There is a big difference between your game and the way the professional golfers approach their game. You have limited time and they make a living with their full time occupation. As a recreational golfer, you need to accept this fact and focus on the key tricks that will help lower your score. You spend less time working on your game than the pros so you have to do the little things that will work best for you.
Slow Down: Arrive early for your round of golf and get your body and mind slowed down. Always work on getting in the zone to play golf and enjoy it. You can’t do this if your mind is listening to rock and roll music and you are driving like a demon to get to the course.
Warm Up: Take your time to stretch your body and then hit some short and progressively longer shots at the range. Tight muscle will stain and ruin your game if you don’t start swinging with a full range of motion and comfortable timing.
What’s Working?: Figure out what is working at the range with your wedges, irons, woods (hybrids) and driver. Set a game plan for each type of club to ensure that you are setting up correctly and swinging with a consistent tempo. Use that feeling for each club throughout your game.
Putting: Don’t start your game until you test the speed of the greens on the practice green. As greens dry out during the day they will speed up but you need a baseline to start from for your first putts in your round.
Get in YOUR FOCUSED ZONE: Take your comfortable swing tempo from the driving range to the first tee. Snap your mind into a focus on each hit. You have a routine so stick with it. Use it to control your setup and your mind. Seeing others swing like a mad man should have no effect on your next swing. Line up your target. Take a full practice swing exactly the way you want to hit the ball. Step forward to the ball, relax your shoulders & grip and complete your swing in a calm and relaxed zone.
Your Game Plan: You only need to hit 1 shot at a time. Forget any other shot and only focus on your next shot. [Ben Hogan said that the most important shot in golf is your next shot.] Tiger Woods seems to get into a Zen State and Jason Day goes into a trance as he squints his eyes. You can’t play well if your mind is not on your game. Jason showed this when he had to drop out of the Dell Match Play Tournament after the first few holes when his concentration was on his mother’s struggle with Cancer. Above all else your mind and focus has to be on executing your next shot.
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