How to play consistent golf

Quick tips from our staff of 35 top players and teachers

March 2008

Learn to be indifferent about results

Once you get a recipe that produces good spaghetti sauce, the only way to re-create that sauce is to follow the recipe exactly. Treat your golf swing the same way: No matter what the results from shot to shot, stick with the swing thought that you know works. You have to be indifferent about shot results to think and play consistently.

Let your right hand go along for the ride

Here's a simple idea that has helped me groove my ball-striking over the years: Take a relaxed grip on the club with your right hand. Too much tension in the right hand is the kiss of death in the golf swing. For more consistency at impact and a better release through the ball, keep your right hand passive and let it just go along for the ride.

Two steps to square alignment every time

Many amateurs tend to align themselves to the right of the target. One reason is that they aim the body first, then set the clubhead behind the ball. Instead, after you complete your grip, train yourself to set the clubface square to the target line, then position your feet and body to the clubface. Watch the tour pros -- that's how they do it.

Practice with one ball to make it real

Short-game consistency comes from practicing like you play. Learn to simulate real situations and play shots in sequence. Take one ball to your short-game practice area, and try to get it up and down from as many places as you can. Drop the ball and don't improve your lie. All that's missing is the pressure.
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