Play your best golf this season
As spring and summer are upon us, it's time to prepare yourself for the full season ahead - our resident golf coach in Castle Combe offer up 18 holes worth of tips to help you with your golf - some you may know already, some will be fresh ground and all will hopefully get you thinking more closely about your own game. Good luck and happy golfing.
By Michael Walters, Golf Coach, The Manor House, an Exclusive Golf Club, Castle Combe.
1: be prepared
Make sure that you arrive at the course in plenty of time to be tuned in to the environment. Time to practise. Be down at the tee in plenty of time, so as not to rush.
2: correct equipment and supplies
Do not carry anything more than you need to. Too many golfers carry too many golf balls, empty bottles or unnecessary weight. If you don’t need your waterproofs, don’t take them with you.
Make provisions to have enough fluid in your system before you tee off , and then drink plenty of water or electrolyte based drinks on the way round. I know it sounds incredibly obvious, but the hotter the day, the more intake is required.
Recalibrate your distances. In the winter we hit the ball shorter distances, and as summer appears and the warmer weather starts to arrive, the ball flies further through the air and travels further after landing. Greens will also be firmer and more difficult to stop the ball on. Spend time on the practise ground working out how far each iron travels and start applying that to your golf course.
6: Avoid distractions
Avoid distractions on the course. Turn your mobile phone off, it will only take your mind off the task at hand... and annoy your playing partners.
7: practice makes perfect
Regular practise with correct thoughts will improve your game.
8: Dress for the conditions
Check the weather forecast on the morning of play, and try to dress according to what they forecast.
Take lessons with a PGA Professional. If you look at the top of the leaderboard at your club over the course of the year and see how it relates to those people taking regular tuition, you may be surprised just how many actually do have lessons.
11: practise swings
Take practise swings before you hit the shot. If only to tune your body in to the feeling you want it to have when you play the shot for real.
12: looking forward or back
Don’t look too far back or forward. The shots that you have already played, (good or bad), and shots still to come in the later holes, can do nothing to help you on the hole you are on.
13: wind direction
Know where the wind is coming from. Sometimes you are sheltered on the course and can’t feel the wind, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
14: play within yourself
Play within your capabilities. A glory shot is called that for a reason.
Don’t attack every putt that you have. Sometimes a defensive play is called for. A two putt isn’t always a bad thing.
16: bad shots
You will play bad shots. It is a fact that golf is hard. Accept these shots for what they are, take your medicine and work out how to rectify your error.