When hitting the links for the first time, it is normal to feel uncomfortable. No one in the history of golf grabbed their clubs, ran to the range and instantly started hitting 300-yard bombs. Becoming a capable golfer takes work, time and proper instruction.
All of the necessities needed to make a great golfer are entirely dependent on your commitment to improve and get better. You cannot become a scratch golfer in a year, but you can create excitement within yourself that carries a love of golf for a lifetime.
But where do you begin? A terrific place to start is by listening to the best golfers in the world. Here’s a step-by-step guide to becoming a better golfer with advice from the best players on tour.
Step 1: Realize That You Will Need Help to Become a Good Golfer
One thing beginners should always be mindful of when starting their golfing journey is not to overwhelm themselves. That means you should not run out and buy a hugely expensive set of clubs and don’t think you know the best way to building an excellent foundation for your swing.
The most helpful thing you can understand when picking up the great game of golf is knowing that you are going to need the help of a professional. It may take a bit of time and effort to find a coach that you feel comfortable with, but the energy you’ll spend is worth it in the long run. A great place to start is by asking your local pro for help or traveling to a local superstore and allowing them to get you started.
Step 2: Using Tiger Woods as the Model for Your Stance
When constructing your swing, fourteen-time major winner Tiger Woods is a firm believer that your distance comes from strong legs and core. For Woods, the swing is about everything in the body working in sync. From the legs to the waist to the back and finally, the arms and hands, all play a part of getting the ball into the air and down the fairway.
By using an athletic stance with flexed knees and feet that are slightly outside of shoulder-width apart, Woods prepares for his swing by being loose when he addresses the golf ball. When Woods is ready to swing, only his arms draw the club back. Once the club reaches a point that is roughly level to his hips, Woods begins his turn away from the golf ball.
As he turns, his knees stay flexed, and he makes a full turn where the front shoulder reaches a point under the chin and behind the golf ball. Once he reaches that point with the shoulder and back turned away from the target, Woods unleashes the coil that his body is in to create a powerful downswing.
Step 3: - Stealing Phil Mickelson’s Shortcuts to a Great Short Game
Phil Mickelson is one of the greatest short game players in the history of golf. The five-time major winner has won countless tournaments by saving par and preventing disaster from just short of the green. For Mickelson, chipping is similar to putting as the body stays calm through the compact swing.
Mickelson starts by moving his weight forward in this stance. This slight adjustment prevents thin and weak chips by promoting contact first with the golf ball and not the ground. Another of Mickelson’s trademarks is having firm wrists throughout the swing with acceleration through the golf ball.
By keeping the weight forward and the wrists firm, Mickelson maintains solid contact for getting the ball close to the hole.
Step 4: Using Tiger Woods’ Grip for Accurate Putting
Not only is it wise to use Tiger’s stance to build your swing but it is a great idea to use his grip on the green. On the putting surface, beginners must worry about proper speed, touch and having a steady body through the stroke. And that proper way of putting begins with a comfortable putting grip. One of the putting grips to consider when learning to put is Tiger’s preferred traditional-style putting grip.
Tiger’s starts his grip by first taking an open left hand and laying the handle of the putter diagonally from across the pad at the bottom of the hand to the inside middle knuckle area of the index finger. The right hand then assumes the same position on the handle just underneath the left hand. The thumbs lay flat on the center of the putting grip. Tiger’s traditional grip promotes stability through the putting stroke making it a great place to start for beginners.
Step 5: Using Justin Thomas’ Pre-Round Routine to Get Warm for Your Round
When it is time to hit the links, 2017 PGA Champion Justin Thomas has a slow routine for warming up and getting his body ready that every beginner should steal. First, Thomas starts with 15 minutes of putting on the green from various distances. Don’t be afraid to take alignment sticks out to the green to make sure your putting stroke is square at impact.
Next, Thomas grabs the wedges and hits an assortment of pitch and chip shots from different angles to the cup. It is always a good rule of thumb to start with the higher loft wedges, such as the 56-degree sand wedge before you work your way down to the pitching wedge.
After chipping, it is time to hit the range for full swings. Thomas loves starting slow on the range with full wedge shots starting with his highest loft wedge and methodically warming up to the driver. Thomas wants his driver to be the last thing he swings on the range because it will be his opening club on the first tee.
By using Thomas’ routine before you start your 18 holes, you’ll slowly warm up your body minimizing the chances of muscle pulls and harming your back. Feel free to practice using a great golf mat as well.
Step 6: Always Be Ready to Hit Your Shot like Dustin Johnson
A round of golf can take a long time, especially when playing with golfers who aren’t ready when it is their turn. Once you begin to play regular rounds, it is a courteous step to play what is known as “ready golf.”
The professional who always is at the ready when it is his turn to hit the golf ball is Dustin Johnson. The 2016 U.S. Open winner loves playing his rounds at a crisp pace because he believes it keeps him sharp and in rhythm.
You always want to enjoy yourself when working your way through a round of golf, but that doesn’t mean you ignore the pace of those playing with you. Ready golf is primarily about planning your shot before you address the golf ball. By attacking the course like Johnson, you’ll keep your group moving and the atmosphere enjoyable.