Need a quick fix? This is a short article on how to make minor adjustments when you are out on the course. I say minor because you don’t want to change your golf swing while in the middle of your round. This will lead to significant inconsistencies with ball flight and ball contact! What you can do however is make tiny changes to your swing that can turn a bad round into a good round!
Sometimes the only adjustment you need to make is in your alignment at address. Before you take your shot, make sure that the following are going parallel to your target line:
Your feet need to be lined up going parallel to your target line. I have many students come to me and ask me why their shots are going a certain way. So we go out onto the course, and I lay my club down at their feet and ask them to step back to see where they are really aiming. “Wow” they always say, “I had no idea I was aiming there.” Problem solved!
Sometimes the feet may be going parallel to the target line, but the shoulders are either too open or closed to the target. Just like with the feet, if you put a club across your upper body, that club should be pointing parallel to your target line. When the shoulders are not parallel, this influences your swing path to come either outside-in or inside out which can cause unneeded spin on the golf ball.
Did you know you can make minor adjustments to your golf grip to change ball flight and direction?
A quick rule of thumb for changing your grip out on the course:
- If your ball flight is going to the right (slice), you should strengthen your grip by rotating your top hand more towards the center of the golf grip. I tell my students to see three to three and a half knuckles on your top hand. What this does it helps you release the clubface faster and sets the wrists better during the backswing, putting you in a better position during the downswing to prevent an open clubface.
2. If your ball flight is going to the left (hook), you should weaken your golf grip by turning your top hand away from the center. I tell my students who are hooking the ball that you should see only two knuckles on your top hand. This adjustment will slow down the release of the clubface coming from the downswing helping you hit the ball more squarely.
Another quick fix you can make on the course is altering your club selection off the tee box. Many golfers assume that they should hit the driver off the tee box, but that’s not always the best option. If you are struggling with the driver off the tee and keep putting yourself in a lousy position off the tee, it might be time to put your driver away for the day. There’s no shame in hitting an iron off the tee box to make sure that you hit the fairway. This strategy limits the potential for swing errors and also sets you up in a better position to score lower on each hole.
Sometimes all it takes is to put the driver away for a few holes to regain your rhythm and confidence
Take your time! One of the best adjustments you can make on the course is to learn how to be more patient. Trust me; I know that golf can be beyond frustrating. To become more patient, we need to take each shot as an “opportunity,” rather than just another outcome. By seeing each shot as an opportunity, your brain jumps into problem-solving mode and focuses more on the shot at hand. You will feel more relaxed and optimistic about your round and will start to see more and more opportunities to take advantage of and score lower.
This way of thinking helps calm the nerves, release frustration and improves results! (More on your mental game here!)
Back to Basics
Stick with which shots you know how to hit! When playing with some of my beginning students, I see common theme; they like to “force” golf shots that they don’t know how to hit yet. For example: One of my students the other day hit their drive a little to the right of the fairway and landed behind a tree. Their first instinct was to grab 9 iron, and swing as hard as they could to get a perfect shot onto the green. I ended up letting them try and hit this shot and needless to say, they hit right into the tree and ended up in an even worst position than they were before!
While yes, golfers on TV would hit that high, powerful shot over the tree; my beginning student has not yet “learned” how to execute this shot yet and jumped out of their achievable skill set. The point of this example is to explain why you should only hit shots that you have practiced or know that you can hit. Don’t try and be too “cute” or “fancy” with your game. Just play each shot as it comes to you and always play the highest percentage shot of you KNOW you can accomplish.
This is why I recommend:
- The bump and run around the green
- Getting back onto the fairway if you face obstacles
- Hit your “favorite club” whenever you can
- Focus more on a putt’s speed rather than the break
Use these tips and tricks during your golf round to improve your swing and limit your errors. Golf is all about making small adjustments and analyzing every swing and shot to get the best results!
- Check your stance
- Change your grip if necessary
- Put away the driver if you are struggling off the tee
- See each shot as an opportunity to improve your patience
- Hit golf shots that you know you can hit
Thanks for reading and I know these tips will help you during your round! For more information, if you are just getting started, check out my beginning golfer survival tips here!