How to lower your golf handicap

Every golfer wants to lower his or her golf handicap but very few of us have the time or the will to be able to put in the amount of time necessary to improve our game significantly. Here are a few simple tips for the higher handicapper that require almost no effort and yet should help take a few strokes off the handicap.

1.            Warm up.

You know the scene. You turn up at the course, pull the clubs out of the car and head off to the first tee after a couple of swings to loosen up. Well, that’s not good enough. You need to take at least a few minutes to do some stretches and swings. This will get you loose and help you avoid injury. And, after your exercises, try to hit a couple of balls to get into some sort of swing rhythm before you go to the tee. You should also have few practice putts. The practice green will run differently to the greens on the course because of all the use it gets but a short practice will, again, give you some sort of feel. Try to use the same type of ball you intend to play with because different balls feel different.

2.            Stay within your capabilities.

How many golfers stand on the tee and take the driver intent on smashing the ball out of sight? All too often the result is a hook or slice into trouble. You have a handicap so use it. If, say, your handicap is 18 then you have a shot a hole. Why not take the 3 wood off the tee; it’s easier to hit and you probably won’t lose any distance because you’ll be hitting the ball straighter and you still have that shot up your sleeve.

3.            Don’t try the impossible.

We all get tempted to try miracle shots. You know the sort of thing – you try to go through a minute gap between trees or try to get over some water from a downward lie in long grass. The result is usually a disaster. You don’t practise shots like these so the chances of pulling them off are remote. Watch the pros. If they have hit the ball into trouble they usually take their medicine and play the safe shot to get themselves back into position. You should do the same; it’s better to drop one shot than risk dropping half a dozen!

4.            Putt with confidence.

Watch youngsters on the putting green. They may not sink a lot of putts but they do get the ball past the hole. The reason is that they have no fear. You can learn from this. Don’t be afraid to go past the hole. In fact you should aim a foot or two beyond it to make sure your ball reaches. Putt confidently. A short putt will never get into the hole.

5.            Focus on the green.

It’s a sad fact the quite a few golfers lose a couple of shots a round because they don’t focus on the putting green. They just miss a putt and then, having left themselves a simple short putt, they miss again. This is simply because, if their first putt went beyond the hole, they didn’t watch it to see if the ball how the ball moved after the hole to give themselves a read. Or else, they just don’t concentrate on short putts as they should. You must always concentrate on the green. You can learn also a lot from your opponents’ putts so watch carefully.

Golf is not an easy game but hopefully these simple tips will help you get more pleasure from your golf and take a stroke or two off your handicap without you having to put in any more effort than you already do. Have fun!