, pick out an intended landing spot, check your grip, take one practice swing and execute your shot.  On the fairway or on the green, always follow your pre-shot routine.
Make sure your equipment fits you. While some of us do fit into a standard set, there are others that do not. Make sure you are fitted for clubs before purchasing. You should be fit for shaft length, shaft flex, grip size, shaft kick point, head design, and lie angle. Clubs built to the wrong lie angle, with the wrong shaft flex or using lofts that leave gaps in your set will cost you scoring opportunities throughout each round you play
Work on the shot that gives you the most difficulty. In most rounds of golf there are about a dozen shots that are critical, where excellent execution is important. Think of 3-5 shots that are difficult or the weakest part of your game and practice them. If there is a hole that gives you trouble consistently, think of another way to play the hole. Find the safest way to play the hole in the fewest amount of strokes.
Play to your Strengths. Hit the shot you know you can, not the one you think you should. If you are in trouble, hit the safest shot and get your ball back into play.
Stay Positive! When playing golf, it is important to not let the negative thoughts flow in. Look only at the target and do not focus on the hazards. If you think your ball will go into the water, it will. Imagine the shot you want to hit, focus on that and execute.
How to properly Aim your Club. To aim properly, let’s start with the eyes. Stand behind the ball in a direct line with the target. Make sure that you allow plenty of space between you and the ball to actually envision an imaginary line from the target through your ball. As you see this line (the imaginary target line) you should look for an intermediate target closer to the ball, probably 2-4 feet from the ball on the same target line. Since this intermediate target is closer it will be easier to aim the club to it. Place the leading edge of the golf club in a position to be perpendicular to the target line. Use the leading edge of the club as an aim guide. Once the club is perpendicular, now place your feet. Your feet, hips and shoulders will run parallel left of your target if you are a right handed golfer.
Place your eyes directly over the ball to be a better putter. If the eyes are beyond the ball, perception will be shifted to the left of the intended path, thereby causing you to misalign to the left of the hole. The ball is often hit with the heel of the putter and this results in a tendency to hit the ball to the left of the target. If the eyes are inside the ball, perception will be shifted to the right of the intended path, thereby causing you to misalign to the right of the hole. The ball is often hit with the toe of the putter and this results in a tendency to hit the ball to the right of the target. 

Stay even keel mentally throughout the round.

Don’t over react to a bad shot or get super excited about a good shot. Drastic emotional swings negatively affect your concentration and thus hinder the way you will play your upcoming shot. If you overreact to a bad shot, chances are you will make a faulty swing and hit another bad shot. If you overreact to a good shot, the tendency is to become lackadaisical on the next shot and hit the ball of line.