Change Your Mindset & Improve Your Game!
Assistant Pro Geno Piccolo offers tips for every level of player
“How do I become a better golfer?”
It’s a question most golfers ask themselves or others at some point. From the 1950s to the 1990’s, if you wanted to learn how to golf or become a better golfer, you would most likely visit your local course, and take lessons with a professional. Nowadays, you can watch videos on YouTube, scroll through golf tips on Instagram, visit an indoor hitting bay equipped with a launch monitor, and train yourself on how to swing the club without ever stepping foot on a golf course. With all of the technology at our disposal, and the new approaches to golf instruction, the mountain of information can be overwhelming. So, what is the best approach for improving your game?
First ask: What do you want to accomplish? You might have a target handicap, or a certain shot you want to perfect. At the end of the day, golf is all about the journey. It’s a journey that can be relaxing, fun, frustrating, and intriguing all in the same round.
The beginner golfer who has never hit a ball before, could be overwhelmed with the number of details involved in the swing, the dictionary of golf terms, or the rules of the game. The intermediate player, who’s been out there for a couple years might think his or her scores will never improve. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned veteran looking to shave a few strokes off, there are smart and efficient ways on how to get better, faster.
For the beginner golfer looking to start
Let’s face it; golf is a hard game. Anyone can learn the basic rules and movements for simple games like bingo, tag, and even basketball. However, when it comes to the game of golf, you can’t fully understand the mechanics of the swing if you don’t know the purpose of each club or the terms used to describe the course. There are many parts of the game you must learn if you want to be a good player and knowledge starts before movement.
Once you understand the basic concept of golf, the next step should be to understand the different clubs used on the course and when to use them. At this stage in the learning process, the rules of the game aren’t all that important, unless you are striving to play in competitive events.
Once you have learned a little bit about the goal of the game and the equipment, you are ready to begin swinging the club and hitting the ball. If you are looking to learn how to swing the club, you should start on the green, right next to the flag. Start off with short putts and gradually move farther away from the hole. Next, move to chipping and pitching around the green. Finally head to the driving range to work on the full swing. Remember, this is not a process that should be rushed. It should be enjoyed and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
If you are a beginner, taking lessons, don’t schedule them to close together, and don’t tire yourself out hitting endless buckets of balls at the range. Take a lesson, and then give yourself some time and a few practice sessions to work on the instruction you received during the lesson.
For the player feeling stuck.
If you have already immersed yourself into the golf world and find your scores remaining in the same range round after round, then this section is for you. Before any changes are made to your swing, your routine, or your clubs, an analysis should be done to figure out why your scores are what they are, and where you are losing strokes. If you don’t know where to start, during your next round, keep track of your fairways hit, GIR (Greens in Regulation, or did you hit the green and give yourself a birdie putt or better), and total number of putts. After you do this for a few rounds, you’ll have a good idea where you need improvement.
Its always best to visit your local PGA professional to discuss swing changes or game improvement. The golf swing can be complicated and different players may slice their tee shots for different reasons. Once you consult a professional, and possibly take a lesson on your weak area, get some practice sessions in trying to work on what the professional suggested. Always try to practice with some sort of feedback, and never practice until you are fatigued physically or mentally.
Golf should be all about peace, tranquility and relaxation but at times, it can be frustrating and seemingly impossible. If you find yourself getting easily frustrated with a hole or a few swings, try to remind yourself that at the end of the day, golf is a game. If you find yourself getting angry and negative on the course, remind yourself that that kind of attitude will rarely help your golf game. Keep a positive mindset, give it 100% effort, and look forward to the next shot. Golf is very similar to life; There might be a bad shot, a bad hole, or a bad round, but tomorrow the sun will rise and set like it always has, and the world keeps moving.