October 19, 2016

Playing today? Quit experimenting and go with what you have

Embrace your hook or slice
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A walk along the practice tee early on Saturday morning is a study in abnormal psychology. Most of the players there aren't warming up. They're looking for the magic bullet that will straighten out their shots for the round they're about to play.

Don't be that guy. Or girl.

Your best game is going to come from embracing the swing and shots you already play--and accounting for their shape. Trying to fix your swing minutes before go time is a waste of time, says Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Corey Lundberg, who is based at Altus Performance in Dallas. "You want to go through a pre-round routine that will help you dial in your feel," says Lundberg. "Get your body ready to do what you already do, just better."

With the driver, find the groove for your predominant shot--not some ideal one you know you're not going to be able to replicate on the course. "Tee a ball and place an alignment rod on the ground in front of it on the target line," says Lundberg. "If your typical ball flight curves to the left, lay a second rod angled 20 or so degrees right of the target. If your ball curves right, angle the second rod 20 degrees left. Create goal posts with two more rods. Try to hit drives through the posts that curve toward the target without crossing the target line."

Focusing this way during your pre-round warm-up will give you confidence that you can actually take something to the course you can repeat. You'll reduce the number of swing thoughts in your head, which will make it easier for you to make free swings instead of trying to steer the ball.

Stress level? Way down.