How To Get Better At Golf: 23 Tips To Improve Your Game

How To Get Better At Golf: 23 Tips To Improve Your Game

Golf is a marathon, not a sprint. The game of golf is a lifetime pursuit of improvement. It doesn’t matter if you’re a scratch golfer or a high handicapper, you can always get better.

One of the best things about golf is “trying to find it.” You’re constantly searching for the key that’ll unlock your full potential. The question is, how do you find it? How do you become a better player?

It could be a new club, a new swing thought, a quick adjustment to your motion, or a quick lesson from your club professional. Golf tips come in many forms — you never know when one will work perfectly for you.

We want to help you in your golf journey.

Don’t focus on the destination - enjoy the ride.

We’ve pulled together our favorite 23 golf tips to help you play your best golf.

 

23 Tips To Get Better At Golf

1. Get The Right Golf Equipment

Yes, we know the old saying that “a poor craftsman blames his tools”, but you wouldn’t try to cut down a tree with a butter knife. The truth is that if you don’t have the correct golf equipment, you’re making the game harder.

We aren’t just talking about your golf clubs.

Everything that you choose to carry in your golf bag impacts your score. You can’t buy your way to being a better golfer, but you can get equipment that’ll support your improvement goals. We recommend you learn from others.

When you play with more experienced golfers, pay attention to what they use. Make sure you have all of the gear you need to enjoy your afternoon at the golf course. 

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2. Play With The Right Golf Ball

Did you know that golf balls are designed for different types of golfers? The best golf ball for beginners will be different from the golf ball that Justin Thomas plays on the PGA tour.

 

micah morris holding a golf ball

 

You want your golf ball to match your skill level and swing speed. When you first start playing golf, you’re going to frequently lose golf balls - there’s no reason to pay $50+ per dozen. As you get better, you may want to invest in more expensive golf balls.

3. Get Fitted For Golf Clubs

You can play better golf if your golf clubs are specifically built for your game.

Golf swings are like fingerprints — yours is unique to you. Getting fit for custom golf clubs is expensive, but it can help you get better quickly.

Golf clubs can be constructed based on your level of play. Beginners need more forgiveness, while scratch golfers prefer a club where they can “work.”

The most important piece of your golf clubs are the shafts. Golf shafts come in several different flexes and the correct one for you will depend on your swing speed and your strength.

Do you want to make more birdies and fewer bogeys? Signup for a club fitting!

4. Whenever You Can, Use A Golf Tee

We know this might sound simple, but it’s a common mistake made by amateur golfers. Anytime you’re allowed to use a golf tee, you should.

We don’t care if you’re hitting your driver on a par 5 or a 7-iron on a par 3. Placing your ball on a golf tee makes the shot easier. Never hit a tee shot without using a golf tee!

sunday golf tee bag

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5. Hold A Golf Club Properly

Did you know that you can create a bad shot before you even start your golf swing? It’s true and one of the critical golf fundamentals is your grip. You must learn how to hold a golf club if you want to hit high-quality golf shots!

You do have options. You can choose from Overlap, Interlock, or 10-finger (baseball grip).

We recommend you go with the golf grip that feels natural to you. We also think most beginners should have a couple of golf lessons and ask for specific feedback on their grip.

It’s a fundamental building block if you want to shoot lower scores.

6. Perfect Your Golf Stance

Just like #5 above, #6 is a critical pre-swing step if you want to play good golf. The proper stance for golf will help you in two different ways.

First, you want your feet to be appropriate width to help you maintain balance during your swing. Make sure they are slightly wider than your shoulder width.

photo of a guy working on his golf stance

Second, your golf stance controls your alignment.

A great way to practice this on the driving range is to use alignment sticks. Place them in front of your feet and step back to assess your stance.

You want the alignment stick to be pointing parallel and slightly left of your target (right-handed golfers).

 

lining up alignment sticks to work on your golf shot

 

7. Experiment With Your Swing

There’s nothing wrong with a little “trial-n-error.” In fact, we recommend you experiment with different golf swings during your practice sessions. Try different swing thoughts and try to hit different shots.

Can you hit a hook on purpose? How about a slice?

Learning how to control the club face and how to hit different shots will give you more options on the golf course.

Have you ever listened to a PGA tour player discuss a shot with their caddy? There’s always more than one way to approach shots you encounter on the golf course.

8. Work On Your Alignment

We mentioned alignment above when talking about your stance (#6), but this is just one piece of getting your golf ball started on target. You also need your hips and shoulders aimed in the correct direction.

guy practicing his alignment during his golf swing

 

The best place to work on your alignment is the driving range. Make sure you pick a target on every shot and simply aren’t smacking golf balls.

Make the most of your practice time by never hitting a range ball without aiming at a flag or a green.

9. Exercise Regularly To Stay Physically Fit

It all changed when Tiger Woods hit the scene.

He wasn’t the first, but he was the most famous golfer to embrace physical fitness and exercise as an important aspect of playing great golf.

It’s been 20+ years since Tiger said “Hello World” and it’s now hard to find a professional golfer that doesn’t “hit the gym.”

Consistently doing exercises for golf can help you avoid injury and can increase your swing speed. You’ll hit more good shots if your body is in better shape. Become a better athlete to become a better golfer.

10. Always Warm Up

Just like any other activity, you need to get your body ready to perform. You should never make a full swing until you have stretched out your legs and lower back.

This will help you avoid injury (golfers are infamous for hurting their backs) and it’ll help your first drive go straight down the fairway. In golf every shot counts, so you want to be ready to go when you reach the first tee.

puttingwithellie instagram post

11. Practice On The Golf Course

The driving range is a great way to improve your golf swing, but it doesn’t fully simulate the “on-course “ conditions. With this in mind, it can help you improve if you play a round of golf simply to practice.

The best way to do this is to play by yourself when the course is relatively empty (late afternoon).

Play two balls and if you hit a bad shot, try it again. Don’t worry about keeping your score, simply use this time on the golf course to get better.

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12. Set Goals When Practicing

Regardless if you’re practicing on the driving range, the putting green, or the golf course, you should always challenge yourself.

On the putting green, try to make 10 3-foot putts in a row. Work on your 10-foot putts until you manage to make 6 out of 10.

 

davidwoodspga instagram post

 

These types of golf games help you focus during practice and will prevent you from getting bored.

Bring a friend and challenge them to a putting contest. Setting goals and playing games will help you make quick progress.

13. Hold Your Pose After Every Shot

“Hold your pose” is a simple swing thought that will help golfers of all levels.

First, try it with practice swings. Can you make a full-speed swing and stay on balance? Once you can do this, start hitting shots.

We want you to exaggerate your pose.

In other words, hold it until your ball lands on the ground. This will help you create muscle memory for what a balanced golf swing feels like and will quickly improve your long game.

14. Use A Golf GPS

There are two things we know about your golf game. You need to know your yardage before you can pick a club and you probably don’t have a full-time caddy.

The answer is simple. You need a Golf GPS watch.

 

silvermere golf instagram post

 

From anywhere on the golf course you’ll immediately know how far you are from the green and can be confident in your club selection. This makes the game easier and will help you shoot lower scores.

15. Stay Focused Under Pressure

Even if you don’t play in golf tournaments, you’ll encounter pressure on the golf course.

You might feel nervous because you’re shooting a career round or you might get tense because you don’t want to lose 5 dollars to your buddy. Either way, you need to stay focused under pressure.

We have two recommendations. First, make sure you have a pre-shot routine and do it the same way prior to every shot. Focus on your routine, not the results. Second, take a deep breath before you swing, chip, or putt.

This will help you relax and allow you to execute.

16. Do Your Putting Drills

We get it. It is much more fun to crush drivers at the range than grind on the putting green, but you “drive for show, but putt for dough.”

Improving your putting is the quickest way to lower your scores. Make sure that every practice session includes putting drills. Earn the nickname “boss of the moss.”

 graphic of a golf putting drill

 

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17. Practice Chipping And Pitching

It’s amazing to watch PGA tour players smash drivers 300+ yards, but that isn’t what makes them so much better than you. Is the consistency and skill of their short game.

How many times do you get “up and down” during a normal round of golf?

1-putts can keep your round going and the easiest way to 1-putt is to chip it close to the hole. It can be easy to ignore this part of your game, but if you’re serious about getting better, you’ll want to invest in your short game.

graphic of a golf chipping drill

 

18. Track Your Progress By Keeping Your Stats

Do you ever get frustrated with your lack of improvement and aren’t sure what’s causing the issues? Is it your putter or is it your driver?

The best way to answer these questions is to keep your stats when you play.

rusticomade golf scorecard

 

We recommend you keep the following: # of putts during your round, # of fairways hit off the tee, and # of greens in regulation (how many times did you have birdie putt?).

This is a quick way to understand if you should invest in your short game or long game.

19. Know When To Hit A Driver And When Not To

Many golfers lose strokes due to bad decisions. You can often shoot lower scores by improving your course management skills. The best example is your club choice off the tee.

Just because you’re playing a par 4 or a par 5 doesn’t mean you have to hit the driver. If it’s a tight hole with trouble (hazards, out of bounds, etc.) you should consider hitting a 3-wood or a long iron.

It’s more important that your shot finds the fairway than hitting a little farther.

20. Don’t Get Frustrated

Golf can be so frustrating.

Have you ever considered throwing your clubs in a lake or have you threatened to quit playing? We all have these moments on the golf course, but that’s when your mental game is critical.

Don’t hit a bad shot because you’re still mad about the previous one. Ben Hogan famously said, “The most important shot in golf is your next one.”

benhogangolf instagram post

 

You must move on from bad shots and make a positive/confident swing on the next one. You need a short memory to play good golf.

21. Try A Training Aid

What’s your biggest issue on the golf course? What is the shot that keeps you up at night?

It might be a big slice or a duck hook. We can promise you aren’t the only golfer that deals with that problem and we bet someone has invented a training aid to help correct it (and they probably sell it on Amazon).

There’s no shame in trying a golf training aid to improve your swing.

22. Don’t Be Scared Of The Sand

Sand traps can be intimidating. Scratch golfers make it look easy, but every time you try to get out you duff, shank, or skull it. Bunker shots are not as hard as you think and you don’t need to be scared of them.

ogawa marina instagram post

 

Find a practice bunker where you can hit a bunch in a row. Open your stance, open your sand/lob wedge, and try to slice under the ball.

When you do it right, the ball will splash out of the bunker and land softly on the green.

23. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

You aren’t playing golf to pay your rent. Your score today won’t prevent you from buying groceries.

Keep it in perspective and laugh it off when you having a bad day. There’s no reason to throw clubs, scream curse words, and upset your playing partners.

Golf is a game, so don’t treat it like a “life or death” activity.

You Can Improve Quickly If You Invest In Your Game

We don’t care if you’re currently shooting in the 80s or the 130s, you can learn to play better golf.

Give our golf tips a try and let us know which ones work for you. We want you to enjoy your day on the golf course and we hope you hit a few good shots as well.

Best of luck and play well!

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