Playing tips to improve your game
When you are warming up to play a round of golf, your mind set must be on playing and not practice. Stretch a little bit to get the blood flowing to your muscles then hit several shots with your favorite club to get loose.
Play while you warm-up
Visualize a golf hole. It may be a hole you have trouble playing or just a hole you play often. Tee up a ball, visualize a fairway between a two of the distance markers, go through your pre-shot routine and hit the shot. Throw another ball down and pick out a club you would have for your second shot on that hole. Line up, go through your pre-shot routine and hit it. Follow this procedure while visualizing several holes you play regularly. Even better, play an entire 9 or 18 hole match using this technique.
Now your mind will be in a playing mode.
When you play you should use a pre-shot routine. This routine will help you focus on the target and keep you from thinking about the water, the sand, the out-of-bounds, etc. Your pre-shot routine should start with you behind the ball looking at where you want the ball to go, the target. Be very specific about picking out a target to aim at. Walk up to the ball while looking at your target. Turn and set the club head down and align it to your target. Next, grip the club. Now look back at the target and take your stance without moving your hands. Check for light grip pressure, take a deep breath, let it out and start your backswing.
Ball flight during warm-up
Pay attention to your ball flight while warming up. Are you hitting it straight, curving to the right or curving to the left? By paying attention to your ball flight you can make some adjustments on the course to hit better shots. Let’s say you are hitting a fade that curves to the right. On the tee, stand on the extreme right side of the tee box and aim towards the left center of the fairway. If you hit it straight its in the fairway, if you curve it to the right chances are you will end up on the right side of the fairway. The opposite is true if you curve it to the left.
Par 5’s and long par 4’s
If you can’t reach a par 5 or a par 4 in two shots, layup to a comfortable distance for your third shot. Try to hit to a distance that is a full swing not a half swing. Let’s assume you are fairly consistent with your pitching wedge. Figure how far it is to the green then subtract the distance you hit a pitching wedge. Make that distance your goal on your second shot.
Priorities while playing
If you end up in the rough, your first priority is to get out of the rough and onto the fairway. If you are in a sand bunker or grass bunker, your priority is again to get the ball out. When hitting onto the green, your priority is to get it somewhere on the green. If you are in the trees, try aiming for a tree, chances are you will never hit it, this was an actual tip in a Golf magazine tip for high handicappers. Your percentage of making that miracle shot is usually slim and none. Play smart and you will have a much better chance to score better. When putting, your focus should be on distance control, distance control will get you closer to the hole and hopfully cut down on 3 and 4 putts.