Here we go! Are you ready to finally play better golf? Are you tired of being the worst one in the group or playing well below your potential? Are you someone that used to play quality golf and just can’t find your game?
Below we provide 41 tips to help you play better golf. See which ones apply for you and what you can do today to play better golf tomorrow. Golf is ultimately a journey and here at golfjourney365, we are with you on the journey, loving the game of golf, but always looking to play better.
We break our tips into different categories:
- Short Game
- Golf Swing
- Online Golf Instruction
- Online Golf Personalities
Tip 1 – Play your game: Don’t get distracted by what others are doing. Prior to playing your round pick your strategy and stick with it. If you are someone that has a focus on hitting fairways or greens, then don’t get caught up in the game of trying to hit your driver 300 yards. It may be difficult to set the ego aside when your partner is out driving you, but play to your strengths and try to avoid your weaknesses.
Tip 2 – Play to the middle of the green: Stop trying to play the hero shot all the time. You know that tucked pin on the right side that you thought you could hit your pitching wedge to, only to leave it a bit short leading to a double bogey because you bladed the sand shot? Sound all too familiar? Yes, we have all been there. Commit to playing smart and not getting greedy by pin hunting.
Tip 3 – Develop a go to shot – When the pressure or the fairway is tight, have your go to 80% swing that keeps you in play. At least if you keep the ball in play, you can get the ball around the green and maybe get up and down to save par. Too many times we play the low percentage shot, which has no chance of actually happening.
Tip 4 – Reverse Engineer the Par 5’s – Pick the distance that you want to hit your 3rd shot from. For example, less say your comfort zone is an 80 yard wedge shot. Go ahead and build the hole backwards. Let’s say the hole is a 515 yard par 5 and you hit your driver 245. This means you are left with 270 yards to the hole. You now need to hit your 2nd shot around 190 yards. This will help, instead of trying to blast your 3 wood and only getting yourself in trouble. If you do this for all the par 5’s, you have now created 4 par 3’s that are around 80-100 yard holes. Do you think you might be able to make a birdie or two? If you don’t think so, it might be time to practice your wedge game.
Tip 5 – Take One Extra Club: Too many amateurs play to the yardage of their best struck 8 iron instead of their average struck 8 iron. This frequently results in coming up short of the green. Be realistic on the distances that you normally carry your iron shots. Put the ego aside and be real with yourself. Your score will thank you!
Agressive vs Conservative
Tip 6 – Become the best chipper: You know the fastest way to become a great putter? Hit the ball closer with your chip shots. You will be amazed how many 1 putts you now have during your round of golf. The goal on any chip shot is to be able to hit it inside of 5 feet. The make percentage inside of 5 feet is to your advantage. The great thing about chipping is that you can practice in many different places and it is free at your local public course. Isn’t it funny how the practice green is usually empty, but the driving range is crowded. The reality is that you will see quicker returns on your short game compared to pounding driver after driver at the driving range.
Tip 7 – Become a great lag putter: Eliminate those nasty, round destroying 3 putts that not only ruin your score, but your mindset. The next time you have a 30 footer or longer, think about putting it inside a 3 foot circle around the hole. Stop trying to make the putt and instead give it a chance to fall in the hole, but ultimately ensure you have the right speed. When you first get to the course before a round, practice your 30 foot lag putts and your 3 foot putts. These are the most vital putts of your round. Chances are you will hit the 15 footer decent and give it a chance to go in the hole. Being confident with your 3 footers, will help you putt everywhere else on the green as it frees you up and allows you to putt without fear of the come back putt!
Tip 8 – Master the 60 degree lob wedge: This club is a game changer. Let it become your best friend and your go to shot. As greens get faster and harder and course designers moves more dirt around to create difficult undulations around greens, the 60 degree lob shot becomes essential. Many of the old school teaching will tell you to play the bump and run, but courses have changed and you are often required to hit a higher lofted shot because the greens are firm and fast. Practice the shot and learn how to get the ball up in the air.
Tip 9 – Use the Bounce: When chipping use the bounce of the wedge. They are designed to allow the club to slide along the ground. Do not use the leading edge and dig into the ground. Gone are the days of playing the ball back in your stance, keeping your hands forward and holding the release off. Instead play the ball normally in your stance and even allow your right hand to come under and release the club as if you were throwing an underhand slow pitch softball toss.
Tip 10 – Line up the line on your ball when putting: Get one of those fancy, cheap devices that allow you to draw a straight line on your ball. Take advantage of the option to draw the line. On every putt, mark your ball, and line up the line where you want it to start the ball. Your vision changes from behind the ball to on top of the ball. Trust your vision from behind the ball, set up the line and then commit to that line. Do not get over it and second guess yourself. This indecision will just lead to a shaky putting stroke which will reduce your chances of hitting a quality putt.
A new approach to chipping
Tip 11 – Own Your Golf Swing: Get to know your golf swing inside and out. Know what happens when you make certain adjustments and own your golf swing. There are many golfers in the hall of fame that had different grips, different stances and different movements in the golf swing. At the end of the day, they were able to know where their ball was going to start and what way it was going to curve a high percentage of the time. Find what works for you and commit to your swing.
Tip 12: Learn to Work the Ball Both Ways: Learning to work the ball both ways will go a long way in your overall development as a golfer. This doesn’t mean you have to be 50/50 with your shots, but at least have a fade shot or a draw shot for the doglegs or really difficult approach shots you might face.
Tip 13: Understand the new fundamentals: As we talked about above, there are golfers who hit push draws, pull draws, push fades or pull fades. There were golfers that aimed left (Trevino and Couples) and golfers that aimed right (Palmer and Snead). There were golfers with strong grips (Azinger, Duval) and golfers with weak grips (Hogan). There are golfers that take the club way outside (Furyk, Wolff) and golfers that dragged it inside (Floyd). The bottom line is that there are many ways to swing a golf club and setup. The new fundamentals focus on three things: controlling the bottom of the swing, controlling the curve of the ball, and having enough swing speed to play a course. These are the true fundamentals you must continue to improve.
Tip 14: Practice the L to L Drill: This is the most basic, possibly best drill to keep your swing on track. Too many golfers go to the range and pound the driver. Instead practice hitting these more half like shots and groove your swing path and learn to control your club face.
Tip 15: Understand Your Path and ClubFace: The ball will start where your club face is pointing at impact and then curve away from your path. When you can learn to control the path and the club face together, you will become more consistent with your start lines and what ways the ball curves.
L to L Drill
Tip 16: Control Your Response – Playing golf is much like a pop quiz. We know there are going to be situations that catch us by surprise and quickly put our game to test. How we respond to those situations will ultimately impact our score. We must stay calm, go through our routine and make the best possible swing. And then ultimately, live with the results. We cannot control the outcome, we can only control our response, which is our mindset, routine, etc. that we go through with every shot.
Tip 17: Have a Game Plan for How You Will Respond: Have a process that you will follow when you do hit a good shot or a bad shot. Track your emotions for several rounds and see when you perform the best. Do you play good golf when you are angry or do you play better golf when you talk yourself down. Either way, play with confidence and follow a plan that fits your strengths.
Tip 18: Have Positive Self Talk: Did you know that the experts estimate that 95% of our self talk is negative. This might be back to the early days when we needed to always be telling ourselves something might be around the corner, but those days are gone. Try to control your self talk and keep it positive. When you go negative, your body responds in a bad way and it can inhibit you from performing at your best.
Tip 19: Remember That Golf Is Supposed to Be Fun: Remember that you play this golf for fun. Take a break every now and then when out on the course to look up at the sky or check out the beautiful golf course and remind yourself that you are fortunate to be there. Would you rather be at work or cleaning a bathroom at home? Life is so much a matter of perspective.
Tip 20: Find a Way to Disconnect: Life can be stressful. When you are out on the course, try putting your cell phone away if you can. Do you really need to see that email from the person at work? Or can you go a couple of hours with being able to focus on your game. There is no bigger score destroying process than being distracted with something from work or something going on in your life. If you have the chance, disconnect and focus on your round golf. Chances are you paid decent money to be out there.
Two awesome books on the mental side of golf.
Tip 21: Make Sure you Have the Right Club Setup: Do you still have a 3 iron in your bag? Are you a 3 handicap or less? If the first answer is yes and the second answer is no, chances are you should be hitting hybrids in your bag instead of a 2 or 3 iron. The technology has changed and improves and you need to give yourself the edge with equipment.
Tip 22: Assess your Driver: Is your driver more than 5-7 years old? It might be time to upgrade your driver and buy something a bit more recent, even if it is last year’s model. The technology has changed slightly. Be careful of the length of the shaft in the new drivers and consider getting fit for your clubs.
Tip 23: Is your Driver Shaft the Right Length: Did you know that they continue to increase the length of the driver shafts? They can now be up to 46 inches. Did you also know that many of the pros only play a 44 inch driver? So if a pro is having difficulty controlling a 46 inch driver, maybe this is the problem you are having with your driver. Try taking an older driver and having an inch or two cut off the shaft and test it out. You might be surprised that you don’t lose any distance, but gain some control.
Tip 24: Check Your Wedges: Did you know that Tiger Woods replaces his wedges for every tournament? Now this may be quite excessive for the average amateur golfer, but replacing your wedges every 3-4 years might be more reasonable. The grooves do wear down and you lose some spin on your wedge shots. Recently, I updated my 54 and 60 degrees and there was a definite improvement in performance with the wedges.
Tip 25: What Golf Ball Are you Playing: Are you still hitting the Titleist Pro V and your handicap is over a 10? Do you realize you might be missing out on some distance due to the high spin rate on your iron shots with a Pro V? Consider trying a ball half the price that might get you some additional distance with just about every club in the bag and now save money at the same time. There are some great golf ball options at half the price of the top of the line golf balls.
Tip 26: Speed Training: Are you losing distance each year? Have you gained any distance with that latest money you spent on the brand new driver? It might be time to consider some speed training. There are some great products on the market that help with overspeed training. I would highly recommend the SuperSpeed Golf Training System. It uses three different weights in clubs and provides a training protocol to follow. You can see an increase in 5-8% which results in an extra 20-30 yards. The protocol is easy to follow and you help train your brain to be able to handle the new speed.
Tip 27: Tempo and Rhythm Training: Your tempo and rhythm can never be too good. The Orange Whip training tool is pretty impressive if you are looking to improve your tempo and rhythm. It is worth checking out and is great for the person that doesn’t get to play as often as they would wish. This can easily be utilized in a backyard and you can see immediate dividends in your game.
Tip 28: DST Compressor: Do you lack lag tension at impact? Are you always chasing more lag for more distance and better ball contact? Then the DST compressor might be your next training tool. It is quite impressive the science and the studies behind the DST compressor and the difference between lag tension in professional golfers and amateurs.
Tip 29: Launch Monitor: Do you know what your numbers are for your club face and swing path at impact? It might be worth investing in a launch monitor to provide this data for you. When you are training, whether at the range or in your golf simulator, the launch monitor can provide valuable information that serves as instant feedback on what you did in your previous swing. You can’t overestimate the immediate feedback on your club face angle, your swing path and your club head or ball speed. These data points are truly what matters. All of the positions are useless if you getting it right at the moment of truth…impact!
Tip 30: Selfie Stick: One of the keys to any drill or training you are doing is knowing if you are doing it right. As many people have smartphones, one great tool to add to the mix is the golf selfie stick. This impressive, versatile device is used to hold your smartphone from down the line or at the side view and give you immediate feedback by recording your swing and being able to watch it instantly. You can use different free software to draw lines and analyze your swing or send it to your coach for some quick help. You will often see the professionals on the range recording their swings to see what positions they are hitting and if anything jumps out. Now you can record your swing on your own with the selfie stick.
Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:
Online Golf Instruction
One of the great things about about today’s internet age that we live in is the ability to have access to top of the line information and help from across the world. Gone are the days of having to rely on local knowledge to help us solve problems. We all know our golf swing can be a problem, but the great news is that the golf instruction world has come a long way and now you have access to the best across the world. Here are 6 amazing instructors that can help you.
Tip 31: Check out Shawn Clement: Completely different from many of the golf instructors because he doesn’t focus on hitting certain positions. Instead he tries to take the natural motions that we make in everyday activities and use these analogies and motions to help us make a productive golf swing. He talks about the human being being a gravity genius. Research shows we cannot hit positions every time, we can make similar motions and that by giving us a task to hit an area in the distance our bodies will respond accordingly. He has helped my game tremendously and when I find myself being ball focused instead of target focused, I know it is time to start focusing on the Shawn Clement approach and I see a jump in my swing speed of 2-4 miles per hour. Check out our complete Shawn Clement review here.
Tip 32: Check out George Gankas: He may be the hottest name in golf instruction right now and I think over the next 5-10 year will become the number one golf instructor in the world. His non conformist approach to golf instruction and his ability to help his students gain speed is unheard of previously. He has his own style, but can truly help people. He has studied the best swings of the past and works on teaching his students to find their matchups. He doesn’t get stuck in making everyone conform to one swing method, but instead helps you find what works for you. He has membership opportunities that are quite expensive, but may be worth it depending on where you are at with your game. Check out our George Gankas review here.
Tip 33: Check out Mike Malaska: Another golf instructor that challenges the typical teaching instruction of the past. He frequently talks about his own story and struggles and how the traditional approach to golf instruction messed up his game. He too wants you to swing naturally by directing the momentum of the club. His ability to show the 4 different types of golf swings is truly amazing. He is an awesome communicator and has spent a significant amount of time talking with Jack Nicklaus about the golf swing. Check out our Mike Malaska review here.
Tip 34: Check out Jim Venetos: Here is a guy with a completely different, alternative swing for those that have tried it all. He promotes a swing based on stillness where a golfer presets in the setup position into a closed stance with the weight 70% forward. I have utilized his swing at different times over the past 2 seasons and have never hit my irons better, but I did struggle with the driver. If you are someone that has fought a slice for many years and want to hit a draw, then Jim Venetos is your guy. You have to be one that isn’t overly sensitive to potential questions from your playing partners. With Jim’s approach I was able to eliminate the left side of the golf course. Check out our Jim Venetos review here.
Tip 35: Check out Monte Scheinblum: One of my favorites because he has a great focus on the what is actually causing issues in the golf swing. He breaks it down a step further than most instructors and is able to explain what is causing issues such as early extension, getting stuck, over swinging, etc. that many have issues it. His ability to show the swing faults and then provide corrections in an easy to understand method, typically followed up with a drill is top notch in the golf instruction world. He was once a long time driver champion that recently competed in the Senior US Open. He has some great knowledge of the golf swing. Check out 10 things we love about Monte here.
Tip 36: Bobby Lopez: A more traditional, positional based instructor at quickfixgolf.com is Bobby Lopez. However, his ability to keep it simple and continue to harp on a quality backswing and then keeping your head behind the ball might be exactly what you need for your golf game. He also has some great opportunities to have him work with you via online recordings of your swing. His price are very reasonable. He will analyze your swing and then prescribe drills to help you find your quick fix. Check out our review on Bobby Lopez here.
Online Golf Personalities
Another cool thing about the era that we are living through now is the number of golfers that have some impressive content to help us in our games. Here are some of the best.
Tip 37: Check out Be Better Golf Youtube: Brendon Devore is on a journey to get as good as he can and often puts his game and rounds of golf on his channel. He, like many of us, wants to get better and play his best golf, but may have struggled in the past to truly get better. He has spent time with George Gankas, Mike Malaska, Monte Scheinblum, Bobby Lopez and AJ Bonar in his attempt to better understand the swing, to get better and to help us all get better. He is willing to ask the difficult questions. His love of golf is very apparent and I truly enjoy his energy and willingness to provide such great content.
Tip 38: Check Out Golf Sidekick Youtube: Another amateur golfer looking to get better. He has great content in course strategy and hits some rather impressive tee shots with his driving iron. He talks you through strategy and often creates comparison videos that help us better understand the difference between a pro and a single digit player and a 80 golfer vs a 90 golfer. He will help simplify what is important in the game and if you want no non sense access to an amateur on a journey to get better and help us, then he is a great person to check out.
Tip 39: Brodie Smith Golf: A fantastic athlete turned golfer that has played golf with Jon Rahm and travels throughout the world producing golf videos. He drives the ball long and far and is on a journey to play highly competitive golf even though he got a late start with the game. He works with one of the best instructors in the world and has plenty of videos of him playing and he occasionally tests his game by playing tournaments.
Tip 40: Check Out My Swing Evolution: Another golfer on a journey to reach his best. He is someone that took the journey of trying to swing like Ben Hogan and he has done an impressive job. He provides plenty of content on his journey and shares his struggles with the viewers.
Tip 41: Check out On the Mark Podcast: On the Mark Podcast is a podcast by Mark Immelman. He interviews the worlds best players, instructors and those that can help us with our game. He is a college golf coach, golf instructors and broadcast person for the PGA Tour. He asks great questions and provides a weekly podcast to help us get better on our journey.
There we go, 41 tips that you can take action on to help your game today. We all love the game and want to play better. There will still be ups and downs, but the key is to enjoy the journey and have a blast with those on the journey with us.
There are so many great options today for golf instructor, equipment and training devices to help us hit straighter, longer drivers and make more putts after sticking it close with our irons. The options are endless. We suggest doing a complete analysis of your game of your game and finding what area might best help you see the results your desire. I have recently committed to trying to increase my swing speed with the SuperSpeed Golf System and utilize my SkyTrak Golf Simulator setup to practice and play rounds of golf during the difficult winter months and then get outside and play as much as possible.
Here is some additional content to help you get to the next level.
We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.