Tips and Strategies to Help you Shoot Lower Scores

By: Jason M Paulsone

Golf is one of the most challenging games out there however it is not impossible to learn how to become a lower handicap player. It does however require a commitment on your part to learn the basics of the game. If you think that you can become a scratch golfer just practicing once a week or once a month then you may be chasing an illusion. Here are a few keys to reducing your handicap and becoming the best player you can be:

- Practice the right way

It is no secret that practice is critical in order for you to get better at this game. However practice alone will only get you so far. Practice does not make perfect. 'Perfect practice' makes perfect. If you are practicing the wrong way then your progress will plateau and you will be left scratching your head as to how to get better.

- Practice tips for the higher handicap player

If you are a high handicap player then you obviously need to work on sharpening your swing mechanics and short game skills. Make sure to take a lesson or two on the ideal golf swing mechanics and then practice them a few times a week. You do not need to spend hours practicing each day. However you do need to be consistent and do it at least 3 to 5 times a week.

Also if you are a higher handicap player then you will want to spend a lot of time of chipping, bunker play and wedge shots as these shorter shots can make a huge difference in lowering your handicap. Take a lesson from a local golf pro on the short game including putting. When it comes to putting you will want to pick a mechanical approach you feel comfortable with and then stick with that.

- Practice tips for the lower handicap player

If your handicap is under 10 then you have a fairly solid understanding of the golf swing mechanics. You need to focus on the short game and the mental game to bring your handicap down to scratch.

Make sure you are spending a lot of time on the wedge game and shots close to and around the green. Putting may be the greatest opportunity to lower your handicap to a scratch level. However never forget that putting is all about confidence and that it is primarily a mental game so do not get caught up in trying to develop the perfect putting stroke.

Make it a habit to think only about the best putts you have ever made and forget about your misses. Practice a lot of short putts because they will help to build up your confidence levels since you will make the majority of these. You focus must shift to the mental game in order to take your game to the next level.

- Mental game tips for all players

The mental game is what separates the best golfers in the world from all the amateurs. Even at the highest level it is the mindset of the number one ranked player in the world that makes them number one and it is that mindset that separates them from the rest of the players.

You must believe in your game and you have to think of yourself as a great player. You have to believe that when you are competing that you are good enough to beat anyone out there. This is particularly important for tournament players of all levels and is especially important the higher up you go in your golfing career.

An important tip to keep in mind is your mindset just before you are about to hit the ball. You must learn to develop a quiet mind that is sharply focused on the target only. Do not allow other thoughts to enter your head as you are about to strike the ball, instead you need to trust that you have trained your swing and that the ball will go where you want it to regardless of what happened with the previous shot. Good luck on your quest to become a lower handicap player.

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