10 Ways to Lower Your Golf Handicap
Start tracking your
Knocking strokes off your golf handicap can be a daunting task. I've listed ten easy ways you can reduce your golf handicap
by a couple strokes below.
Keep a Positive Attitude
There's nothing more frustrating than hitting a bad shot. For me, I especially
get frustrated when I hit the ball out of bounds. It's important to keep a good
positive attitude when on the golf course to avoid making more mistakes. When
you play with a negative attitude it takes your focus away from your next shot
and increases the likelyhood of hitting another bad shot which is where many
golfers "Blow Up" and end up taking 8's and 9's. Keep control of your game and
don't let yourself get frustrated. Afterall, It's just a game, right?
I know it's fun to pull off a
miricle shot or try to drive a reachable par 4 green but before you consider the
shot you should always weigh the consequences first. Ask yourself the question
"What is the worst that could happen if you don't pull off the shot?". If you
might end up pulling the ball out of bounds or in a hazard you might want to
reconsider the shot. You can't always get to the green in regulation but
sometimes you might be able to lay up and salvage par or bogey.
Count Points, Not Strokes
Good scores come from a cummulation of good shots. Instead of focusing on the
number of strokes in a round, I've found it to be helpful to count the number of
good shots instead. When I play a round, I've created a points system designed
to keep track of your overall performance shot by shot instead of for the round
as a whole.
|Fairway Hit from Tee
|Green in Regulation (GIR)
|Up / Down for Par
|Par or Better
Hit a bad shot? No need to worry, just make sure your next shot is good so you
can recover from your mistake. On most holes on the golf course you can still
get par if you just lay up and then get up and down. There's no need to be too
aggressive and try to force a very difficult shot. Sometimes the best play is
Join a League
By joining a league or playing in a weekly group you'll ultimately have a reason
to go out and play. By playing more frequently you'll start feeling more
comfortable playing and can focus your attention on other areas of your game.
Learn the Rules
Sometimes knowing the rules can be to your benefit. Say you hit a bad shot that
ends up rolling 50 yards off the tee into a thick cut of grass. Under rule 28 of
the USGA you may declare the ball unplayable at any time as long as it's not in
a water hazard. You may be better off reteeing the ball and landing 3 in the
fairway then you would trying to dig the original ball out of the grass.
Learn from the Pros
I'm not talking about expensive lessons with your local PGA professional,
although that would work as well. What I'm talking about is watching golf
tournaments on TV. A lot of times during these televised events the commenters
will analyze the pros swing in slow motion and draw lines on the screen so you
can see how a pro hits the ball. Pay attention when the commenters do this. A
lot of times you can learn something about your golf swing.
Know your Game
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses on the golf course can definately help
lower your handicap. Keep track of your stats in order to determine where your
game is the best and where it could use some improvement. Once you determine
these areas go out and practice them.
Learn the Course
Knowing the course can definately help you improve your golf game. By knowing
which side of the fairway you want to be on you may have an easier time
approaching the green. Knowing the greens helps too as you can strategically
position yourself below the hole for an easy uphill putt as apposed to being
above the hole and risk three putting.
Practice makes perfect! Although, make sure you get good use out of your
practice. If you just go to the range and hit the driver everytime, you may not
be focusing on the right part of your game. Hit several clubs on the driving
range. Learn how far you hit different clubs and work on shaping your shots for
different types of shots on the golf course.
Article by: Jay Seigneur - June 27, 2012