What does it take to ‘Go Low’? Low has a different meaning for everyone. But, we can all continue to improve in many areas in and around our golf game. Golf requires a lot of mind and body control to shoot low scores. Most folks never reach their potential because they just don’t have the discipline to do the things that will help them reach better scores.
Here are a few things you can do to improve scores:
1. Improve your Physicality
Improving your physical fitness will help you in practice and play of golf. Physical fatigue in practice or during the round will hinder your ability to think well and score low.
Get Stronger. Consult a physical therapist and find your areas of weakness. Put together a plan to improve your strength.
Increased Speed. There are lots of great speed drills out there. Speeding up the right parts can lead to longer and straighter drives.
Better Balance. Balance on your feet is so important! Without proper balance, increased speed is not possible. Never underestimate the power of balance.
Posture. Gaining strength and balance will improve your posture. Walk around like you are already going low in tall, confident posture. Your current actions will be a direction for your future.
Improving your fuel levels while you are at practice and play will have a direct benefit on your mentality and ability to think properly to make sound decisions as well as a direct benefit to your physicality and ability to strike shots more consistently.
Eat Better. Find the foods and snacks that provide sustained energy. Find your mix of protein, carbs, etc. Your mix may be different from someone else. Be sure to keep snacks in your bag for play and practice.
Eat Timely. Breakfast is hard to stomach before the early tee times, but try to find something to get you to the range and fuel up on the way to the 1st tee and every 3 holes. Small amounts throughout the round will enable consistency. If you wait, it could be too late!
Stay Hydrated. Quench your thirst before it happens. The brain is 73% water and the lungs are 83% water. Get fluids in your body before the round and have at least a sip of water every hole and more. Mix in some electrolytes at times as well. Start early in your day with fluid and finish late. Dehydration is a killer to proper thinking and breathing.
The mind is a powerful tool. It can work for you or against you. Improve your confidence and watch your scores go lower. Junior golfers do not have the library to draw upon in pressure situations. You have to build your library through practice and pressurized games and competition. You have to start somewhere. Build upon your current situation. Play tournaments at your level with a few stretch events.
At the end of the day, if you want confidence, start small and grow. When your confidence dwindles, start small and grow again. Sounds too easy, but it works.
Here is a simple way to grow confidence:
Get great at 4-foot putts. Really great! Practice in your room at home, practice at the golf course. Just sink 4-foot putts when you are awake and in your mind when asleep. How does this help? If you know you are able to make your 4-foot putts, you take pressure off of your chipping (and usually chip it closer). Taking pressure off of your chipping, takes pressure off of your approach game (and usually hit it closer). Taking pressure off of your approach game consequently take pressure off of your tee shots (and usually end up in the fairway). So, nothing is stopping you from being a great pressure putter…especially the short ones. Find a way to be great!
Proper practice will increase confidence for competition. Are you practicing properly? Is your preparation the best for you? Are you really applying pressure in your practice to sharpen your skills and make you game ready to go low?
Here are some helpful tips to practicing properly:
Apply pressure. Train and apply pressure. Repeat. Repeat. The Will2Golf Scoring Guide trains you to handle pressure, up your game and do it again. Your library of knowledge will be increased by progressing through the levels. Practice hard, Play easy.
Technique. Do you need to make some tweaks in your game? Get curious and ask or figure out how things that work in your swing to cause patterns and results. Learn your game and how to manage it. Take ownership!
Discipline. Shooting low golf scores requires a lot of discipline. Controlling the mind and body to know when to “go for it” and when to “wait for it”.
Critical Thinking. Golf is one problem to solve after another. Wind, terrain, speed, grass height, slope, club selection, how do I feel, firmness of the green, lie, stance, etc. You get the picture. Lots to calculate in a short span of time. Practice your critical thinking in practice. Stop practicing from perfect lie after perfect lie and mix in shots from poor lies and different slopes to challenge your analysis.
Grit. Be determined. Find a way. Stick it out to the end. Keep showing up. Some days will be better than others. Learn to weather the storms and ride the waves when they come your way.