Golf can be a complicated game, but the good news is that sometimes a small change can make a big difference. Developing a preshot routine before you address the ball can help your consistency, and getting rid of those long irons in favor of a hybrid can increase your distance and accuracy. Practicing with a short iron can help with the tempo and rhythm of your swing. Another easy tip to lower your score is to remember to open up the face of the sand wedge out of a greenside bunker. As you get comfortable with your swing, remember to think a shot ahead and place the ball so you have a clear next shot.
Use a Preshot Routine
Your golf swing begins before you even address the ball. A preshot routine can help you focus on the golf shot and remind you of key elements for a consistent swing. While a preshot routine is very personal and varies from golfer to golfer, there are some essentials that many players find useful. Begin by lining up your shot and establishing a target line. Develop a habit of finding an intermediary target like a leaf or a twig between the ball and the target. Check your grip to make sure the club is lying across your fingers, and not in the palm of your hand. Be sure to use medium pressure. Square the clubface and align your body to the target. Then take your practice swing and hit the ball.
Try a Hybrid
Another way to lower your score is to get rid of that long 3- and 4-iron and put some hybrid clubs in your bag. Hybrids or utility clubs can help you launch the ball into the air and give you more distance and accuracy. Hybrids combine the best features of irons and woods, making them easy to use. The shorter shaft gives you more control, and the lower center of gravity and evenly distributed weight allows you to launch the ball with ease. Hybrids can be used off the tee for a short hole, in the fairway, out of the rough and even out of a sand trap. Some golfers use hybrids for chip shots around the green. When you hit a hybrid, place the ball just left of center and use a wider stance and a sweeping motion as you would for a long iron.
Develop Rhythm and Tempo
Using a sooth rhythm and tempo can help you develop the consistent swing you need to lower your golf score. Tempo is the pace and rhythm involves the flow of the swing as the club and your body work together in a smooth, fluid motion. While a golf professional can hit the ball up to 150 miles per hour, the average golfer will hit the ball 100 miles per hour or less. Golfers with slower swing speeds can purchase clubs designed to provide more distance to accommodate their swing speed. Hitting harder is not the answer to getting more distance, since that can throw off your rhythm and result in throwing your clubhead off at the top of your swing. The key is to maintain control throughout for a smooth takeaway, downswing and follow-through.
Open the Face in a Greenside Bunker
To hit out of a sand trap, use your feet to assess the consistency and depth of the sand. Do not allow your club to touch the sand, unless you do not mind a two stroke penalty. For a greenside bunker with plenty of soft sand, use a sand wedge or a lob wedge and turn the club to the right to open up the face of the club. Dig your feet into the sand, and hit the sand before hitting the ball. For a short shot, hit 3 or 4 inches behind the ball. For a longer shot, hit 1 or 2 inches behind the ball. Keep your knees bent throughout the swing, accelerate through impact and finish the shot. Make sure the face of the club stays open, and splash some sand onto the green.
Think a Shot Ahead
Imagine that you land in the deep rough on the side of the fairway, and notice that a straight shot out will place your ball behind a tree. By thinking a shot ahead, you realize this predicament and solve the problem by hitting onto an area of the fairway that will give you a better lie. Even if you sacrifice some distance, getting into the habit of thinking a shot ahead will shave points off your score in the long run by keeping you out of trouble.