Getting Your Golf Season Off To A Great Start

By Chris Foley

Is 2011 the year that you are going to improve you golf game? Is this the year you will break 100, break 90, or break 80? If this is the summer you are going to get better, it is important the start the season off right.

If you follow these steps you will have a much better chance of playing well early in the year and lowering your handicap and scores.

Before you play your first round of golf, make at least one trip to the driving range. Your session at the range should include the following.

Stretching

Start you session off by doing some general stretching of you shoulders, back, hips, and legs. It is important to get your golf muscles loose anytime you go to the course or range, but especially this time of year when you haven’t been very active. A good way to loosen up is to take a couple of short irons, holding them together, and swinging them back and forth slowly.

Putting

The short game is the hardest area of the game to get your feel back. Good putting is critical to scoring well, making spending some time on the putting green important. Start out finding a putt with very little break on the putting green. Place several balls at a distance of about three feet and work on hitting solid putts into the back of the hole. Try to make 10 to 15 in a row before quitting.

Next, get a feel for distance. Pick out the two holes farthest away from each other on the putting green. Take several balls and putt the balls back and forth, trying to get all of the balls to stop within a foot of the hole.

Chipping

The motion made chipping the golf ball is a miniature version of the full swing. Hitting crisp, solid chip shots will translate into solid hit shots with the full swing. Remember, the correct technique is to set-up with a narrow stance, weight on the front foot and the ball position off the instep of the back foot. Grip down on the handle of the club and make a short, brisk accelerated stroke. To make the ball go up in the air, let the leading edge of the club work down to the ground.

Full Swing

Start your practice of the full swing with your shortest club. Making short, easy swings with a pitching wedge or sand wedge. As you start to get a feel for finding the center of the clubface, start to make full swings. Progress your way through you clubs by hitting a series of shots with every other club in your bag. Move from sand wedge to nine iron to seven iron. Finally, hit your fairway woods and driver.

Going through this type of practice session will give you a good idea of where the golf ball is going and give you a feel for hitting the ball solid. Confidence plays such a huge roll in how we play so starting the season off on the right foot will make lowering those scores much easier.

Chris Foley

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