Golf is one of the most difficult sports to master so it comes as no surprise to learn that many golfers retain a high handicap for longer than they would wish. If that sounds like you, read on.
If you're struggling with your game, or perhaps if you're a beginner golfer starting to learn the golf swing fundamentals, we've gathered together a collection of golf tips that will help you play better golf and ultimately shoot lower scores.
Once you have devoured the below and you head to the course, make sure you equip yourself with an accurate GPS yardage and scoring app. Hole19 is used by over 2.8M golfers worldwide and all the features you need as a beginner are completely free. Download here.
On with the tips...
Sort out your grip
One of the most important checkpoints on the way to a good golf swing is learning how to grip the golf club. If you use a golf grip that is both comfortable and - most importantly - technically correct it will help you hit better golf shots more often.
Check out the video below for some great advice on your golf grip options. Test them out and see what works best for you.
Take a lesson
Early on in your golf journey, it's going to be particularly beneficial to have a chat with your local pro, or an online golf coach, and have them take a close look at your current swing.
Bad habits can form quite quickly and it's very easy for golfers who are new to the game to value comfort over the correct technique. You're more likely to persevere with an uncomfortable new golf swing idea if it has come from an expert in the field, so to speak.
Watch golf tips online
While it's no substitute for an actual dedicated lesson with your local pro, the level of golf instruction online is better than ever these days. There are quite a few knowledgeable golf coaches on YouTube who can relay pretty technical golf advice in a highly relatable manner.
Be cautious though. It's very easy to end up confused if you watch a whole host of golf coaches who might explain the same concept in a slightly different way. Find one or two golf coaches whose content you enjoy and use their tips and drills to improve your game.
Work on your other fundamentals too
It's vital that you spend time learning and implementing all the fundamentals of the golf swing. In set-up your posture, ball position and alignment are just as important as your grip.
The fundamentals will stay with you throughout your golf journey and you will never stop working on making sure they are sound. Professional golfers often spend more time working on their fundamentals than they do the technical aspects of the golf swing.
Below, Sir Nick Faldo briefly talks about the fundamentals both at set-up and throughout the rest of the swing.
Practice with purpose at the range
Don't become a golfer who simply machine guns golf balls at the range with no real plan of attack. Instead, try to always aim for a target and break up your practice between driver, woods, irons and wedges.
You could also challenge yourself during your session to see if you how many drives you can keep within an imaginary fairway, or maybe even how many wedge shots you can dial in to a chosen flag. There's actually a pretty cool driving range app available to help make your sessions more interesting, it's called Core Golf (available on iOS).
Make it interesting and, most of all, make it worthwhile.
Spend some time on the practice green too
To develop a solid putting stroke you will need to spend some time on the practice green in between rounds, and ideally for 15 minutes before you tee off.
Spend plenty of time developing your ability to hole putts within a makeable range, but don't neglect those lag putts.
Improving your distance control on long range putts is key to three-putt avoidance and it's a skill that will help you, without doubt, lower your scores.
Play your own game
When you do get out on the golf course, it's important to ignore how your playing partners are faring. Remain focused on your strategy for the day and certainly don't get embroiled in any sort of battle of egos.
If you feel like your most reliable club off the tee is an iron, don't pull driver because your buddy just bombed one.
Don't switch it up
If you hit a few stinkers early on in your round, it's very easy to lose trust in the golf swing you brought to the first tee.
Don't panic though. Stay true to your swing for a full 18 holes and see where you stand after you sink your final putt.
It's almost impossible to shoot a good score while tweaking the golf swing every few shots. Save the latest golf tip you saw on YouTube, or that piece of advice a playing partner gave you last time out, for the driving range.
Switching it up mid-round rarely (if ever) works.
Go easy on yourself
Remember, golf is far from easy. It's equally as frustrating as it is rewarding and there'll be many times when joy can give way to disappointment.
When you're learning the game (and let's be honest, we all are) it's important to allow yourself to mess up from time to time.
Creating realistic expectations based upon your current skill level is key to having an enjoyable round.
Much of golf is in the mind and if you can shake off a bad shot you'll find your way to an impressive golf swing quicker than the golfer who can't let it go.
Always review your round
You should try to find the time to review every round, whether it was good, bad or a little 'meh'.
When you're back at home, open up your Hole19 App and tap the Performance tab to access your previously played rounds. In the Round Summary you will see graphs that breakdown your round in terms of driving accuracy, GIR %, putting stats and more.
Take a look back at your scorecard to reflect on holes you played well, or perhaps where you wasted shots. If you like, you can tap the three dots at the top right then Review Round and, if you're a Premium user, add Notes to any hole for future reference.