Golf Handicap: 3 Crucial Ways to Lower It!

May 17, 2009

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Tony McEwan asked:

The golf handicap is the tool by which golfers everywhere use to instantly compare and judge each other on their skill level of the sport. The question of who is the better golfer can be answered simply by comparing this magical number no matter what your background or where you come from.

The golf handicap is also the only fair system to allow golfers of different abilities to compete against each other in competition and maintain, hopefully, a close and exciting game.

The challenge, however, always remains the same. That is to lower your golf handicap and if possible to get that figure into single digits. This seems to be the ultimate goal for many amateur golfers and if you don’t believe me try asking any golfer with a handicap of 10 or above!

So how do we go about lowering it? How do we topple an extra couple of shots off of our golf handicap? The answers to those questions aren’t always popular as everyone is looking for a short cut, but rest assured that by applying these methods then you can notice a difference in your performance very quickly indeed!

Improve your fitness levels

This has got to be my first tip for any golfer looking to reduce their golf handicap. Have you ever noticed in your round of golf, especially in the hot summer months, that by the time you are playing the 14th and 15th holes it takes a lot more effort to maintain concentration and focus on your shots? This is the part of the round that could make or break that decent score you have been putting together!!

A game of golf played over 18 holes can have you walking approximately 4 miles. Add to that the fact that you are carrying a bag full of irons, woods, balls, snacks, drinks, waterproofs etc. then you are certainly carrying a few extra pounds on that walk!

The more tired you get the harder it is to hit your drives straight and long. Your approach shots go a bit wayward of the green and you 3 putt instead of 2 putting. All these shots add up!

By simply improving your fitness levels you may last those extra couple of holes without feeling the effects of fatigue setting in.

So if you don’t already, then why not go for a few walks during the week. If you already do this, then why not do a little more and have a jog round the park. Basically, whatever you are doing now, just do that little extra and feel the difference on those last few holes on the course!

Practise Practise Practise

I have spoken to many golfers who are desperate to lower their golf handicap. They will buy the latest golf clubs and golf equipment and will even play in each weekly competition at their golf club but are annoyed that they don’t improve their scores!

When I ask them how long they have spent on the practise ground, or how many balls they have hit at the driving range the answer is usually either not long or not very many.

I have spoken to the professionals of a few golf clubs recently and even asked the best players at my golf club how they managed to get their golf handicaps down to at least single figures and every time the answer is the same. Practise!

To make my point ask yourself these questions. Do you think your game would improve if you hit 50 practise balls a week? Probably not too much. What about 250 balls? What about if you hit 500 practise shots a week, and you did this for a month solid!

In short, you would learn so much about your golf game that you couldn’t not improve your scores. You don’t necessarily have to hit 500 balls a week, but hopefully this focuses your mind that you shouldn’t just rely on the newest golf club or new golf ball and that, yes, some work will have to be done to improve your scores…..but it sure will be worth it!

Golf Instruction – Golf Lessons

I think the two tips above are great ways to lower your golf handicap by a few shots in a very quick fashion. I also think, however, that sometimes you will need a bit of a steer in the right direction to get even more out of your game.

Just like when you were at school you would go to your teacher for some help when you got stuck, in golf there will come a time when you need a few pointers.

My tip here is to go and ask for help from someone who knows what they are doing. In the golfer’s case, have a chat with your club professional.

Why go on for weeks battling with a problem you have that no mater how much you practise you just can’t seem to overcome.

Don’t be stubborn and don’t drive yourself crazy. The club professional will happily and quickly analyse your problem and set you on the right path!

So if you’re struggling, don’t be shy about asking for lessons. Rest assured that all the great players have lessons. Even Mr Tiger Woods has someone helping him with his game today. He is not stubborn or too proud to ask for help and he is the best player in the world. So go ahead and get some guidance from someone in the know to help you out!

So there we have an outline for three crucial ways to lower your golf handicap. Combining these three basic yet often neglected pieces of advice I strongly believe that any golfer can improve their game and at the same time enjoy the sport that little bit more!

Give them a go and let me know how you get on!


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