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What you can control

 

Take charge of the things you can control: 

The COVID pandemic has put us all in a mode of problem solving and seeking creative ways to address challenges. We have also started new habits almost instantaneously. 

Historically people find habits hard to change. Yet during COVID we adjusted to masks, we started washing our hands more thoroughly and became aware of social distancing almost instantaneously.

It is time to harness this flexible mind set to help your golf game.

So if you were to summon this power to change and make new habits what would they be?

Well here are some to consider. All will have a positive impact on your golf and once you are doing them you scores will start to drop.

7 Habits to improve your golf:

1    Set your alarm half an hour earlier.

Getting ready and arriving at the course earlier allows so many good things to happen. Being prepared, having a warm up, testing the speed of the greens are all things that will improve your score ad make you less flustered when you walk on that first tee.

To do: Develop a routine for getting ready to play. Pack all you need for the day in advance and allow a contingency for getting to the course in time.

Have a plan for what you will do at the course. Some putting, chipping and pitching before you play always helps your feel. 

2. Monitor your hydration and energy levels.

When your energy levels or hydration are low your concentration is affected. Losing focus and making bad decisions can derail your round in a hurry.

To do: Carry water. Have plenty of cold water if the weather is hot. Have a hydrolyte drink, snacks or fruit ready in your golf bag. Have small amounts often is better than one large intake.

3 Settle on one type of golf ball:

Experiment with balls and get some advice on what might be best for you game. The sooner you have a single type of ball the sooner you can calibrate the feel and sound of the short shots (chipping and putting). You will notice and learn to manage the character of your long shots.

Ask a golf pro to help you choose the right type of ball for your game or you can find help online. Some brands have online fitting charts or tools to help. Check out Titleist’s here https://www.titleist.com.au/golf-ball-fitting-tool

Bridgestone https://www.bridgestonegolf.com/en-us/find-my-ball/ball-selector-tool

Also get a permanent pen and develop a consistent set of marking for your golf ball. A drawing, your initials or just a series of coloured dots will do.

Make it distinctive and do it on all balls you play with. Nothing worse than having your ball picked up by someone because a  stray shot ends up on another fairway and your ball is the same as someone else’s.

4.     Strengthen your legs.

Strong legs are vital for golf. In the golf swing they are hugely important for power and this equates to distance off the tee.

For playing 18 holes strong legs help your endurance so you can still be playing your best on the closing holes of a round.

To do:

Adjust your routine to add incidental leg workouts to daily life.

-Walk some sets of stairs where you might normally take the lift.

-Maybe you could ride a bike to work a couple of days a week?

 -Join a spin class at the gym, do squats, deadlifts or seated rowing. 

– Hill sprints and running up stairs are great for explosive power

All are all good for leg strength.

If you are up to it and you want more power in the swing; If you live near a beach run in sand.

The better your leg strength, the better your golf.

5.     Have a stretching routine.

Having your body feel the same every day is not possible. Yet having a consistent set of things you do the morning of every round of golf can take you much closer to feeling good and ready to play. A stretching regime dent need to be long. 10 or even 5 minutes of dynamic stretching is a great way to prepare for a game. Plenty of good ones you can find on YouTube, Get started today.

6.     Practice your short game at least as much as your long game

If you want to improve your scores the answer doesn’t lie in a perfect swing. While a better full swing technique is desirable and will result in some better shots each round yet it will be your short game that will improve your score the most.

To Do:

You Practice your putting at home on carpet or a specific putting practice mat. Make time for a couple of 10 min sessions a week and you will notice this translates to better putting on the course.

Putting and chipping counts for more than half your shots so it needs at least half your practice time to become better at it.

Dedicating time each week to short game practice is an investment that wills pay handsome dividends.

7.     Post round debrief.

Golf is a game that elicits many emotions. It turn out emotions are also powerful in how we recall events.

One difference between good golfers and poor golfers is which emotions and what shots they focus on and therefore remember.

One habit that is helpful to develop is letting go of poor shots and not storing them as memories. Attach negative memories to bad shots and reliving them in your mind only makes them more likely to pop into your head when faced with a similar situation in the future.

By focussing on, and re-running the memories of the good shots and the positive emotions that go with them you will have these constructive memories to draw upon later.

To do:

Pick the three best shots you played in your last round and run through those shot in your head. Do this over and over till the memories of that round are dominated by these good shots. This can be incredibly powerful and before long you will have a catalogue of memories of your best shots not your worst.

Start some new habits today and watch your game start tracking towards the golf of your dreams. Your Emajin golf membership and handicap is the ideal way to watch your improvement. Tell a friend about membership today.

Get a golf handicap today.

Every golfer needs a handicap to get involved in the game, whether you’re a serious competitor or new to the game. Emajin Golf is an online club allowing more Australians to hit the green and play with an official Golf Australia handicap without being tied to a single location club.

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