Of course there are more than five things that all beginner golfers should know. My friend Rick sent me an article that outlines five aspects of golf that we have discussed at length over the past few years. They are fundamental to my game and have honed them over the years. The information provided by Golf.com is concise worth sharing; although I have talked about these topics for years, they have put together in on neat package.
For each topic, I plan to add my own views and spin to the valuable information. I will bold their statement so you know what what is theirs, so lets get started.
A goal for every shot. Ben Hogan said that “placing the ball in the right position for the next shot is 80-percent of winning golf.” I use this topic on every shot. Whether I am hitting to distance, a location on the green, avoiding a hazard, or chipping at the pin, I always set a goal for every shot and it all starts with my pre-shot routine. It is during this process that allows me determine what outcome I want for every shot.
Know your miss. After hitting thousands of shots, I can honestly say that as my game progressed I am able to understand where I am going to miss, if I miss 😉 . In my case, I know that my misses generally go left. Thus, I set my aim to take this into account. I do not over react by aiming too far right, but I generally aim slightly right of the best aim line for the hole. If I do miss, I will still be in play because I have accounted for a possible miss shot. Seriously, do have a tendency to hit the ball a bit left of my aim line, but that is all part of my understanding of my game and playing for any potential misses.
Get back into position. On the rare occasion that I am out of position, my rule of thumb is to take my medicine and get back to into position. In the long run, playing smart allows me to save strokes over the course of a round. I will try to generate a shot that will maximize my repositioning so that I can follow Ben Hogan’s advice (see above). Not compounding my mistakes by making more mistakes is really bad for my scorecard. Getting back into position is really smart course management.
Prioritize solid contact. This particular tenet is slightly different than you may think. It focuses on clubbing up to ensure that any golfer makes solid contact on the club face to hit to desired distance. Most players (including myself) hit the ball short of their intended distances, especially on approach shots. I have adopted this technique recently and it is paying dividends. I continue work this new approach of clubbing up for some approach shots, but it really depends on the situation and influences on the shot. But, hitting solid contact does prove to be more successful, more often.
Good alignment. Greg Norman says to aim small, miss small. This saying is an extension of ensuring I align every shot, regardless of the shot I am trying to make. Mostly, my alignment starts with my pre-shot routine. It is during the early stages of this process that I account for as many influencers as possible and decide on my aim point. Once my goal for my shot is determined and in which direction, I set my alignment. I actually take more time to set my alignment because I have had trouble with this part of my game in the past. Fortunately, I do take this tip to heart and it saves me many strokes over my round.
The five points above are very valuable to beginner golfers. In fact, as players hone their skills, these points will remain part of their game forever. They are fundamental tenets that all golfers should follow, I know I do. Thanks to Rick for sending my the Golf.com article: 5 common-sense scoring rules to avoid the costly errors wrecking your game; it is great information for all golfers regardless of your skill level.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!