|We all reach a point in our golf game where we feel stuck: the point where we feel like no matter what we do, we just can’t break through to the next level. All golfers’ goals are different, and no matter where you are on the journey, we want to help. We have compiled five ways to help you take the next step toward achieving your golf goals.
Spend more time on the practice putting green–
Just like the old saying “drive for show, putt for dough”, putting is a make-or-break golf skill. Did you know the average 20 handicapper 3-putts 14% of the time? That means about one in every 7 holes is a 3 putt. Those strokes add up quickly, which is why investing in your putting practice can yield serious gains. Make time to go to the practice green and putt. Don’t just putt to a hole either, putt to the fringe to gauge speed, or place a tee in a random spot and try to hit it with just the right speed. These experiences will go a long way to keeping those 3 putts at bay.
Save your swing adjustments for the range–
I think we all are guilty of, at one time or another, seeing a golf tip and thinking, “if I just do that, my game will get better.” We go out to play and try to apply what we learned but end up frustrated when our score doesn’t improve. So, what’s the solution? The solution is to keep those swing changes on the range. Spend as much time as you want tinkering on the range but when you go out on the course, focus on one shot at a time. Focus on where you want the ball to land and how you want the shot to look and feel. Let your body and muscle memory take care of the swing.
Play smarter –
Depending on where you are in your golf game, you may already know this. Course management is one of the most underrated skills in golf. Course Management is the strategic planning and decision-making that a golfer employs while playing a round of golf. Think about a 500-yard par 5, do you always go for the hole in 2? If so, maybe it’s time to be a bit more strategic and only go for the green on the holes that match your shot shape or that leave the most margin for error. Another great course management thought is to not assume you need to hit the driver on every par 4 or par 5. I have played entire rounds where I only needed a driver on a handful of holes due to the layout of the course. The goal here is to be strategic and play to your strengths.
Don’t be a hero–
An excellent golf teacher of mine gave me a tip I will remember forever, he said, “if you’re in trouble, get out of trouble.” Often when we find ourselves in a tough spot on the course, we try to play hero ball. We try to thread the needle through some trees or make it over the water hazard despite the terrible lie. This usually leads to double and triple bogeys. Instead of trying to pull off an impossible feat, why not begin focusing on getting the ball back into a position where your likelihood of success was much better? Chipping it out and giving up 1 stroke is better than playing hero ball and getting ourselves into more trouble. There are times to take risks but be strategic about it.
Seek professional help–
Truly the easiest way to level up your game is to seek one on one help from a professional. A few years back, I decided to buy a 10-pack of lessons with a local pro and it changed the way I see golf. It gave me the time to slowly go through every aspect of my game and make changes that were revolutionary for me. From my pre-shot routine and course management strategy to the way I finished my swing, the pro analyzed my game and recommended changes that allowed me to level up not only my playing ability but the amount of fun I had on the course.
Golf is meant to be fun, and part of that fun is reaching the goals we set for our game. My hope is that you found value in these tips and take away something that helps you reach your potential in 2023.
Happy New Year from all of us at Kapalua Golf, and may 2023 be your best year yet.