Golf is a fun and exciting sport, which provides a great way to relax, remain fit and relieve stress. And it’s suitable for all ages.
However, it easy to grow frustrated, especially if your game is not improving, regardless of how many rounds you play.
The good news is that improving your score or lowering your handicap is definitely manageable, with the right techniques and approach.
Here are some strategies that you can use to improve your game and lower your golf handicap fast.
Play Different Courses
While you might have your preferred golf course, you need to move out of your comfort zone and explore different golf courses. Each golf course has a unique character. Therefore, if you want to become an all-rounded golfer and lower your handicap fast, you should tackle as many courses as possible. Playing on the same course repeatedly will make your game one-sided. In the short-term, you will enjoy lower scores and you might become complacent, thinking that you are now one of the best players. Unfortunately, if you find yourself in unfamiliar territory, you will struggle and lag behind. Whenever you get an opportunity, make sure you challenge yourself and explore courses with tricky hazards, faster greens, and different layouts. Also, don’t be afraid to play when the course is wet. Playing in different courses and conditions will broaden your skillsets and make you a better golfer.
Get Fitted for Clubs
Just because your favorite golfer has endorsed a certain club doesn’t mean that it will work for you. If you want to get the best performance from your golf clubs, then it’s highly advisable to be custom fitted. Regardless of whether you are a pro golfer or an amateur, it’s vital to use clubs that suit your unique swing and physique. The length of the club, the grip and clubhead size are all vital. Using an ill-fitting club will negatively affect the dynamics of your swing, leading to inconsistency and poor performance. While getting fitted for clubs might appear like a costly process, this investment will be worth your time and money in the long term.
Practice Your Short Game
Most amateur golfers tend to spend most of their practice time on the driving range, trying to hit long-range shots. As a result, they end up neglecting their short game. However, approximately 65% of the shots taken in a game will land 100 yards or so within the green. Shots landing within this area are known as short game. With such a huge number of balls landing within this region, it’s vital to practice your short game regularly. By improving your short game, you will eliminate some careless mistakes and significantly reduce your current golf handicap.
Stretch Before the Game
Some golfers assume that purchasing top-of-the-line clubs will automatically improve their game and help them to lower their handicap. However, that assumption is wrong. If you are not flexible or you are lacking in overall body strength, then you will struggle to lower your score. And that’s why it’s important to have a stretching regimen before every session. Apart from improving flexibility, stretching before the game comes with the following benefits:
- Reduces Injuries: Sore muscles and strains are common among golfers. Therefore, by stretching before the game, you will increase your range of motion, leading to powerful, efficient and consistent swings. Stretching will also enhance the flexibility of your body, which helps to prevent some common golf injuries such as herniated disks, elbow injuries, shoulder injuries, knee injuries, hand and wrist injuries as well as back strains.
- Helps to Maintain Proper Posture: Pre-game stretching can also improve your posture throughout the game. If your body is not properly aligned during swings, then it’s highly likely that your shots will be poor and your handicap will be high. On the other hand, if your knees, hips, ankles, and trunk are well aligned during a swing, then your shots will be powerful and accurate – and you will enjoy a lower handicap.
- Increased Circulation: Proper stretching and adequate warm-up before the game will boost circulation in your body. And if more blood is transported to the muscles that are involved, there will be increased energy production and faster removal of waste, thus helping your body to remain in great condition throughout the game.
Stretching and warming up before the game plays a vital role in boosting your performance levels and preventing injuries. Therefore, if you are looking for ways of lowering your golf handicap fast, then performing golf-specific stretches before every game is not an option but a necessity.
Wear Proper Golf Shoes
As much as it might not be a requirement to wear golf shoes when playing golf, a well-fitting pair of golf shoes can benefit your game in various ways. First, golf shoes will keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, thus preventing you from sliding during a swing. Also, they protect your feet against wet grass that you might encounter in some courses in the morning. Furthermore, the average golfer walks approximately four miles, to cover all the holes of a golf course. Therefore, if you will not be taking the cart, then a pair of top-quality golf shoes will provide with comfort and foot support that you will need to cover such a huge distance. Some of the factors to consider when buying golf shoes include:
- Spiked Vs. Spikeless: Most golf shoes on the market are either spiked or spikeless. The design you choose will depend on personal preferences as well as the terrain conditions of the golf course you will be playing on. If you opt for spiked golf shoes, then you should ensure that the cleats are made of plastic, since many golf courses don’t allow golf shoes with metal spikes. Golf shoes with spikes offer reliable traction and grip on the course. They are ideal for wet conditions or hilly areas. On the other hand, spikeless golf shoes are equipped with small rubber lugs on the bottom of the outsole instead of standard golf cleats or spikes. They work best on dry conditions and flat surfaces. Also, spikeless golf shoes are more flexible, lightweight and more comfortable for walking, compared to their spiked counterparts. Golf shoes without spikes also tend to be versatile. Therefore, if you are looking for a pair of golf shoes that you can wear on and off the course, then the spikeless design is ideal for your needs.
- Style: Whether you are a professional or an amateur golfer, your performance will be better when you are feeling confident. And if you are looking and feeling great on the golf course, there is a high chance that your performance will be exceptional. So, when you are buying golf shoes, make sure you purchase a pair that matches your style. Most golf shoes fall under two distinct categories – modern sneaker-like golf shoes and traditional golf shoes. Traditional golf shoes are mainly made of leather. They are functional and simple. Also, most of them come with spikes. Modern golf shoes, on the other hand, resemble an ordinary pair of sneakers. They are available in spiked and spikeless designs. Modern golf shoes are lightweight and more flexible than traditional golf shoes. For casual golfers or those who live in warm conditions, golf sandals are ideal. While they might not offer the performance of conventional golf shoes, they tend to offer more freedom. Besides that, their breathability is unmatched.
If you are a serious golfer and you want to increase your performance levels, then a high-quality pair of golf shoes is a necessity. They will support and keep you comfortable as you walk the golf course, keep your feet planted firmly on the ground during swings and protect your feet against water, moisture, and other elements that you might come across on the course.
Compete With Better Players
As noted earlier, playing on the same course and using the same techniques will stunt your development. Likewise, if you are always competing with the same group of average players, then you might not notice any improvement in your skills. And that’s why you need to challenge yourself and compete with golfers that are more skilled than you. As you play with them, you should watch their strategies, techniques, and approaches in different situations. For instance, if you are a 20 handicap golfer, then you should compete with 16 or 18 handicap golfers. By competing with golfers who are more talented than you are, you will improve your shot accuracy, consistency, and distance, leading to a lower handicap.
While playing and learning from other golfers is important, you should also spend some time alone on the golf course. When you are playing alone, you will not feel rushed and you can take the time to practice and refine your shots. And since you will be alone on the golf course, there will be no distractions, which means you can focus on your game, making it easy to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Monitor Your Stats
If you want to improve your performance on the golf course and lower your handicap within a short timeframe, then you need to identify your strengths and weaknesses. After every session on the golf course, make sure you track your putting average, greens in regulation, fairway hits, as well as sand saves. You should then use that information to understand how it happened as well as how you can improve. By consistently monitoring your performance, you will know the exact areas that you need to work on most.
While it might appear boring and repetitive, you will only improve your game if you dedicate ample time for practice. During your practice sessions, you will have an opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. Visit driving ranges and golf courses as much as you can to work on your techniques. If possible, you can even hire a personal instructor or trainer. When you combine regular practice with the strategies discussed above, you will improve your game drastically and become a better golfer. Whether you’ve just started playing golf or you are a seasoned golfer, there is always room for improvement.