Golf is a strange game. Some days it seems easy. Other days it seems way too hard. But that’s okay. All golfers feel this way now and then. The truth is no one plays their best all the time. Not even the pros. And they work at the game for hours at a time.
The question is: How do you do well on days you don’t feel it? That’s not an easy question to answer. But one way is to use quick fixes that can stop the bleeding and help you make it through the round.
Knowing how to get back on track when things go awry is the secret to going low consistently. It’s also the secret to reducing your golf handicap to single digits and keeping it there.
Below are six golf tips that can help you stay in the game on bad days. Not every fix will work for you. But some will help you. Keep them in mind next time you play and things start going south:
1) Shaking a slice: Hitting wicked slices off the tee usually means your clubface isn’t square at impact. To calm your slicing, try hitting a draw. To do it, rotate your wrist or forearms before getting to the ball. This will feel strange at first. So try it a few times before stepping up to the ball. Then address the ball and swing normally but “feel” the early wrist rotation.
2) Stop shanking: If you start hitting shanks, like students in my golf lessons, you may be leaning into the ball. Here’s a visual that can help you correct this flaw: Set up to the ball as you normally do. Then imagine a ball of a different color just inside the ball your set up to. Now try to hit the colored ball. This visual fix forces you to stop leaning into the ball and helps you make solid contact.
3) Spraying your irons: Many golfers spray their irons because they’re swinging too aggressively. To hit crisp irons, you must gain control of your swing. To do that, try hitting knockdown shots. Take the club back to a 9 o’clock position during your backswing, come forward, and then stop at the 3 o’clock position on your follow-through.
4) Hitting the bladed pitch: You hit bladed pitches because you don’t use your legs while hitting the shot. That can cause you to “chicken wing” and blade the shot. To hit solid pitches, try hitting the ball with little or no hinge in your wrists. It may feel strange when you first do it, but it will help you stop chicken winging and start hitting pitches in close.
5) Mishitting chips: Nothing ruins a good round faster than mishitting chips. Here’s a quick fix for when that starts to happen: Set up as you would with your putter but use your best chipping club. Play the ball forward and align the shaft so its vertical. This adjustment raises up the club’s heel up off the ground. Now use your putting stroke and hit the ball on the fat part of the clubface.
6) Botching downhill putts: Speed is more critical than line when putting. That’s especially true for tricky downhill putts. These putts are easy to hit way past the hole. To stop that, hit downhill putts off the club’s toe. That deadens the putt and slows the ball’s roll. But play for some extra break when you do this.
There you have it. Six quick fixes than can bail you out when things go south. All of them work. I know because I’ve tried them with students in golf instruction sessions. Proven or not, they may not all work for you. So try all of them and use the ones that work for you.
Using quick fixes at the right time can help you stop the bleeding when things go awry. Learning to do that will make you a better golfer and chop strokes off your golf handicap.