Golf game stuck in neutral? These expert tips can help you have fun and shoot lower scores
Heed these tips for more fun and lower scores on the golf course
Golfers know how frustrating the game can be. It’s often difficult to stay patient.
But lowering your score is a marathon, not a sprint – as the saying goes. Improving swing mechanics, finding the right equipment and learning from professionals and experienced players are key steps toward getting better.
We reached out to a pair of golf experts for their advice on improving, from the most helpful bit of advice they ever received to what it takes to break 100, 90, 80 and lower.
Mark MacDonald lives in Ohio and is a former collegiate and pro golfer who now works with elite-level players to help them go after their dreams.
“Invest in good equipment and lessons. This can really get you started on the right path to enjoying the game,” Mark said.
Derek Johnson, who’s affiliated with the retailer Golf Galaxy, is a certified club fitter in Oklahoma.
“I would have to say that the best advice I’ve ever gotten to help my game the most is: ‘Play the game one shot at a time and forget about the past,’” Derek said.
Favorite club in the bag?
“Driver! It can have the most profound impact on scoring,” Mark said.
“My [Callaway] Paradym 3-wood,” Derek said. “I pull that to hit off the tee and I know it’s going to be 10 yards left or right of where I want it to be every time.”
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Breaking 90, 80, 70 …
Breaking into the 80s and 70s is hard. We asked Mark and Derek for their best tips on getting there.
“Eliminate penalty shots off the tee, get your first chip on the green, make the putts that you should statistically make,” Mark said about breaking 80.
“For me, breaking 90 is just eliminating the big numbers on the scorecard. Throw a few pars in with some bogeys and you break 90,” Derek said. “Breaking 80, the biggest thing is getting on the green in regulation or just around the green and eliminating the 3-putts.”
If you really want to go low, Mark said you need to track your statistics.
“Invest in a high-quality stats program that will quantify your strengths and weaknesses to help you get over the hump of shooting those 72-75s,” he said. “Course management, mental game and decision making is key when your game is to this point.”
Get a custom fit
Thinking about a custom fit? Both Mark and Derek endorse it. In Mark’s opinion, it’s a great way to lower your score into the 80s – and beyond.
“[Getting fit] can make a huge difference. Get a short game and putting lesson and learn how to practice these areas of your game, too.”
“Getting a club fitting is more important than 90% of people think,” Derek added. “Getting the clubs that fit you will improve your score by being more consistent and making the game easier.”
Know your yardages
Some of the top recommended golf products on ExpertVoice are rangefinders from Blue Tees Golf and Bushnell Golf. Mark said having a handle on club distances is a first step to really lowering your score.
“One of the things that almost every person does not know is truly how far their average shot carries with each club,” he said. “I didn’t say their best shot from four years ago or the total yardage, but the average carry. Knowing this and being objective on the course with club selection is critical for hitting more greens in regulation.”
With patience and the right approach, you can lower your score and enjoy your time playing. Take these expert tips to your favorite course and watch your game improve.
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