By: Coach Kyle Albright
How do we play our best? How do we improve as a player? We’ve all been told to practice more, or read more books to gain more knowledge, but does this help? If so, how? Is there a way to perform consistently on the golf course? These are all questions for which most of us have sought the answers. I believe with great preparation and strategy, we all can be successful. Let’s discuss a few ways we can advance our game.
Keep track of your stats!
One way to improve your game is to know exactly what needs to be improved. Keeping a record of your statistics allows you to see which part of your game needs the most help. Recording your fairway hits, greens in regulation, and putts documents integral stats. Track your stats every round for the a few weeks. Find your weaknesses and practice them to make them strengths!
An important part of course management is increasing your knowledge of the golf course you are playing. Always grab extra scorecards to study, and research the golf course online. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the golf course and the challenges it presents. You never know what information may help you play better. Are the greens Bermuda grass or Bent grass? How does the ball react on each surface? Is it a long course with a lot of hazards? Is it a shorter course that’s more wide open? Doing a little research before playing a golf course can go a long way. Remember, the more knowledge we have the better we play!
Control what You can Control!
Unfortunately, a great day of golf can be spoiled by bad weather, bad play, or any number of unforeseen circumstances. Understanding what you can control is important. As golfers, we only control how and where we hit the ball. We cannot control the physical environment, the wind, or the rain. If you are playing in adverse conditions, the best ways to manage the situation is to prepare mentally and physically. If the conditions are not ideal, your expectations of a perfect swing or a low score should be realistic. Stay mentally active within your round. Stay focused on the task at hand. Physically, dress for and prepare for the elements. Having that extra towel or extra pair of rain gloves always comes in handy. We can control our thoughts and our golf swings. Positive thinking leads to positive results! Rely on the process more than the outcome!
Club & Shot Selection
Last, but certainly not least, one of the most important ways to manage yourself on the golf course is to select the right shot and the right club for the right situation. These are the most challenging decisions for a golfer. Should I hit driver? Should I chip or putt it? Should I play safe or go for it? Practice good course management by using the necessary club for your desired shot. If the fairway is tight, choose the club with which you hit straightest (no matter how far the ball will travel). Practice using different clubs off of the tee on Par 4 and Par 5 holes. Play to the safest parts of the fairways and play to the flattest spots on the green. Swing aggressively to conservative targets! The goal is to play from the fairway to the green. Use the clubs that can get you safely to your destination.