How to Play Golf

Learning how to play golf is no picnic. You've bought a set of golf clubs and spent some time on the driving range. Now, how do you start to build a golf game that you can be proud of? Good golf is about good habits. Learning the basics of practice, strategy and mechanics will establish a solid foundation for long-term golf success.

How to Play Golf - The Basics

  • Drive for show, putt for dough. Sure it would be fun to see your ball land out beyond those of your buddies, but studies show that most strokes happen around the green. One of the best ways to quickly improve your game is to work on your short clubs. Try to structure your practice so that you devote two-thirds of your time to putting, chipping and pitching. The final third should be spread out over all of your long clubs, not just your driver.
  • Practice with purpose. Whether you're on the practice green, the driving range or just in your back yard, every practice shot should have a goal. Imagine a target and then try to get your shot to reach it. After your shot, evaluate the results and try to adjust your stroke accordingly.
  • Arrive early. Make sure you arrive for your round with plenty of time to stretch and get loose. Playing tense will not only impact your scoring, it could also lead to injury. You'll especially want to work on the large muscles of your shoulders and back. Also, arriving early will help you start your round mentally relaxed.
  • Play conservatively. Until you've had time to learn how to play golf, try to avoid risky play. Aim your shots to the widest parts of greens or fairways. When putting, your goal should be to leave the ball in a three-foot circle centered on the hole. As you become more confident, you can narrow your targets with confidence.
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